Mon
Jul 17 2006
11:36 am

Katie Couric is quoted in USATODAY, "We heard from many people the news is just too depressing," Couric says of the feedback so far. "Obviously, we can't sugar-coat what's going on, but there are cases where we can be more solution-oriented."

Is that what the evening news needs? Does this country, or any country for that matter, need talking heads on television providing "solutions"? Isn't what is really needed is for television news anchors and newspaper reporters to just report the news?

When the line between news and commentary becomes impossible to define then what can be believed?

Edward R. Murrow said, "Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions. We cannot make good news out of bad practice."

Just report the news Ms. Couric. Good night, and good luck.

Rachel's picture

Edward R. Murrow said, "Our

Edward R. Murrow said, "Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions. We cannot make good news out of bad practice."

You mean slogans like "take back our government"?

Sorry, couldn't resist.  Actually, this is one time I agree with you, digit.

Anonymous's picture

Why do you rave about

Why do you rave about non-existent issues? If you just give the full context of the quote...

Viewers told her they want more perspective and "a better understanding of the ramifications of the news," she says. "I got the distinct sense they want us to go a little bit deeper" with historical background and "how is this relevant to their lives. (And) we heard from many people the news is just too depressing. Obviously, we can't sugar-coat what's going on, but there are cases where we can be more solution-oriented."

Some thought the media portrayed a "polarizing of the country that they don't see," thought TV news "abdicated its role of really talking about facts and information rather than points of view," and want "more thinking, less spewing."

...it's clear all she was saying is that she got the impression viewers wanted not just to hear reports on the problems, but also the steps being taken to solve them. Goodbye and good luck.

Old Hickory's picture

CBS

Couric's
Big
Smile

stick to the script Katie, stick to the script

Perkey and pleasant newsreader hired by much maligned and highly criticized network.

stick to the script.

rikki's picture

can't be sexism

Have you guys who think Couric can't do real news because she is cute given any thought to whether you're being sexist?

Andy Axel's picture

Sure. I'd take Suzanne

Sure.

I'd take Suzanne Malveaux before I'd take Katie Couric. I'd take Greta Van Susteren. I'd take Barbara Walters or Leslie Stahl.

Do you have an inkling of the substantive difference between Couric and those other women that I might suggest?

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Sven's picture

Have you guys who think

Have you guys who think Couric can't do real news because she is cute given any thought to whether you're being sexist?

Good question. I'll cop to thinking about it in those terms. It's hard not to, because it's all based on appearances. Couric is no more of a "pretty airhead" or primadonna than Tom Brokaw (actually, they're both very talented in their own right - it's just that TV doesn't really reward journalistic skill as much as good looks, charisma and acting ability - as Stephen Colbert mocked with his piece about the importance of "inflection").

One of the main criterion for being a good TV journalist is a "male" trait - aggression. The willingness to get in someone's face relentlessly - regardless of whether the questions being asked are relevant or worthwhile - is seen as a sign of journalistic talent. Sam Donaldson, Dan Rather, et al are the epitome, and Geraldo Rivera is the comic extreme. Barbara Walters proved it's possible to get into the boys' club by adopting this persona (I think her dull questions are on par with Donaldson's). Malveaux's an up-and-comer, because she was willing to go head-to-head with the Machismo in Chief.

Again, contrast this with newspapers*. Yes, there's Judy Miller. But she wasn't considered a diva (outside her own newsroom) until she started popping up in the TV universe. A better example is Dana Priest. She's recognized as one of the best in the business - if not the best. But that's not due to her aggressive interviewing "style" (at least it not until she battled Bill Bennett on TV), but because she reports and writes great, informative articles.

* None of this is to say newspapers don't have their problems. They have huge, honking problems and commit many of the same journalistic sins. But as a news medium, television will never even match print's worst day.It's just not possible.

Les Jones's picture

I had the same sick feeling

when I saw that Couric quote. The media has enough trouble understanding the problem. I shudder to think what solutions they'll shove down our throats endorse.

For anyone having trouble understanding why 9 and me react this way to Couric's quote, imagine someone from Fox News saying the same thing. "Oh, goody, let's hear what Bill O'Reilly thinks we should do about gay marriage and immigration! Like we couldn't have guessed!"


