My Annette Benning Moment

“Hello,” I answered.

“Geoff? Dick Blumenthal.”

I stood up.

I was on the sofa early Friday afternoon when my cellphone started to vibrate. You do this, right? You look at who’s calling before answering? It was an 860 number, but it wasn’t one I recognized nor in my cell’s address book.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Geoff? Dick Blumenthal.”

I stood up. I don’t know why. Sitting seemed inappropriate.

I thanked him for calling then said, “Senator, you know you have bigger fish to fry?”

I have always found him a standup guy and the most ‘retail’ politician I have have seen. He’s everywhere at every event. He is tireless.

We talked for a few moments and without going into specifics it was a nice conversation from a concerned and supportive man.

I asked if I could still call him Dick? I feel like a doof now for doing that. He did say yes.

I told him I always thought he was a mensch. This call proved it. I heard the smile in his voice as he responded.

We hung up and that’s when I had my Annette Benning moment. There’s a scene in “An American President” where the President (Michael Douglas) calls Sydney Wade (Benning). After the call she wonders how he got the number and then remembers, oh yeah… he’s the president.

I was thinking the same thing. How’d he get my number?

I am honored he called.

42 thoughts on “My Annette Benning Moment”

  1. I met Sen. Blumenthal at the Boys State conference in 2004 at ECSU Willimantic, CT. Even then there was alot of speculation of his political future. He had his slight pony tail back then. My friends and I wondered when he lost it.

    I think taking a few minutes to make a call or fry some small fish is exactly how he became the man he is. Every voter in CT could have reasonably found an opportunity to shake his hand and have a few words with him.

    Now time to wait for the senior senator Mr. Lieberman to call 🙂

    1. I have not seen Senator Lieberman in a few years. The last time he and Hadassah were walking on College Street in New Haven. It was a night where I joked about “Geoffmentum.” He knew I said it and thought it was funny I’d stolen his line.

      I suspect I could still call him Joe.

  2. He’s got old and new ways to get your number. And hey, now you’ve got friends in very high places!

    I think this further proves (as if anyone with half a brain needed more proof) that you are an icon in Connecticut and that WTNH/LIN should probably revisit their decision. It also shows that even if they don’t, you’re going to move on to great things, Geoff. I think you’ve probably had one of the best weeks anyone could possibly have after going through what you did! It’s very well deserved.

    1. Yes — strange as it seems it might have been worth it to not be renewed just to see this mind boggling support. I am not upset. I am not unhappy. I am in an amazing place because of my viewers. You’ve all written to cheer me up and you have!

      This is the zillionth time I’ve said it, but I am humbled by this entire experience.

  3. One’s character is not defined by the adversity we face but rather in how we deal with it. Geoff, you have displayed an enormous amount of that trait in recent days and I commend you for it. WTNH has made a serious error in judgement that will cost them viewers.

  4. See Geoff even though Senator Blumenthal just got to D.C and is probably fairly busy you even touched his heart. Just keep doing the things you’ve always done Geoff, you’re an amazing person. 🙂

    1. Arianna – I’ve already had more ego padding in the last few days than anyone ever deserves. Amazing? Me? No.

      You however are sweet for saying nice things.

  5. Geoff,

    Why not try to code a “weather bug” that isn’t hoggish and full of spyware and malware that’s literally you discussing your own personal weather predictions for different parts of Connecticut each day or week.

    I bet a healthy portion of “all us supporters” would pay a little bit to be able to watch you producing your own home show and not have to tune in Channel 8 to do it.


    1. Marco, through the years I’ve had many business ideas. I’m just not sure I know how to run a business. I make a pretty good employee.

