Fish Sticks, Velveeta Cheese, and Me: The Tale of a TV Debut

August 2006
by Diane Asitimbay

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Feeling almost famous on the
JetBlue to New York, I reread my entire book—What’s Up America? A Foreigner’s Guide to
Understanding Americans—frontward and
backward. I squeezed every word into my head in the five hours that the airline
makes you sit down even when you’re to appear on the Fox and Friends
morning show.

 

When I landed in New York at about
midnight, I took a shuttle bus to my hotel, where I checked into the simplest
of rooms, but not (at $115) with the simplest of prices (Fox News didn’t pay
for my flight or hotel). I had a whole day to recover from jet lag before my
appearance on the show.

 

The next morning, I hurried to get
dressed so I could go see where the Fox studio was. While I was hunting it
down, the Fox producer called to discuss details. “You made it to New York,
then?” she asked, sounding a bit surprised. Then she told me three Fox hosts
would ask me a few questions about my book on the air, and she asked me if I
could buy some props for the show.

 

“Bring meatloaf, Velveeta cheese,
cheese in a can, fortune cookies, and fish sticks to the studio tomorrow,” she
told me. “One of the questions will be about American food.” “Sure, “ I said.
Then I realized I had promised her fish sticks and cheese in a can in midtown
Manhattan where I’d seen lots of delis but no big supermarkets.

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