TV killed the Internet star

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

“You’re going to need some makeup,” the director told me at the required all-hands staff meeting following the taping of my new TV show on WVPT, “Virginia Viewpoints.”

“I …”

“No, seriously. You’re too … shiny.”

“Too shiny?”
“You could probably lose another 20, too,” my friend Eli said to me at my “Virginia Viewpoints” viewing party the next night.

“Looks like you’re a squirrel storing stuff for the winter in those overblown cheeks of yours. Seriously, I’d think about cutting back on the sweets,” Eli said matter of factly.

It’s been a whole new experience for me – having my shiny, fat face parsed by the critics.

Not to mention my posture.

“Yeah, you’re slouching a bit too much for my liking,” said my lawyer/agent, Harvey D. Shyster III, Esquire.

“And you talk too slow there at the beginning,” said another friend, Mordecai, himself a veteran of exactly zero TV shows.

“But I know slow. And I know that you’re taking too much time. Just spit it out already,” Mordy said.

The funny thing is, I’m not sure if anybody actually watched the show for its intended purpose – namely, to hear me and my handpicked panel discuss the war in Iraq.

We did, I thought, at the least a decent job of that – covering everything from the critics who have raised issues with how the war has been prosecuted to date to the idea that the war is all about oil to the contention that we’re better to take the fight to our enemies in their backyard as opposed to ours to the assertion that the various critics should just keep their big yappers shut.

But it was on a TV show where we did this.

“You’ve got the biggest head that I’ve ever seen,” my sportswriter friend Dobie Madison posited at one point during the viewing party.

“Is there any way you can look less confused the next time?” my former neighbor Earl Earl chimed in.

“And what’s with not wearing a tie? What … you taped this on casual Friday?” his brother Larry Earl added for the record.

“You trying to channel Chris Matthews there? Come on – you can set your sights higher than that.”

That last comment actually came from me – yes, I’m my own worst critic.

So … I’m going to shoot for Tim Russert, losing 20 pounds between now and the next taping, learning how to talk faster and sit up straighter, and …

Oh, yeah, somehow coming across as being less in the way of shiny.

Good thing I have a couple of weeks.

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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