Obviously, back in 1964 McLuhan wasn't thinking about the 1994 Winter Olympics. For despite the frosty Norwegian winter, this holiday on ice was anything but cool-at least on TV. Instead, television, fanned by the flames of a host of tabloid papers, profited most from the hot tempers and fiery passions that engulfed the names of its two most famous skatersTonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. The Winter Olympics, as I heard numerous people say, seemed more like TV wrestling, daytime soaps, or a tabloid movie-of-the-week than a respectable Olympics event (and in this light it seems inevitable that Tonya was offered a wrestling gig in Japan

several weeks after her infamous downfall). Perhaps it is no small coincidence that these analogies to soaps, wrestling, and scandal-based TV movies conjured up both "femininized" and "working-class" cultural forms rather then the detached, cool presidential debates of which McLuhan spoke. For at least in the way that television portrayed it, female and working-class competitors were anything but cool about the game. In fact, the only people who seemed to be using television as a cool medium were a variety of newscasters and talk show hosts-epitomized by David Letterman-who regularly sported a detached cynicism toward the whole event. In this regard, it seems especially fitting that when formulating his idea of the cool medium, McLuhan compared hot gossip to cool talk shows. Speaking of the original King of Late Night TV, McLuhan wrote, "Jack Paar ran a cool show for the cool TV medium, and became a rival for.. .the gossip columns. Jack's war with the gossip columnists was a weird example of the clash between a hot and cold medium."3