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old Southknoxbubba.net (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

Anonymous's picture

Distrust the evil liberal

Distrust the evil liberal MSM all you want. Chant it as mantra. Tatoo it on your forehead. That's fine, wonderful whatever. It's irrelevant. The context of the quote makes it clear Couric was just responding to viewers' concerns, and in doing so she was talking about reporting on solutions to problems as part of the entire coverage of a story; she was not saying she was going to develop solutions and offer them as part of the story.

Number9's picture

To all of the Anonymous(not

To all of the Anonymous (not verified) commenters,

Pick a name so you can be distinguished from the other Anonymous (not verified) people. Even better take five minutes and get a Yahoo or Gmail account and register here at KnoxViews. You can still maintain your anonymity and people will respond to what you post.

My policy is not to respond to those commenters that are not registered. It is not worth the time.

Metuljx's picture

You have a bootstrap problem

chicken? egg?

Look criticizing Katie Couric is easy. These are the same people who listen to Rush Limbaugh. Didn't he proclaim her the "Eva Braun of the Left." More cognitive dissonance and Godwin's Law writ large.

Andy Axel's picture

Let me count the ways...

There's at least three things wrong with this analysis.

(a) As if you can take Katie Couric seriously in the first place?

(b) As if you can take Bill O'Reilly seriously in the first place?

Even if you could take either seriously, (c) as if the comparison between an evening news anchor for a network news outlet and a FOX News pundit is even relevant?

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

SnM's picture

An anonymous numeral

An anonymous numeral refusing to respond to anonymous posts? Whatever has the world come to? Not irony, at least. Those were me, niney. I just didn't bother to sign in. Do please carry the fight forward, challenging that corrupt MSM and all.

Number9's picture

Those were me, niney. I just

Those were me, niney. I just didn't bother to sign in. Do please carry the fight forward, challenging that corrupt MSM and all.

I thought it was familiar writing and I did want to respond.

Consider any of these.

Katie is explaining before her first broadcast that she will be a "problem solver". Not good. That is NOT her job. She has already rationalized in her mind it is what the viewers want.

This is the drug of the anchorman. I want neither liberal nor conservative commentary with news. Just the facts. That's all I need.

I wish that the national television news had a commentary segment. Three minutes would be plenty. Now they just mix commentary in with news. A great disservice to the nation.

Some of you may remember when local television news had a commentary segment. Now they have websites and WATE has several blogs. I am sure WBIR will not be far behind in creating a commentary blog.

There is bias in television news. Bernard Goldberg wrote a book about bias but the backlash actually had more coverage than the book. Locally Professor Mark Harmon said on his radio program "Left Turn" that there is no liberal bias in national television news and cited studies to prove so. He neglected to mention any studies showing liberal bias.

So tell me Mr. Mean, is there liberal bias in national television news?

Anonymous's picture

Apparently you and Goldberg

Apparently you and Goldberg have proven to yourselves that it is so; and as I recall, you consider this liberal bias as one of the top five problems facing the nation today. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Rave on, it's a crazy feeling.

gttim's picture

Peter Daou

So tell me Mr. Mean, is there liberal bias in national television news?

Don't hold your breath.

Peter Daou listed 25 examples of serious, conservative bias of news reporting in the media, backed up with concrete examples, and challenged wingnuts to come up with some examples of liberal bias, backed up with concrete examples. Not a single example was offered by the wingnuts.

gttim's picture

Dropping Ratings.

I see CBS news rating dropping like a rock. Couric is a twit, CBS has long been the news station for serious indepth TV news (an oxymoron if there ever was one) which is not Katie's strong point, conservatives are not going to start watching CBS and most liberals I know think Couric is very rightward biased.

 I hope CBS loses their ass on her contract.

Andy Axel's picture

...conservatives are not

...conservatives are not going to start watching CBS and most liberals I know think Couric is very rightward biased.

It doesn't even get to that level with me. Fluff with the plastered veneer of a cutesy-poo smile is her strength.

To me, Couric will always be an infotainer. What beat has she worked? The Today show? Wedged between Matt Lauer and Al Roker, reporting celebrity gossip? Hey, next up, it's diet tips and berry smoothie recipes for the upcoming heat wave! Hard hitting stuff there...

