Ted Koppel's embarrassing debut as a Times columnist.

Ted Koppel's embarrassing debut as a Times columnist.

Ted Koppel's embarrassing debut as a Times columnist.

Media criticism.
Jan. 30 2006 7:02 PM

This Ain't Nightline

Ted Koppel's embarrassing debut as a Times columnist.

(Continued from Page 1)

Think I'm kidding about Koppel's writing? If you have an Amazon account, use the "Koppel Randomizer" to harvest a random page from Off Camera. Send the most banal lines you find to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. Right now the item to beat was culled by Mark Roh from Page 76 in which Ted's life imitates The Ed Sullivan Show:

Grace Anne and I often analogize our lives to the performance of an acrobat/juggler who keeps twenty or more plates spinning on the tips of an equal number of twelve-foot-long flexible wands.


Andy Gale randomizes to Page 74 where Ted offers this about his struggle with his local Giant supermarket:

You never know how and when you're going to have an impact. Back on January 17 I took note in these pages of the confusing nature of certain Giant ads in the Washington Post, products listed at one price but covering a range of weights.

I discussed the issue with an assistant manager at our local supermarket, and then, a few days later, with the manager. He, it now turns out, raised the issue with Odonna Matthews, the vice president of consumer affairs for Giant Food, Inc. Damned if they haven't changed the ads. They now clearly list the exact weight and price of each product. We'll see how long the changes remain in place. But I'm tickled.

Did Ted read Listen to the Warm before he sat down to compose Page 127, which Robert Ferrigno discovered?

Reality becomes an unwelcome intrusion while you are adrift in Barney's world.

Ferrigno spun the Randomizer a second time and found this stunner about the Koppel family on Page 54:

Our two youngest children, Drew and Tara, are with us for the weekend. Dinner conversation meanders until the subject of last night's TV program ER comes up. None of us has seen it.

Chuck Taylor spots a Kliban kitty moment on Page 126.

Rosafina, now an elderly cat entering her eleventh summer, is making it difficult to work. She keeps trying to walk across the keyboard of my computer, clearly for no other reason than that I do not want her to do so.

John Asalone captures Ted accusing somebody else of banality on Page 23. The nerve!