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Friday, January 30, 2015

Why I Can't Stand Chris Matthews Any More, Part 3, And Why I Can't Stand Dick Cavett Any More, Part 2

Dick Cavett appeared on Chris Matthews' show last night on MSNBC.
You know.
Chris Matthews.
The idiot.
Cavett was there to plug 'Brief Encounters', his "new book"
"Brief Encounters" is a collection of essays.
Nowhere during the interview was it mentioned that these essays were already printed in his column for the New York Times over the last few years.
Did Cavett not want to tell this to Matthews?
Did Matthews not do his homework?
All he seemed to want to do was fawn over Cavett at every opportunity.
This is not the first time Cavett has tried to put one over on his readers and viewers.
He had another "book", 'Talk Show', that was assembled the same way.
I am going to reprint what I experienced when I ordered THAT book from Amazon, with some slight updating.
At least I'm telling you that this is a reprinted article:


I should warn you up front that in todays post, the rant level will be ramped up significantly.
I will be capitalizing words for loud emphasis.
That's the kind of mood I'm in.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from, inviting me to pre-order Dick Cavett's new book, "Talk Show".
Whenever you order a book from Amazon, they e-mail you to inform you that there are books that you might like based on previous books you've ordered from them.
I like when they do this.

I have read Dick Cavett's blog on the New York Times website since it began.
He writes very well, even though a lot of what he writes there are things he has written in his other books.

Amazon was offering a very good discount on "Talk Show".
So good that it required me to order something else to get the order over $25 to qualify for free shipping.
There was another book that also offered a good discount that sent the order over $25.
So I took a flyer and placed the order, hoping that Cavett wouldn't be repeating himself too often.

The blurb for Cavett's book was:
"Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets."

Now I like confrontations as well as the next guy.
More, even.
And who doesn't like pointed commentary?
Off-Screen Secrets?
I live for them.

I received the e-mail informing me that the order was on its way.
In the interim, I read Cavett's current entry on his N.Y. Times blog.
It's an entire blog devoted to bellyaching about having to go out to the hinterlands to promote this book.
As someone has worked on turning my blog into several books, I would kill for the opportunity to go wherever necessary to hawk the shit out of my books.
If I wouldn't, I simply wouldn't make the effort to turn them into books.
In this current column he mentions, in passing, that this book is a compilation of his blog articles.
You know.
The ones that I have already read.
And I'm now paying more than twenty bucks to have in my possession.
A word to Cavett: an off-screen secret can not still be a secret IF IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED!!

So he's complaining about having to promote a book he didn't even have to WRITE.
From the Motion Picture "Boy, He's Got It Tough".

There was no indication on the Amazon page about the book being a compilation of the blog articles.
Nor is there one now.
For Brief Encounters, you have to hunt down the One-Star reviews to find this information.
Now I must make it clear that I don't blame Amazon for any of this.
For two simple reasons: I have since published four Kindle books there, and I don't want to piss them off.
And I don't want any problems with my customer account.

No, I place the blame purely on the little shoulders of Dick Cavett.
I don't care if I piss him off like crazy.
It behooved him early in the process to place the information on the Amazon Page prominently that THIS IS A COMPILATION OF ARTICLES HAVE BEEN READ ALREADY BY MANY!
That MANY people have read these articles already!

I can't believe that I am alone in this dilemma.
I imagine that many of his potential pre-order readers were culled from the people who read his blog regularly.
His blog appears on the N.Y. Times website, where there are many, many readers.

I have now had to deal with Amazon to try to get a refund.
Finally after several jousts, where conflicting information was offered, I was able to return the package.
And of course, I couldn't open the package to retrieve the other book that was in the same box, so I had to return that too, and have to re-order it.
Somewhat of an inconvenience.

I undersand that my complaining about what Cavett did might seem as insignificant as Cavett complaining about having to hawk his book in the hinterlands.
At least to him.
The difference being that if I don't get my refund from Amazon, Dick Cavett owes me twenty four bucks.

So I didn't make the same mistake twice.
I advise you regular Cavett blog-readers to not make the same mistake once.



My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. Hold on a second -- You're ranting about Dick's book being just a compilation of his online blog entries and yet ***on the bottom of that same post*** you're selling your books, which are compilations of your online blog entries.

  2. I've made no secret that my e-books are blog compilations. I originally wrote blog entries indicating each time I published a new e-book, that they WERE in fact, blog compilations.
    The difference is, with maybe two exceptions, those articles were removed from the blog, and can no longer be found anywhere else..
    For the most part, Cavett's chapters in his new book are STILL on his N.Y. Times blog.
    But in fairness, I will clarify this at the bottom of my blogs in the future.

  3. I just finished reading Dick Cavett's “Brief Encounters,” and I enjoyed it very much. I don't remember where I first heard about the book, but wherever it was, the article stated that the chapters were culled from Cavett’s New York Times column. I had not read many of these columns in the past, so I found the book at our local library and checked it out. I looked on the dust jacket and inside to see if there was any indication that it was a compilation of columns, and I was surprised to find none. Maybe this was intentional. (Cavett admits to some sly, youthful hi-jinks in the book.) The columns include some very interesting glimpses into the lives of a bunch of famous people, many of whom appeared on the old Dick Cavett Show, of which I was a great fan. In a chapter--er, column--about Groucho Marx, Cavett recommends a book written some years ago by TV script writer Steve Stoliar (maybe you know him?), about when Stoliar, as a young man, worked for Marx. So I found that at the library, and I'm reading it now. Dick Cavett wrote the foreword!

    So, yes, I, too noticed that Cavett appears to have been a bit deceptive here. Still, the book is worth reading if you haven't read his column regularly.

    While I often borrow books from the library, I also purchase many books, thus supporting the authors. I got “I’m Not Garbo,” at the library, but I purchased it directly from the author, who was there to give a talk. I enjoyed meeting him and reading the book as well.

  4. Cavett's blog is very good reading. But I don't trust him as far as I can throw him.
    There is nothing wrong with ransacking one's blog and turning it into a book. I have done it four times.
    But there is EVERYTHING wrong with not informing the reader or viewer in one form or another that you are doing so.
    I regret not repeating that information about my Kindle books more often than I have at the bottom of each of my blog entries.
    I will from now on.
    In that spirit, the pages of my 250 page paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" are included in my e-book, "Show Runner", along with another 250 pages, which now can't be found anywhere else.
    But some people don't like Kindle Books, and do like their books personally autographed by the author. I can't do that with a Kindle Book.
    So I still sell the paperback. But I should mention that more often at my personal appearances than I do.
    And I think the extra 250 pages in "Show Runner", even if you bought the paperback, is worth it.

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."