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Sven's picture

To me, Couric will always

 To me, Couric will always be an infotainer.

"In a medium in which the image captures most attention, personality supercedes—in fact, all but obliterates—ideas and issues. That is why one becomes a celebrity by the mere fact of appearing on television. No prior accomplishment is required. Nor a reason for being there. It is accomplishment enough for one’s image to be on television."

Neil Postman 

I think we're kidding ourselves if we think television has ever been a "serious" medium. Even Ed Murrow's greatest TV moments were built around contrived, mostly contentless drama. Katie's just prettier and chirpier.

Here's a great documentary on the freak show that is TV news. Worth watching for the behind the scenes peak at Pat Robertson alone.

 

Number9's picture

"In a medium in which the

"In a medium in which the image captures most attention, personality supercedes—in fact, all but obliterates—ideas and issues. That is why one becomes a celebrity by the mere fact of appearing on television. No prior accomplishment is required. Nor a reason for being there. It is accomplishment enough for one’s image to be on television."
- Neil Postman

From E! Entertainment News 2014:

CBS announced today that long time news anchor Katie Couric will be stepping down from the CBS Anchor desk to host 60 Minutes VII. She will be replaced by E! Entertainment news personality Lindsay Lohan. Behind the scene reports tell of a competitive race between Lohan, Amanda Burns, and longtime rival Hilary Duff. Paris Hilton did not make the final cut because target audiences felt she was "too old".

R. Neal's picture

I will have to go along with

I will have to go along with The Digit on this one. Of late, the "solutions" our mainstream media have provided are to impeach Clinton, elect Bush, invade Iraq, look the other way on rigged elections, ignore the Katrina victims and the poverty, race, and class issues it exposed, and on and on. Katie will make a fine addition to the choir. Perhaps she will have some cookie recipes that will provide solace to those of us objectively watching the fall of western civilization.

s'n'm's picture

The media...impeached

The media...

impeached Clinton?

elected Bush?

invaded Iraq?

ignored Katrina victims?

didn't show their race and poverty?

S'funny. I must have been reading what the politicians wrote about what the reporters were doing.

S'funnier, the digit was claiming last year that the MSM was making matters worse immediately after Katrina by reporting on race problems and violence and starvation and what all then. Y'all need to get together and decide whether a) they weren't reporting enough, or b) were reporting too much.

R. Neal's picture

Why, yes, just last night on

Why, yes, just last night on CBS news I bet they reported on the 200,000 or so New Orleans residents who are still displaced nearly a year after the disaster. I bet they reported all about the 100,000+ homes still waiting to be repaired or demolished and rebuilt nearly a year after the disaster. I bet they told you all about the 10,000 temporary housing trailers which taxpayers spent nearly $1 billion for rotting in a swamp in Arkansas because FEMA won't let Louisiana deploy them temporarily to flood prone areas. I bet they fully covered how public housing in New Orleans is being bulldozed so developers can build condos. I'm sure they covered the fact that the Corps of Engineers is still arguing about what to do about the levees and the wetlands and the canals and that they may get around to starting some kind of project in late 2007. Yes, I bet they were all over this story.

The media backed the Contract on America coalition in Congress that impeached Clinton over a personal matter that was nobody's business, and they backed the impeachment, too. They backed Bush's election. (Our own local paper endorsed him twice, I believe.) They backed the invasion of Iraq to save us from the mushroom cloud.

As you note, the only media coverage of Katrina race and poverty issues was black people "looting" and white people "scavenging".

Whatever. I guess people in the industry see the glass half full, and journalistic standards are so low that just mentioning a story in passing between the latest Michael Jackson scandal or missing white girl is as good as covering it or reporting on it. And cockfighting. Don't forget cockfighting.

s'n'm's picture

Urgh. You seriously want to

Urgh. You seriously want to rehash this, go ask our kind hosts over at Knoxblab to resurrect the thread the digit started last year, approximate title "Did the media make matter worse during Katrina?" Or was it on your old board? You resurrect if it was on your old board. I don't remember. But anything that's going to be said here has already been said there, I'd bet. But, for what it's worth...

Which "media" "backed the Contract on America coalition in Congress that impeached Clinton"? All of the mainstream media? Every single publication and channel "backed" that? Each and every reporter and anchor? Wow. I had no idea. Imagine that. The MSM, all conservative puppets. Digit should be happy.

