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The questions Oprah shoulda asked Jay


  Well, well, well.

 I've had a chance to digest Oprah's interview with Jay, which airs on NYTV in a little while.

 Again, go to Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune and her terrific blog, The Watcher, to get a pretty full transcript.

 Oprah did a good job, as always.

 But I think she didn't ask all the right questions, or exactly the right questions, or the best questions.

 So, with benefit of's what she should have asked, let's say, the questions

"Law & Order's" Jack McCoy woulda asked...

Why didn't you tell 'em to got to hell back in 2004 when they said they were taking "Tonight" away from you?

-Weren't you being just a little bit wimpy or at the very least disengenuous - I mean, why be "heart-broken" when you could have told 'em, "you'll live to regret this, you network weasels?"

- Did you carefully plot your comeback the last five years - hatching a brilliant plan that even outsmarted said network weasels?

- How many real job offers did you get the last couple years?

- Is it true or patently false that ABC wanted you on their late night slot?

- And if they did want you, would they have really cancelled "Nightline" and push Kimmel to 12:30? Or would it have been a half hour show there?

- Honestly, if you claim to have been "friends" with Conan, why didn't you call him after the bomb was dropped?

- I mean, what the hell Jay, did you really think it would be alright with Conan for NBC to move "Tonight" back past midnight?

- What would you have done if you had been in his position?

- Would you have said, "ok, fine by me" and then tell me in an interview on OWN five years from now that you were telling a "little white lie?"

- You're a savvy TV guy - are you telling me you actually think a 10 p.m. version of your show stood a chance against major hits on other networks - ever?

- You're also shrewd - why would you buy that line from the networks (that it'll do well in the summer when they're in repeat) when you always said about them and the TV biz, "never fall in love with a hooker?"

- Did you or did you know speak often to the affiliates?

- What did you say to the affiliates?

- why did you call them?

- what did they say to you?

- did they ever express a desire for you to return to "Tonight?"

- and how did you respond to that, if they did?

- did you ever suspect at any moment over the last two or three months that NBC in fact planned to return you to 11:30?

- is it true - as some people, notably Letterman - have said, that you plotted this whole thing out, knowing that Conan would fail and that NBC would have no choice but to bring you back to "Tonight?"

- Wasn't it, true, Mr. Leno, that you expected to return to 11:30 all along, and that you know the failure of the 10 p.m. show would directly impact the performance of late local news, which in turn would severely damage Conan's "Tonight?"

  (No further questions, Your honor.) 

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