Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on December 20, 1973 · 57
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 57

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 20, 1973
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Chicago Tribune. Thursday, December 20, 1973 Section 2 21 Howard Cosell living a profitable lie Today's best movies J ' ' A 1 ! iV K ' i i ' ' ' I i K yt Howard Cosell TV critic Gary Deeb' three-part cnaltsis o tieta-orte porfscasfer continues today with a report on the most famous o them all. WOODY ALLEN says he had breakfast one morning with Howard Cosell. "And he broadcast the bacon and eggs," recalls Woody. It really didn't happen, of course. But it might have, if Woody had gathered a crowd and dangled a few bucks in front of Cosell's eyes. How ard is interested, above all, In fame and money, and at age 54 he's already obtained both beyond his wildest dreams. Cosell is fond of styling himself as the Champion of the Fan, the one man in TV sports who "tells it like it is." In reality, Howard tells it like he figures it'll do him the most good. His on-the-air honesty is a myth, his concern for the Little Guy an outright lie. He is vain, pompous, cruel, occasionally stupid, always overbearing, often a buffoon. Worse yet, he is insincere. That last one is the toughest to cure. WHAT COSELL does very well is hedge his bets. On virtually all major sports issues, he straddles the fence and therefore succeeds at being All Things to All People. About half of the public loves Cosell while the other half can't stomach him. But, surprisingly, his worshipers range across all social, political, and age categories. Howard Cosell is a smart politician. He knows his audience is more or less equally composed of middle-aged conservatives and younger liberals. So he balances his "convictions." For the Middle American, apple-pie crowd, he lavishes unending praise on the late Vince Lombardi, a very good football coach who has somehow become a symbol of moral divinity and patriotism to the gang at the corner bar.. At the same time, with a shrewd eye toward his younger fans, Cosell gently needles President Nixon and claims to be deeply interested in human rights. On the one hand, he panders to the Counter-Culture Claque by putting himself up as the enemy of the Sports Establishment. On the other, he shows up on an ill-conceived David Frost show and carries on a verbal love-in with Bowie Kuhn, that sheep-in-sheep's-clothing who holds the title of baseball commissioner. BUT IT'S Cosell's double role in his frequent encounters with former heavyweight champ Muhammad All that perhaps best epitomizes Howard's considerable flair for double-dealing. To the substantial group that detests Ali, Cosell is the one broadcaster who talks back to Ali. Muhammad's many supporters, meantime, look on Howard as a white man who respects Ali's Muslim beliefs and antidraft stand. The truth is that Howard and Muhammad long ago entered a mutual-benefit agreement. Cosell would bring out the positive side of Ali and let the champ air his thoughts at will, while Muhammad would shun all other sportscasters and give Howard the choice interviews. Translation: You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours. Stated simply, they were in cahoots to make each other look good. IS A COLUMN a few weeks ago, I called Cosell a Company Prostitute. It upset a few folks at ABC, which is the company for which Cosell prostitutes himself. They said it just ain't so, or something like that. But it only takes one viewing of ABC's Monday Night Football to determine who's telling the truth. During any single game, Cosell & Co. cheerfully assaults viewers with up to 18 plugs for upcoming ABC programs; countless fawning tributes to the network's behind-scenes crew, and cloying interviews with Milton Berle, Ernest Borgnine, and other stars of upcoming ABC programs. And Cosell, Don Meredith, and Frank Gifford constantly focus in on fan-banners that flatter ABC and its broadcast-booth troika. This is tantamount to hollering, "Man, these folks really love us here, don't they?" Some of the "spontaneous" signs, incidentally, may well be planted by ABC stooges. We also hear Cosell plug away mercilessly on behalf of Norma Lee Browning Gabor glitter . . . Hollywood SNEAK PREVIEW: Magda Gabor's Christmas present to herself is a $100,000 remodeling and decorating job on her Little Tuscany spread in Palm Springs. She gave us a sneak preview. Outtasight! Would you believe