  6. Geoff,
    As I posted on FB, it’s been an honor and privilege watching you the last 26 years. So often now news is fluff, be it local, network, cable. I’m an avid watcher of the BBC for much of my world news, but for my local segment I appreciate the professional aspect you bring, while retaining humor and calmness as well.
    I would say that since Wednesday afternoon you’ve been experiencing something amazing, something most of us will never know. You’re experiencing a modern version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with you as George Bailey and your faithful viewers as Clarence. While there are no icy rivers being jumped in, there is still shock and grief, both of which will probably settle in a bit later. But all your Clarence’s out there are expressing what you mean to them in real terms, not just in a Geoff Fox fan club manner. For almost all of us, we will never hear what you are hearing because that’s normally reserved for one’s wake. You’re getting the privilege of hearing it while alive and I think thats great. In my opinion, we all need to tell each other more often what we mean to the folks in our life. I’m very happy for you that you are getting to have this moment… a moment which I’m sure doesn’t settle the thoughts racing, but maybe provides a bit of comfort.
    You are loved by many people… family, friends, co-workers… and yes, but so many of us who in an ever changing world like to have some constant in our lives.
    WTNH…I’m sure you are reading all of these posts, FB posts, et cetera.. sometimes new, younger, and cheaper isn’t better. If even a portion of the posters move to another channel it will have been a massive business error.

  7. Hi Geoff, To be surrounded by such warmth and support is truly earned. Your are living proof that givers gain. I imagine that this public outpouring of support has taken your employers by surprise. I can’t even remember a time — anywhere — when such an event has occurred. Well, maybe when Princess Diana died. Rejoice that you are here to take in the love. You’re a good man, Geoff!

  8. Morning Geoff….Were are getting close to 6k on the Keep Geoff on Channel 8 Facebook page….pretty amazing stuff!!!!
    I am thrilled that the people of CT are taking a stand!!
    Makes me think of that line from a movie….”I’m mad as hell, and I am not going to take it any more” LOL
    Seriously we are honored that you have spent the bulk of your career taking care of us ( in a meteorology way ) and explaining to us in a way that only you can what is going on in the outside world.
    I can only hope for the best, for all of us. God bless.

    1. I think it would be wrong to bring any of this on TV, plus I’m not mad as hell. What I have learned from my viewers has more than made up for anything else.

  9. Geoff, I think Jim Barraford just spoke for all of us..and did it beautifully. This whole situation had me thinking a lot about “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the ripple effect of how many lives are touched by a single person. You are certainly experiencing “the ripple”. Enjoy your day…it’s a very nice feeling to know how much your friends love you!

  10. Good Morning, Geoff,
    I guess Excellence and Loyalty do not mean much in the business world today – only the bottom line seems to matter.
    We’re sorry to see you go since my family trusts your weather reports and enjoy your sense of humor.
    Good luck in your future endeavors. God bless!

  11. It definitely was a “The American President” moment, Geoff, but it does show the outpouring of love and support that you have in this state – and even from former resident now in a seat of power.

  12. I hope that any potential (reasonably local) employer knows that “you bring us with you” and we viewers are a part of your equity..
    I still think you and Gerry Brooks would rip up a set every night, but I wouldn’t blame you for deciding to forecast the breeze in St Barthelemy for the next few years.

    1. Gerry and I have only met a few times, but we correspond often. He has won my admiration for his intellectual acumen. It would be fine to be stuck on a long flight in the middle seat next to Gerry.

  13. Geoff in reading your posts today I have noticed you seem to be keeping the same hours as me except for today… slept in till 7! Your professionalism and on air presence has amazed and amused me for many years but these last few days watching you do your job as if there was nothing going on in your life at all that is true professionalism that the management of WTNH will have a hard time matching at any price. If one didn’t have access to any news/social media over the last week they would never have known about your departure based on your performance or demeanor. I am not sure I could handle myself that way. I am sorry that it took something like this to see how many loyal fans you do have and who will follow you wherever you go. Have a great vacation!!

  14. Dick Blumenthal is a decent, hard-working guy who cares about CT and its residents. I hated to lose him as AG – he was relentless; but I expect he will be just as tenacious as our junior senator. Now, if we could only get rid of Lieberman. The fence he rides is way too far up his butt and he’s not as loyal to CT as he is to himself!
    Geoff, be sure to answer the phone when Barack calls — hey, you never know! Have a great vacation!

