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Shoe on other foot, CNN pundit eats crow

Crossfire host chews his words

NEW YORK — When German helmer Werner Herzog promised to eat his shoe if Errol Morris directed a film back in 1978, he made good on his word after Morris presented the world with a docu on pet cemeteries, “Gates of Heaven.”

The same cannot be said for conservative CNN pundit Tucker Carlson, who was so skeptical of Sen. Hillary Clinton that he had promised to eat his shoe — and tie — should the former first lady sell 1 million copies of her memoir, “Living History.” Wednesday, Clinton publisher Simon & Schuster announced that the bestselling book had crossed the 1 million mark in its first month.

The publicity machinery at CNN and Simon & Schuster quickly spread the word that Carlson would be taking his dose of crow from a mystery guest (hint, hint) on the afternoon edition of “Crossfire,” which he co-hosts. Coming on air, Carlson said he couldn’t believe Clinton’s success.

“I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone,” Carlson said. “She’s the most admired woman in America? What kind of sick world is this?”

From then on, though, things turned sticky sweet. Clinton came on the set, all smiles, and presented the equally smiling Carlson with a frosted brown cake shaped like a right wing-tip shoe. “You’re No. 1 million in my book,” Clinton said as she cut a piece of cake for Carlson.

“I guess this is what Teya (Ryan) means by good journalism,” a Fox News Channel spokeswoman said. Ryan is exec producer of CNN/U.S.

Carlson later said he was genuinely surprised by Clinton’s visit, and that he even felt a bit embarrassed by the cake affair. Mostly, though, he didn’t feel off the hook. A dare is a dare, after all.

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