Wisconsin's governor was doing the media rounds this week for interviews on his first 100 days in office, a benchmark set during Franklin D. Roosevelt's first administration, a time of much political activity.
Well, we've seen 100 days of stunning political news in Wisconsin ever since Scott Walker became governor, and the analogy does work here. But we've also seen Walker become a national figure virtually overnight.
He headlined NBC's "Meet the Press" on Feb. 27, where he reminded David Gregory several times about his experience as a county executive and a local official. "I was a local government official for eight years," he said at one point, not exactly a selling point on the national stage.
Gregory was tough on him, at one point saying, "I want to focus on inconsistencies in some of your arguments."
Walker hasn't crumbled or fumbled too badly in these interviews, but he's often left interviewers like Gregory unsatisfied when they raise the issue of compromise.
Walker has quickly come along way from his chat sessions with pal Charlie Sykes on WTMJ-AM (620). His move away from Milwaukee County took Walker out of a media cocoon, where he was allowed to speak in a relatively unchallenged way.
Much harsher, of course, is the treatment he's received from partisan media on the left, a group that doesn't really exist in Milwaukee County.
And then there are the comedians, even the least partisan of the lot, NBC's middle-of-the-roader Jay Leno, who joked about a poll making Walker "more and more unpopular with his own constituents. They feel he's attacking his own people, which is not good, 'cause the only other guy doing that right now -- Moammar Gadhafi. You don't want to fall in that group."
Funny or not, it's a sign of the national bulls-eye on Walker's back.
It's to Walker's credit that he continues to make himself available to reporters as he marks his first 100 days. Whether he has been ready for prime-time -- even after 100 days -- remains to be seen.
On TV: Almost-sure-to-be-departing CBS anchor Katie Couric didn't break any news on her Wednesday visit to her old "Today" stomping grounds to peddle her new book. Former co-host Matt Lauer asked her, "Have you heard any good rumors recently?" Her reply: "No, have you?" The New York Times has suggested she may want to re-team with Lauer in a syndicated daytime show next year. Here's the video:
- Charlie Sheen tells a Boston radio station that there's an "85 percent" chance he'll be back on "Two and a Half Men" next fall.
- Meanwhile, TMZ is saying Warner Bros. isn't interested in Sheen coming back to its show.
- Paul Reiser's new sitcom -- conveniently titled "The Paul Reiser Show," debuts in NBC's 7:30 p.m. slot tonight on Channel 4.
The arrival of DeAngelo Vickers: There's no word yet on whether Will Ferrell's "DeAngelo Vickers" character will survive into next season. But the replacement for Michael Scott arrives on "The Office" tonight at 8 on Channel 4.
Here are two short previews of one of the best (at least temporary) cast additions to a sitcom in a long time:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.