  15. Wow, Kathy! I didn’t think of it those terms until I read what you wrote just now. I too have a healthy mistrust of Joe Lieberman. But I digress.

    Should we look over Geoff’s firing in the context of other firings around the country such as Juan Williams and Dan Rather? Is it little more than a well-oiled and overkill funded war campaign against the “liberal media?”

    Wow, I hope I’m wrong but I fear that’s about the size of it.

    Disney/ABC still gives no reason do they? The only other one I can come up with besides Geoff being under attack as a liberal is the easier one to conclude, that of him making an amount of paycheck and benefits package that makes cutting him sexy to their board of directors, and replacing him with several interns, or newbies fresh out of college will get them the temporary “bang” they think they deserve for their “buck.”

    But again, that’s the assumption I was working on until reading what you had to say.

    Wow, a gazillion thoughts come to mind now. I’ll stop writing right there though.

    1. Marco – My political leanings have never been part of my professional life. It’s doubtful managers know or care, nor should they.

  16. Geoff,

    You are right about not bringing this on the air and have conducted yourself like a true professional..however, your fans want to know if you would stay if they changed their minds…you would have to think after all of this negative attention towards the station and company that they will have to reconsider..

  17. I was watching you last night (sorry don’t mean to creep you out!) and I must complement you on your absloute professionalism. Keep the faith and keep your head up high. You’ve done nothing wrong and good things come to good people…always…..I am a true believer in this…You’re the best!

  18. Geoff – I sent this to wtnh today – if they asked you back – would you consider?? Hang in there
    “listen – why don’t you just admit you made a mistake and hire Geoff Fox back – the out pouring of support for him should clue you in to your mistake. The loss of viewers and potential advertisers does not seem worth it. There are many other local ways to get the news and weather – and many many people are going to abandon your station and choose another. thank you for your consideration”

  19. Geoff:

    When Dad died, Chris Dodd called my aunt’s house to speak to my uncle and convey his condolences. When my aunt answered the phone, “He said, Hi Joan, it’s Chris Dodd, is Bob around?” Auntie Joan said, “Sorry Chris, he’s not, but here’s his cell number.” She hung up the phone and just about died thinking “Oh crap, should I have called him Senator Dodd?”

    Just thought you would find that another amusing story from the Child vault.

  20. Ok so maybe I should have read a few posts more carefully. Granted I have not lived in Connecticut for many years. Granted I know little of Connecticut politics; however, Joe Lieberman has been nothing but decent to my family. When my father was retired, he sent a wonderful letter that I still have. When he got sick, Joe took my uncle aside at a press conference and said, “Now Bob tell me about Pat.” When he died, representatives were sent since the memorial was on the Sabbath. I know the man – not the politics. Sorry if I am messing up this post, but I am known as the Child who stands up for injustice. No wonder I never followed in Dad’s or Unk’s footsteps.

  21. Geoff,

    I just read about this inane decision that was made by WTNH. The ONLY reason that I watch this news station is because of you! I just wanted you to know that you make me smile on a daily basis- that’s a lot of joy and I thank you for that! Your forecasts are the most accurate (I have to “weather-surf” between local stations because our area has such little coverage) and yours is always the one that I go with. I’m sure that weather decisions are a collaborate effort (Dr. Mel (!), et al), but it is your delivery that I’ve always enjoyed- everyone I know feels the same! We were recently at a large dinner party and it was decided that you were the fav local news personality…

    I really like how you setup the external school stations which both expanded your reporting from smaller towns and have inspired a new generation of meteorologists! My neighbor’s son is in the process of attaining his doctorate down in Tampa and you played a part in his career decision 🙂

    Is there any particular vehicle that would be most effective for me/us to express our opinions? Will it fall on deaf ears? I’m happy to start a boycott on the social networking pages if that will get management’s attention or is this pretty much done? What knuckleheads… sheesh… (I was caught in a political RIF of sr. mgmt. and it stings…hang in there!)

    I hope that this brings YOU smile tonight!

