The natives were cynical when Washington Post Watergate hero Carl Bernstein, 35, took over as chief of the ABC Washington bureau in January after 14 years as a newspaper reporter. "It's a little like getting Reggie Jackson to coach the Redskins," snipped one ABC-TV newsman. Others whispered tongue in cheek: ABC News President Roone Arledge had Carl down as second choice for the post. First was Lou Grant.
Kiss Her Grits
Diane Ladd, the Flo of the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, joins the cast of the TV Alice next month as a newcomer to Mel's Diner when Polly Holliday spins oil her Flo character for a new series. As a star-struck teen, Ladd recalls, she promised God if He'd make her an actress "I'd build Him a church." 'It takes a lot of money," ' she adds, "I am helping She hasn't yet. she sighs. "But, the seals."
A Lot of Ice
Texas oil multimillionaire Lamar Hunt has bought some colossal objects at auction—including two real showboats from MGM and a 21-foot Humpty Dumpty left over from a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. All three ended up at his Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City, where he also owns the football team. Now it's rumored that Hunt is the anonymous donor of an enormous (112" by 64") Frederic Edwin Church painting called Icebergs to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. (The painting was bought anonymously at Sotheby, Parke Bernet in October for $2.5 million, making it the most expensive American painting ever sold at auction.) Why all the secrecy? Museum insiders say the painting was given to the museum because of an expensive decorating blunder. Once Hunt got Icebergs home, he discovered it was too big for the wall he had in mind.
At a recent meeting of 100 U.S. senators and representatives, top Cabinet officials and White House aides, President Carter was asked for an update on the Iranian hostage situation. "We cannot get any answers," said Carter. "When we try, we are told, 'All the answers are in the Koran.' When we try some other tack, we are told, 'All the answers are in the Koran.' " Piped up Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill: "Mr. President, I hope we have somebody reading the Koran."
•A friend's 5-year-old daughter told Lee Majors that her favorite fictional character, Pippi Longstocking, could fly and run faster than the Six Million Dollar Man. "Well," said Majors, "mark me down to Fifty-Nine Ninety-Nine."
•Send good wishes but, please, no presents to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. After a group of fishermen from Lake Nasser brought him a live eight-foot crocodile—which the palace hurried along to the Cairo Zoo—Sadat banned gifts from admirers.
•Carol Channing says she likes being a Christian Scientist because "they don't believe in birthdays, so no one knows your age. The only drawback is that you don't get any birthday presents." (For nonbelievers, Channing is 57.)
•Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America '65, and now a minister's wife, complains that the firing of Bert Parks was "absurd. The only other person energetic and experienced enough to handle all those girls is George Burns, and he might try something funny."
•Tim Conway says The Prizefighter, his current movie with Don Knotts, took a day and a half to write. Their next screenplay has been more laboriously wrought—it was a three-day job. "Don is a classic character like Ben Blue or Buster Keaton," Conway explains. "Consequently you can write for him in a day and a half. All you have to do is figure out ways to use that face of his."