this happy Hungarian had 20 workmen working six months carving out a slice of the San Jacinto 'Mountains just to build her a bigger bar and wardrobe closet? The closet well, The Tribune Tower lobby would fit into it twice nicely, with room to spare. You get the idea. There are acres of wide red and white open shelving for Magda's magnificent headgear. She's doing her bit to hypo the hat industry. And miles of wardrobe rods three tiers, floor to ceiling for her elegant ball gowns, caftans, furs, and et ceteras. A true Gabor loves lots of glitter, so naturally there are glittering chandeliers all over the place, including three-yes three in the kitchen. The piece de resistance is twin baby chandeliers over the kitchen sink and stove. Magda's manse, within spittin distance of Fritz Loewe's, has a spectacular hilltop or mountainside view of Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. The lights-at-night view is breathtaking and, leave it to Magda to think up a way to see it when you're sitting at the bar, with your back to the view, and facing smack up against the mountain. She devised a two-way mirror and window arrangement behind the bar to reflect the lights so you can still get the view with your vodkas unless you're too blind to see it or you fall off the barstool. AND SPEAKING OF THAT: I almost forgot to tell you, that new MGM Grand Hotel up in Vegas has a total of 25 bars, 70 bartenders, and 150 cocktail waitresses. In case you're thirsty. BACK TO THE GABORS: In case you hadn't heard, Magda at one timo was considered the most talented of the Gabor sisters 'scuse please, Zsa Zsa and Eva, tho the least publicized. She appeared in a number of Noel Coward plays in summer stock back east before her stroke a few years ago, which finished her career as an actress but certainly didn't affect her sense of humor or her beauty. AND THEN THERE'S PRINCESS BLUE EYES: Chicago's Jeannio Barrett looks so much like a Gabor that Jolie has semiadopted her as a fourth daughter. Jeannie also was an actress, model, and professional fashion designer before her marriage to former Illinois politician Eddie Barrett. f 'I111' H'p Jl ' I GaryDeeb ft ..A For a complete movie Osdng see TV Week. the third ABC telecast of "Brian's Song." And, of course, Howard shamelessly uses ABC airwaves to continually pump for his autobiography, which is in itself an exercise in self-hucksterism. AT THE STADIUM where an ABC Monday Night Football telecast is about to begin, Cosell's grand entrance is a thing to behold. With the stands nearly full and the field clear of players, he slowly steps, with half-foot cigar planted in mouth, across the turf to survey the place. Recognition spreads thru the paying customers. Howard eats it up. Humanity will long owe ABC a debt of gratitude for the way the network shunted Cosell deep into the background during the Israeli tragedy at the '72 Olympics. Cosell surfaced long enough to conduct a pathetic interview with the best friend of one of the slain Israelis. But Howard's egocentric showmanship gave off a foul odor at a trying time, and ABC slapped a de facto muzzle on him after that. He was rarely seen till the Games resumed. At those Olympics, Cosell was ABC's worst on-air jingo, constantly parroting a superpatriotic line that had American honor riding on each event. AS FOR COSELL'S knowledge of sports, it's frighteningly limited. His football expertise has come under increasing suspicion, especially since the Dec. 3 gaffe when he, Meredith, and Gifford got buffaloed by a deliberate safety they never saw coming. On basketball, baseball, and boxing, Howard is just fair at best. But he knows virtually nothing of tennis, golf, and horse racing. And he's still wondering if hockey pucks are blown up or stuffed. Cosell DOES know how to be provocative, irritating, and obnoxious. And since the TV sports airwaves are cluttered with inoffensive zombies of the Gifford-Gowdy-Schenkel stripe, Howard, just by comparison, looks like the Messiah of Broadcast Sports. He is living and enjoying a very profitable lie. Tomorrow: A good man named McKay. 3:30 p.m. Channel 2 "COME TO THE STABLE" Laratta Yourif Ctlestt Holm Muf h Marlowe DlrtclM by Hinry Kostir Both Miss Young and Miss Holm were nominated for Oscars for their portrayal of two French nuns who persisted dauntlessly to procure land and resources for a children's hospital in New England in this warm, human story. 