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"Good Morning America" had the big interview of the day Friday morning: Robin Roberts and Amanda Knox, talking about Thursday's murder conviction. Knox did her first live TV interview with Roberts last May, which preceded a Diane Sawyer special.
Last May, Knox was promoting her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard," and at that time told Roberts, “I had to learn how to deal with it as I went through it. I was 20. I was in this foreign country. I barely spoke the language. And my friend was murdered.”
Friday morning's interview was certainly a sharp departure, in tone, demeanor and obviously context. Her voice quavering, her hair short, and her attitude defiant, here are just a few pull-quotes: "My first reaction was 'no' and 'this is wrong,' and I'm going to do everything I can to prove that it is and I felt very determined and my family felt very determined. But it was only on my way here that I got my first cry... This really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen. I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent before. How can they say it's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
"I'm going to fight this until the very end. And it's not right and it's not fair. And I'm going to do everything I can." And this: She said she would not return "willingly" back to Italy.
Here's the interview, for those who missed (app readers, watch here: http://bit.ly/1a6MbrR. Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones):
Elizabeth Vargas spoke in a taped segment with George Stephanopoulos that aired on Friday morning's "Good Morning America." It's quite good and worth watching, although I'm sure a few viewers gulped hard, looked in the mirror and said to themselves afterward..."Um, what about me?"
Vargas deserves a lot of credit for doing this -- it took guts, and is obviously an embarrassing subject. She gets remarkably confessional and even offers a general solution for those looking to break the habit.
What's missing are perhaps a few essential details: Exactly how much and how often. (She says on some occasion "up to four glasses" of wine.) Plus, did she actually become drunk, and what sort of behavioral changes ensued?
Also, most people can't afford rehab -- solutions for them? And this: The media is constantly telling viewers about the "health benefits" of wine -- the message, in other words, remains very much mixed.
Nevertheless, good for Vargas.
A week or so ago, Robin Roberts casually mentioned her girlfriend, Amber, in a Facebook post. Monday morning, the world finally got to meet this mysterious significant other, or at least briefly, via a photo of both Roberts and Amber Laign standing side by side at a relative's wedding. Of Amber, Roberts had this to say: She "loved me through a very difficult year."
The clip is below, and while the media may now treat this is a big so-what, it certainly is important and does beg some of those questions that often go begging at moments like this -- namely why now? Roberts has never exactly made a secret of her orientation, but it was never exactly spoken of in a public forum either.
There are certainly risks for public figures to come out as gay. As the recent Phil Robertson/A&E debacle established, there are those who are very vocal about their views about homosexuality. But she follows, at least in recent memory, Sam Champion and before him Anderson Cooper, who certainly haven't suffered career setbacks.
But why now as opposed to six months ago or a year from now? That's obviously for Roberts to answer -- maybe she will at some point.
Meanwhile, it's impossible to look upon anything that happens on "GMA" -- or "Today" for that matter -- in a vacuum. They remain bitter rivals who just this morning became a little more embittered, when "Today" announced yet another new initiative -- "Rise to Shine" -- that's a community outreach program but is clearly (also) part of new push to get viewers back and away from "GMA," with a tail wind from the Olympics which start in just 31 days.
Roberts' announcement should have no impact on that battle long-term -- but it certainly stole the initiative from "Today," which saw it's big "news" buried as a result.
Watch the "GMA" segment (click here to watch on a mobile device: http://bit.ly/1cHk8tj):
ABC correspondent and anchor Amy Robach - who underwent a double mastectomy for advanced breast cancer three weeks ago - returned to "Good Morning America" yesterday, saying "I feel remarkably well. Mentally, it's another challenge because that was phase one." Robach also told viewers and colleagues that she would continue to work while undergoing chemotherapy.
Her treatment...Read more »
NBCUniversal Monday handed the keys to one of its shiniest new cars -- the Weather Channel -- over to Sam Champion, who becomes voice, face and hair of that network starting early next year. He leaves "Good Morning America" -- and ABC, his home of the past 25 years Wednesday, which seems awfully fast for someone who's been a "beloved" member of this particular family since 2006.
So who might be next?
Lara Spencer? Josh Elliott? Or . . . Robin. Ah, yes, even Robin Roberts: She's beloved by "Good Morning America" viewers, although they'd better get ready to do their loving on some other network if ABC doesn't offer enough of that green stuff that binds TV families, especially morning ones, together.
ABC nonetheless said Champion's departure was amicable. In other words, not at all like the Ann Curry "Today" debacle. But that pesky "now who?" question was still unavoidable. TV Newser, the closely read TV journalism website, said Roberts was "close" to a new "GMA" deal, but offered no such assurances about Elliott or Spencer -- the chatty irrepressible youngsters of this "GMA" family. Could NBC be in their future as well?
Champion -- a superlative TV happy talker who can make even an impending nor'easter seem like a cheerful turn of events -- will be replaced by "GMA" weekend meteorologist Ginger Zee. A profile in the Chicago Tribune once noted that "she's Ginger because her father, who moved here from the Netherlands and didn't speak English, loved 'Gilligan's Island.' Though she's more of a Mary Ann."
Her three-hour tour is about to begin. The weather forecast calls for rough seas.
ABC News anchor and correspondent Amy Robach, who underwent an on-air mammogram last month to launch "Good Morning America's" coverage of Breast Cancer Awareness month, announced Monday that doctors established from that examination that she has breast cancer.
During Monday's program, Robach, 40, said doctors had not yet determined what stage the cancer had progressed to, or whether it had spread. But she told "GMA" co-anchor Robin Roberts that she had decided upon "very aggressive" treatment, and would undergo a double mastectomy Thursday.
"I'm young, and hopefully have a lot of time in front of me, Robach said, a mother of two daughters, and stepmother to three sons. She is married to actor Andrew Shue.
During yesterday's program, Robach said she had never had a mammogram, and in a blog posted after her on-air announcement wrote that she was reluctant to do one even as part of "GMA's" coverage.
"That day, when I was asked to do something I really didn't want to do, something I had put off for more than a year, I had no way of knowing that I was in a life-or-death situation," she wrote.
She also noted that only after the surgery -- which will be followed by reconstructive surgery -- will she learn about additional treatment options "but I am mentally and physically as prepared as anyone can be in this situation."
Robach joined ABC in May 2012, from NBC News where she had been a national correspondent and weekend anchor on "Today."
(Newsday.com app readers, watch here: http://bit.ly/1dhn0zK):