Now and then

If not Now, when? Word has it that KVIE, the Sacramento public-television outlet whose programming decisions make Clear Channel seem progressive, is considering canning its weekly commentary program Now. A Bites source says executives at the station believe the moderately liberal program is rendered redundant by such other flaming commie public-affairs programming as Washington Week in Review, Wall Street Week and, of course, the fresh new Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered. Strangely, the recent departure of Now host Bill Moyers—who’d watched public broadcasting become an entirely different beast than when he signed on some 33 years ago—doesn’t seem to be a factor in the expected cancellation. But, then again, KVIE was always pre-empting Moyers anyway, be it for The Wrinkle Cure with Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Yanni Live at Royal Albert Hall, or maybe just a particularly timely episode of Huell Hauser’s California Gold. KVIE spokeswoman Sheryl Armstrong could confirm only that the program was “under review” for the station’s February schedule and that a decision was possible in the next few days.

Was it real for you? Hats off to Randy Thomasson, spokesman for that zany Campaign for California Families, for coming up with one of the odder arguments against gay marriage in last Friday’s Sacramento Bee. “The reality is, homosexual couples know they’re not having real sex,” said Thomasson. “Deep down they know it’s not real marriage. And no amount of social engineering from Democrats at the state Capitol will change that.”

Exactly how, um, deep down Thomasson’s own experience in this area extends is, of course, none of Bites’ business, but it’s good to know folks like him and fellow traditional-values pioneer David Dreier are still out there saving us all from ourselves.

More equal than others: Jerry Brown’s comment about how his father and Earl Warren “put principle above politics and believed that each person was equal before the law” (“Second comings,” SN&R Bites, December 30) drove one of Bites’ historically astute readers into a fit of Yosemite Sam speak: “Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute,” our reader rightly objected, pointing out how this is the same Earl Warren who ran on a platform urging the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. On the plus side, Brown’s father was a strident opponent of the evacuation and internment that marks one of this country’s more shameful episodes. Fortunately, nothing like that could ever happen today.

Selling the sizzle: The real advantage to having a governor who hails from the entertainment industry is that they’ve really got this whole marketing thing down. Why, Arnold was barely in office before Bites started getting breathless press releases describing the reprogramming of DMV computers as a “major breakthrough” carried out by technicians in a “neck-snapping seven days.” No less enthusiastic was this past week’s announcement of an Orange Bowl wager between Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Oklahoma counterpart, Brad Henry, over the outcome of Tuesday’s Trojans-Sooners matchup. In describing Arnold’s end of the bet, the governor’s press office serves up more lip-smacking adjectives than a Hickory Farms ad, promising a gift package filled with “zesty California avocadoes, pleasing canned black olives and sweet cling peaches, fine quality California grown caviar and salmon, a variety of nutritious and delicious cheese from California, top quality California grown chicken, turkey and lamb, colorful California grown cut flowers, flavorful California grown garlic, vine ripened California grown grapes, tasty California grown kiwifruit, fresh California grown oranges, sweet California grown strawberries, an assortment of California grown nuts and dried fruits (walnuts, raisins, dried figs),” and “satisfying California grown wild rice,” plus tickets to California tourist attractions. Governor Henry’s wager—a side of beef and a basket of unidentified state products—sounds dreary by comparison. Hell, with marketing skills like this, we could make a killing just by bartering between the two states! Maybe Schwarzenegger could offer Henry some rednecks in exchange for a lesbian couple.