“Larry King’s got to retire. Let’s start with that. Larry King is lost, lost, lost.” So began Chris Russo’s Saturday XM/Sirius broadcast, the morning after Joe Torre appeared on King’s CNN program. Newsday’s Neil Best, a far tougher man than I, bothered to transcribe the Mad Dog’s howling.
“It was so absurd that CNN decided – and CNN with sports, you don’t pay any attention to anyway, they know nothing about sports. If you watch sports in this world – with news, they do a nice job – but if you watch sports, you don’t go to CNN. We all know that. I know that. You know that. You don’t go to Atlanta.
“You know what you don’t do? You don’t go to Atlanta for sports, whether it’s TBS, TNT, they stink for sports. Their announcers are awful. They’re awful. Awful. They’ve been awful, they are awful, they will always be awful.
“How could you be the executive producer at CNN last night and say to yourself, OK, we’ve got Joe Torre in our studio, he’s gotten a lot of publicity with this book, SI this week and everything else, big exclusive interview, you know, Joe is a big guy in sports. It’s a Friday night, so people are thinking sports with the Super Bowl. And you know what we’re going to do?
“We are going to put a camera in a bar in New York and a camera in a bar in L.A. and we’re going to go back and forth to have the fans ask Joe a question. No fan of which has bought the book. You can’t buy it until Tuesday, so nobody can get the book. The book is embargoed. You can’t buy this book if you’re Doubleday. My editor couldn’t buy this book! Jason Kaufman hasn’t got the book yet! And he’s the editor of the Da Vinci Code. You can’t get any bigger than that guy. He hasn’t read it! So that was a dumb idea.
“And to top the disaster all off, what’s King do at the end of the program? He’s been married 30 times. What’s he do at the end of the program? He brings his four young kids up, all wearing Ramirez jerseys in Dodger blue!