Gary Franklin and “Entertainment Tonight” are potshooting at each other. Latest: KABC’s new critic, after praising some documentaries the other night, called “ET” junk programming that viewers should best avoid.
“Exactly,” Franklin confirmed. “I’ve always felt that. The questions their reporters ask are the stupidest. Backstage at the Oscars, they were particularly stupid.”
Franklin was especially miffed Oscar night when an “ET” reporter allegedly tried to get sound-comic Michael Winslow (“Police Academy”) to make his funny noises: “She said to him, ‘We don’t want you to talk .’ And I said, ‘No, baby, we don’t want you to talk.’ ”
Loudly? “Very loudly,” said Franklin.
Franklin, by his own admission, also hissed audibly at “ET” reporter Jeanne Wolf when she questioned winners about their clothes. Argued “ET” producer Jack Reilly, “She was doing what she was assigned. She was being quite professional, and he was terribly unprofessional. He was very, very rude to our reporter.”
Reilly said he was so “teed off” that he planned to send Franklin a telegram saying that “ET” had voted him “the rudest person at the Oscar show,” and use it on the air--"except that none of our viewers would know who he was.” Reilly said better judgment prevailed. He added that he once knew and admired Franklin professionally: “I don’t know why he feels he has to compete with us. I hope he’s successful (in his work) . . . (but) it’s important to maintain some kind of honesty and integrity.”
Franklin’s explanation of his Oscar behavior: “I just don’t like to see journalism degraded.”
If Franklin was so against tacky “news” programming, why no mention of KABC’s “Eye on L.A.”?
The usually rapid-fire Franklin hesitated just a bit. Then: “I didn’t mention ‘Two on the Town,’ either. I. . .uh, think, uh, in time that there will be time for them to evolve. They need to evolve. But I’m not saying anything negative about them.”
As hedges go, on the Outtakes Scale of one to 10, 10 being best, that response gets a generous 6.