  22. Geoff,
    Nothing witty here, just a “gosh, why the heck would I watch News CHANNEL 8 without Geoff”. You, Ann and Keith have always been my favorites. . I’ve been watching you since you were a newby. What makes Channel 8 news special. . the people, not the news. . heck, the news, we’re stuck with it. The people. . we’re not, we could change the channel and hear the same news, right? But we don’t we watch 8 for the people delivering the news, the weather, and the sports .. . I suspect that even if all of us beg them to keep you, and they change their minds, you might just move on anyway. Your choice. I have much enjoyed the many personalites at channel 8, but . . with the ones that come and go — what counts is the ones that count. Geoff, Ann, Mel and Keith are like family. I count on them. They care about us. Not just picking up a paycheck, they care about the people they meet, the people that sit, stand or lay in front of the TV (and now the laptop, the DroidX 🙂 , day after day, month after month, year after year. No matter what you do, you’ll always be the person you are, wherever you are. Keep the faith, Hunny.

  23. Geoff –

    I have slowly watched with sadness the slow decent of WTNH into mediocrity. Not renewing your contract was “hitting the bottom” as far as I’m concerned. It is too bad that you are simply a victim of a culture that doesn’t honor excellence, loyalty and steadfast professionalism. You are of the “upper crust” and no doubt will have a wonderful future ahead of you. I will miss you very very much, and you were the primary reason why I watched WTNH evening/night news for the past 20+ years. Now, as I write this, I am watching the evening news on another channel. I won’t return to WFSB as a viewer unless you do.

    Geoff, thank you again for your many many years of outstanding service to the people and the state of Connecticut.

    Best wishes,

    Anne from Oxford

  24. Geoff, Many yrs ago I wrote to Channel 8 to express concern about the newscasts being presented w/ theatrics and said if it were not for “jeff fox” I would watch another channel. They returned my note with the correct spelling of your name. I have enjoyed your tenure on Channel 8 and wait to see what your next adventure will be. Please keep your dedicated fans posted. And enjoy your vacation and your family.
    The best to you,

  25. I’m glad that you are ‘feeling the love’ from your fans. WTNH doesn’t get it. It’s like what has happened to the Courant. Oh, the demise of the 4th Estate is a terrible thing to watch. Here’s to good fortune in 2011 for you and your family. From a fellow ham radio op .. 73 de N1QVE.

  26. To say you will be missed. is an understatement. WTNH will never be the same. Scott, then you. who’s next??? Those clowns in their ivory towers are more interested in how much they made on the stock market, then what the weather is going to be like tomorrow or the next week. You will no problem getting another weather man position. I’m sure it will be hard to decide which one you want. I just hope where ever it is. I will be able to watch you. Good Luck where ever you and your family go.

  27. Hi Geoff –
    Just found out about your leaving WTNH and I feel like I am losing a friend 🙁 I have a sister in Grand Island,NY – you know where that is! – and as a long time CT resident, you have been my source of weather info. I think I was a meteorologist in another life and love my doppler radar! – the family teases me relentlessly. Now I read that you are a die hard liberal and know “An American President” lines by heart. Wow – you’re my hero!
    When I DID go to sleep after watching your broadcast, I felt good knowing you were on the watch. Selfishly, I hope we get to keep you in CT. But, my friend, I hope you find the dream job that works for you and your family so you can make sure your daughter is up to date in her shoe collection and that you and Helaine continue your fun travels. God bless and God speed-
    With fondest regards, Mary Florio

  28. geoff– I and my family sincerely miss you and channel 8 WTNH did you wrong ESPECIALLY not letting you say goodbye to your many viewers and your coworkers publically.
    My mom felt like you were a member of the family and despise some of the changes that were made recently!
    Do you really keep in touch with any viewers–I doubt you have time or want to–but myself and mom (especially ma) would like to know where you go and we STILL MISS YOU and FEEL WE LOST A FAMILY MEMBER–OVER 20 YEARS IS A LONG TIME MY FRIEND!!

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