Which media didn't report on the aftermath of Katrina? Weren't reports of poverty and race on the Gulf Coast in Time and Newsweek and the major newspapers for months after that? Could have sworn there were. Must have been my imagination. Digit should be happy about that, too.

Which media didn't report on Brown's inepitude and FEMA's incompetence and Bush's inanity? None of them? Of course. That must have been my imagination too. The MSM didn't report on Abu Ghraib, the government's domestic call monitoring programs, or anything else of that sort. Nope.

All the media ever does is report celebrity gossip. And it manufactures all of that too. There are no Brads or Angelinas or whatever the flavor of nanosecond is, the media creates it all to keep the sheeple in circuses (government handouts provide the bread, natch). The media, not the audience, creates the demand. It's all the fault of "the media." Sure, right.

Look, the "media" isn't what you want it to be, and it doesn't cover all issues to the degree that you want it to. Despite what you and the digit want to believe, the media is mostly just about reporting what's current. They aren't "problem solvers," despite the digit's fevered delusions and your fervent hopes. When the audience tires, they move on. And individual editors at single papers have biases and their corporate owners have bottom-line interests, and individual reporters are more competent or less competent, more lazy or less, more preoccupied or less preoccupied with this or that, and stories that should get covered don't, and stories that you would never have heard about otherwise get broken.

And news agencies or editors or reporters will come back to stories periodically, too. I know I have read MSM articles on the "debate on reconstruction" in the Gulf, articles on the wasted federal monies in that effort, stories on the difficulties in identifying the victims' remains months later, stories on the opposition to the rebuilding plan Nagin backed, stories on people from poorer neighborhoods feeling like they were getting the shaft from the rebuilding plan, and on the New Orleans mayoral race and the issues of how to get absentee votes in. That's just stories I can remember off the top of my head and not including some the more of sensational ones I've read in the MSM, cops attacking a black guy, National Guard called back in, etc.

And I'm not even following events in the Gulf. Those are just things that I have happened to read because they were prominent headlines. In my own circumscribed observations, I'd say the the MSM have continued to report on the Gulf. More superficially and spottily than you prefer, sure. But is coverage nonexistent? No.

But sure, after a while, most news agencies moved on to the next thing and the next and the next. It's not what you want it to be. It's not what the digit believes it is.

And despite your certainty that the KNS is card-carrying member of CRACKDOWN (the Committee of Republicans to Anoint & Crown Karl [Rove] Dark Overlord of the World, Now!), I notice they get hate mail all the time from people just as certain they are members of DRAGDOWN (Democrats Requesting Al Gore to Deliver Our World Now). It's a middling thing, I think.

As for the crack about people in "the industry" seeing the glass half full, I'm not in "the industry," so my views on half-filled glasses are not representative of "the industry." My views on half-filled glasses are thus: If I see a glass that is half-filled with water, I call it half a glass of water. If I see a glass that is half-filled with milk, I call it half a glass of milk. If I see a glass that is half-filled with beer, I call for another round. And next time I see you out, if your glass is half-filled with beer, I'll order another round for you too. Drag the digit with you. I'll buy it one too.

R. Neal's picture

I think we were talking

I think we were talking mostly about broadcast media, and by extension cable "news", which is unfortunately where most people get their "news", which leads to things like the Bush regime and Iraq.

So in that regard, "media" is probably not the right terminology (but it's interesting that when people talk about the "media" they usually mean broadcast/cable news).

P.S. Most of the KNS's anti-liberal hate mail is directed at one lonely writer, who isn't even on the payroll.

s'n'm's picture

I mostly don't watch the

I mostly don't watch the news. (Well, except for Jon Stewart :).) I read it. The only reason I posted to this therad at all was that the digit gave a link to support its odd jeremiad on Katie Couric. I dutifully followed and read said link, and, to me at least, the context of the quote did not support the digit's post.

I don't know that I'd recognize Katie Couric again if I saw her, and I don't care about her one way or the other. It just seemed ironic that the digit would rave about Couric injecting bias into her reporting when the digitizer's own clipped quote tended to suggest it had some biases of its own to exercise and exorcize...

s'n'm's picture

Re: your PS. I disagree.

