Larry Mantle |

The reported spy swap is getting more and more entertaining




I love this story about the eleven alleged Russian agents living the suburban American dream in pursuit of insider information that could be shared back home. It's got heartwarming families, a seductively photographed femme fatale, and plenty of questions about the competency of the supposed agents.

Wednesday morning's development of a proposed spy swap with Russia just adds to the story's allure. If you had pitched this script a month ago, no one would buy it from you. Now, it will probably be a movie.

Wednesday morning's program was another one of those down to the wire experiences for our producers. As of 9:30 a.m., we had no guests for our first half-hour focusing on the proposed spy swap and the Oakland BART officer trial. Somehow, just as we hit the air, it came together.

On the other hand, our final guest of the day, Beth Raymer, author of "Lay the Favorite: A Memoir of Gambling," had been booked for a couple of weeks. However, I was unprepared for her girlish voice, after reading her testosterone-filled memoir of the boy's club world of sports gambling. I expected a "broad's" voice (think the great Joan Blondell) instead of a guest who sounded too young to gamble.