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Striking A Balance at the Emmys

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Ellen DeGeneres. The name brings a myriad of thoughts to mind... comedian, talk show host, Dory the fish, and [unlikely] gay icon. Despite all these titles, DeGeneres is best known for being witty and compassionate--making her perfect for the role of emcee.

After 9/11, DeGeneres hosted and wrote the 53rd Annual Emmys. Her mix of candor, humor and charm was well-received. It's not surprising that CBS called upon DeGeneres to take the helm again. At a time when most of America is still wrapping their collective heads around the Katrina disaster, Ellen is a safe bet. She's teaming with Ken Ehrlich, who produced the Emmys in 1980--the year an actors' strike kept away almost all the award winners. We're curious to see how they handle tonight's show. Although you wouldn't know it from the LA newscasts, there's a thin line between entertainment and news. Somehow, the actors always feel obligated to use their celebrity to promote political agendas during awards shows, much to the chagrin of the sponsors and most of the public. We hope that tonight's show is the proper mix of current events and entertainment.

We care deeply about everyone affected by Katrina. And we think that the Emmy organizers should mention it during the show. However, after repeated televised concerts and relief efforts, tonight is also about having fun. As we found out with 9/11, laughing is part of the healing.

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We'll bring you more Emmy coverage later tonight. The 57th Annual Emmy Awards air at 8pm ET/PT on CBS.