Re: your PS. I disagree. Yeah, Don gets a great deal of hate mail. But other columnists, locals such as Ina and Hunter, and national, Glass and McFeatters to name just a couple get their share too. A lot of the AP stories they run raise the hackles of conservative believers everywhere. Local reporting, much less so. Oh, and I find their new columnist, Barnett? I think is his name, illuminating. But I'm not very enlightened.

Number9's picture

I thought when South Park

I thought when South Park won a Peabody after the episode that spoofed the Katrina coverage by the MSM you would learn Mr. Mean. Once South Park has ruled the case is closed. The MSM is whack.

Here’s a transcript of part of the show, a “South Park Evening News” broadcast where the journalists ridiculously hype the situation:

Tom the anchorman: “Peril, crisis and fear tonight as what appears to be a massive flood has overtaken the town of Beaverton, Colorado, home of the world’s largest beaver dam. Earlier today, a break in the beaver dam which protected the town broke open, trapping people in their houses and destroying their lives.”

Mitch, the reporter: “Tom, I’m currently ten miles outside of Beaverton, unable to get inside the town proper. We do not have any reports of fatalities yet, but we believe that the death toll may be in the hundreds of millions. Beaverton has only a population of about 8,000, Tom, so this would be quite devastating.”

Tom: “Any word on how the survivors in the town are doing, Mitch?”

Mitch: “We’re not sure what’s exactly is going on inside the town of Beaverton, Tom, but we’re reporting that there’s looting, raping and, yes, even acts of cannibalism.”

Tom: “My God, you’ve actually seen people looting, raping and eating each other?!”

Mitch: “No, no we’ve haven’t actually seen it, Tom. We’re just reporting it.”

I rest my case. I do think the MSM has caused a lot of problems in this country. As far as the bias question I think there is ample proof of both liberal and conservative bias in the MSM.

This is about incrementalism. You make it seem that the MSM must be biased, slanted, and incompetent all the time to make a judgement. With millions of viewers each night if only one story is slanted a tremendous amount of harm takes place. No one would watch television news if every single moment was clearly slanted. But one story per broadcast, who would notice?

People have noticed. You see a glass half full, I want to know what happened to the other half.

Sven's picture

I'd welcome the CBS Evening

I'd welcome the CBS Evening News with Lindsay Lohan. At least it would be an acknowledgement that TV news is and always will be about entertainment. Then maybe we can stop pretending vegging out in front of 17 minutes of soundbites and pictures of stuff blowing up makes one an informed citizen. As Postman said, you can't do philosophy with smoke signals.

Plus, Lindsay's easier on the eyes than Bob Schieffer.

Sven's picture

I guess people in the

I guess people in the industry see the glass half full, and journalistic standards are so low that just mentioning a story in passing between the latest Michael Jackson scandal or missing white girl is as good as covering it or reporting on it.

A good part of broadcast media's suckitude is indeed low standards. But (to bang on this drum all day) an even bigger part of it is the medium itself. To quote Postman again, all the words uttered in an hour of [TV] news coverage could be printed on a page of a newspaper. And the world cannot be understood in one page.

And if one did put those words on paper - even those from the best programs, like Frontline - they'd be mostly gibberish without the video context. Broadcast news' first priority is not digging up and presenting information, but finding the images to fill the screen and "tell the story" (i.e., keeps viewers watching). Naturally, a story that doesn't have good images (and/or contains complex, abstract ideas that can't be represented visually) will be passed over for one that does.

There's also the problem of temporality: unlike a newspaper story, the reader has to be able to absorb facts and ideas in real time, all while being distracted by pretty pictures, and (despite TIVO) can't jump back to the other parts of the story for clarification or reference. Thus the story has to be easily digestible. Keep it simple and stupid.

Again, I think it's a mistake to pretend that the quality of TV news is sliding. It's just being more brazen about pushing the entertainment value - which is really the only value it has. And I think dropping the pretense of seriousness is a good thing, because fewer people will take it seriously. 

 

Andy Axel's picture

I think it's a mistake to

I think it's a mistake to pretend that the quality of TV news is sliding. It's just being more brazen about pushing the entertainment value - which is really the only value it has. And I think dropping the pretense of seriousness is a good thing, because fewer people will take it seriously.