1949 Until 5:30 p.m. 8 p.m. Channel 2 "THE GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL" Wratt Earp Burt Lancaittr Doc Hollidav Kirk DouiUt Laura Denbow Rhonda Filming Rata Flsiwr j0 van Float Directe by John Sturgat Big, loud, flashy western which builds up the legendary duel between Wyatt Earp and Dock Holliday of frontier fame, who finally develop a long-running pal-ship, then shoot it out with the notorius Clanton gang in blazing fury. Bang, bang and plenty. 1957 Until 10 p.m. 10:30 p.m. Channel 9 "BATTLEGROUND" Holley Van Johnian Jatvfsi John Haaiak Deniso Donlse Darcal RoderiguM Rlcirao Montalban Oiraclat by William A. Wallman One of the better World War II film dramas, with the action taking place in France during 1944, detailing the exploits of the 101st Airborne Division and the historic Battle of the Bulge. Fighting to the finish. 1949 Until 12:50 a.m. 11 p.m. Channel 32 "THE BLIND GODDESS" Eric Portman Anna Crawford An extremely verbose but well acted drama of a young diplomat involved in a romantic affair that eventually brings on a nasty courtroom trial. 1949 Until 12:45 a.m. 12:45 a.m. Channel 2 "THE SIEGE AT RED RIVER" Van Johnson Milburn Stona Richard Boor Joanna Dru Directed by Rudolph Mat Interesting western with action and history combined to tell the story of the forerunner of the machine gun, the Catling gun, and how it served to revolutionize warfare during the Civil War. 1954 Until 2:35 a.m. 2:35 a.m. Channel 2 "STRANGERS ON A TRAIN" Ouy Halnai Farley Granger Anna Morton Ruth Roman Bruno Anthony Robert Walker Senator Morton Leo 6. Carroll Directed by Alfred Hitchcock A psychological stunner from Alfred Hitchcock, so ride along with his off-track plot dealing with a casual train conversation where two young men wonder what would happen if each killed an undesirable for the other one of them does just that, then confronts the other, who is mystified, then terrorized when the cunning psychopath plants evidence framing him. Some twists and turns, not to mention the chilling curves. 1951 Until 4:40 a.m. The best-selling menthol has 16 mg. tar Iceberg has only 10. J: . -v,. . . -9 T fivaiTW I if 1 1) Lovter'menihol ICEBERG 10 'tar' 9 mg. nicotine. 0.6 mg. Best-selling menthol . . 'tar' 1 6 mg. nicotine, 1.3 mg. Of all brands, lowest . . 'tar' 2 mg. nicotine, 0.2 mg. Av. Per Cigarette. FTC Report Sept. 73. Warning: Tha Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health. 9 mg. "tar". 0.6 mg. nicotine; av. per cigarette, FTC Report Sept. 73 Where does Chicago play? Arts and Fun knows and tells all. See it Sundays in the Chicago Tribune. ill. m m .r ,1 i -.. s a ' H e've Got Loads of Great Toys at Great Low Prices for Last Minute Shoppers q e l! Is ff I - f 'M Fisher Price Play Family Action Garage or Airport Your Choice Both of these durable toys have many activities to keep tiny hands busy for hours. Two-level garage has car elevator, grease rack and more. Airport includes fun jet; helicopter with rotating blades, many ground crew vehicles and a terminal with rotating baggage conveyor Sears Has a Credit Plan to Suit Most Every Need "Sorry, No JTionc Ordcrt or Deliteriet" Skittle Pool GameFits on Card Table to ..1.1. i ..i Setr Price x mane iiiyiiig iauie is covered wun a felt surface. Has scoring counter, automatic ball return. Skittle stand positions to make all types of shots. 12" Aurora's Skittle Bingo Came Sean Price 11 86 MattePs Big Jim Rescue Rig 10 Seart Price C.I. Joe Adventure Kit by Hasbro 14 68 Srart Price 79 Ideal's Smiling Shirley Temple Doll Senra Price Binca fun for tin In eithl nlavcr. T .M t: i j . CM c tl. i ... . n. ,. . .. T Vt fc. ' "u . " PrliRlitru, look-alike lias a aoft vinyl The enhre f.mayeaiip ay.Uaetwo boom, tool, end communication Mummy Kit include, helicopter h(.ad ilh dim M cWk nicr lor cnua io operate. -vrnmg-Diaaea, more. ,vr. fiuffv . . NORTH Waukegan 662-1500 Hawthorn 367-1500 Golf Mill 296-2211 batteriea (not included). WEST Aurora 897-1511 Jollet 727-5111 Woodlleld 882-2500 Oakbrook 654-2300 ' Toy Department Sears Most Sears stores open evenings Monday thru Saturday, Sunday 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. IEABJ, ROEBUCK AND CO. Satisfaction Guaranteed or Igur Monty Back In tho CITY Irving Park 085-2121 Harlem-North 889-2600 Western Ave. 434-4800 Homan Ave. 265-2500 Lawrence Ave. 561-4800 Slate SI. 875-4600 Englewood 873-4600 79th Street 721-1700 SOUTH River Oaks 868-1000 Park Forest 747-6600 Gary 886-3211 State Street store open evenings Monday thru Saturday, Sunday Noon to 5 PH.

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