Saturday, February 2, 2008
When TV talk show Montel Williams announced he was closing up shop after seventeen years on the air, most people assumed his decision had to do with his health. Williams has multiple sclerosis.
But the end of the popular Montel Williams Show had nothing to with his health.
For just over three minutes on a Saturday morning,Williams made the cardinal error of admonishing the hosts of Fox and Friends for devoting hours of coverage to the death of actor Heath Ledger while ignoring the war in Iraq. Williams, a former Marine and Naval officer, lectured the stunned hosts on the stupidity of their program while U.S. soldiers were dying in Iraq.
It was a spectacle rarely seen on live cable television, as Montel exposed and condemned both tabloid “news” shows and much of American culture for what they have each become: shallow and greedy.
Three minutes into this awkward segment on Fox, one host cut off Montel in order to go to a commercial. Montel did not return after the break. Four days later, after 17 years as a television host, Montel lost his job.
Fate of “The Montel Williams Show” was sealed when key Fox-owned stations opted not to renew it for the 2008-09 season.