This misses the point. Katie Couric was, in all seriousness, the choice CBS made to follow in the tradition of Dan Rather and Harry Reasoner.

They haven't dropped the pretense of seriousness, not one iota. That's what's truly jaw-dropping about this decision.

That said, there's nothing saying that you can't be entertaining and informative at the same time. Witness the popularity of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. (The Digit misses the opportunity to glom onto the *actual* news phenomenon on Comedy Central, but I'm not surprised that he goes for the continuing rerun cycle of pseudo-libertarian slapstick cartoons rather than the daily dose of razor-sharp wit. Telling, no?)

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Sven's picture

That is my point, Andy. No

That is my point, Andy. No one can seriously believe that Couric is a serious replacement for Dan Rather. Thus, one can no longer seriously believe that one can be seriously informed by watching the CBS Evening News (recall that it was under Rather's watch than 77% of the newscasts' viewers were seriously misinformed about the reasons behind the Iraq invasion).

And that's why I think there's some truth to No. 9's facetious thesis about the Lindsay Lohan Progression. People aren't going to be satisfied with Katie pretending to be serious about the news. The only reason to watch Rather was his phony gravitas, which gave one the feeling that one was getting a daily ration of News Wheaties in one easy sitting - without the hassle of picking up a newspaper.

The only reason to continue watching will therefore, eventually, be big boobies. Rocketboom is the future of TV news.

The Daily Show fits perfectly into my thesis, and I think Jon Stewart would agree. The premise of the show isn't exposing the Bush administration's shenanigans; it's that TV news, for all it's pretense of being the world's No. 1 information source, is so comically idiotic that it can't even acknowledge the simple fact that we're ruled by brutish, moronic goons.

 

 

Number9's picture

The only reason to continue

The only reason to continue watching will therefore, eventually, be big boobies.

Is this the future?

Andy Axel's picture

Thet is my pueent, Undy. Nu

Thet is my pueent, Undy. Nu oone-a cun sereeuoosly beleeefe-a thet Cuooreec is a sereeuoos replecement fur Dun Rezeer. Thoos, oone-a cun nu lunger sereeuoosly beleeefe-a thet oone-a cun be-a sereeuoosly inffurmed by vetcheeng zee CBS Ifeneeng Noos (recell thet it ves under Rezeer's vetch thun 77% ooff zee nooscests' feeooers vere-a sereeuoosly meesinffurmed ebuoot zee reesuns beheend zee Ireq infeseeun). Bork Bork Bork!

Un hum de hur!

(Given your avatar, I just had to use the Enchefalator.)

But yeah, I get your point. I just don't think that anyone's dropping any pretense here. I do believe that CBS thinks that this is a genuine, completely straight manner to broadcast the evening news, wholly consistent with their history of same.

CBS isn't the least offender, by the way. The words of Jon Stewart vis-a-vis Crossfire spring immediately to mind...

"[T]he absurdity of the system provides us the most material."

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Number9's picture

Rich Karlgaard, at Forbes,

Rich Karlgaard, at Forbes, ponders the problems of MSM.

He asks if the problem of the MSM is whether it has been "infected" by the virus of zero-sum thinking.

Journalists at mainstream media organizations wallow in a zero-sum world: There can be only one evening television anchor and one top editor at a newspaper. All others are beta dogs. Thus from the MSM we get a staple of alarming stories about job losses, trade and fiscal deficits, global warming, the price of oil rising to $100 a barrel and so on. Zero-sum nonsense, all of it. Why does the mainstream media love environmentalists? Both groups share a zero-sum view of the world.

Meanwhile, much of the better journalism and commentary has been migrating to blogs. No surprise here. Anybody who creates a blog is: (a) an entrepreneur and, thus, probably NOT a zero-sum thinker; and (b) a producer first and a consumer second. These two attributes alone guarantee that the blogger has a clearer view of how the world really works than does the zero-sum thinker toiling away at his mainstream media position.

Television, vile on so many levels, is a carrier of the zero-sum disease: There is only one Survivor, one American Idol and a single-digit number who escape Donald Trump's wagging finger.

If you doubt TV spreads the zero-sum virus, think again.

"The most popular [TV] male leads of today stand in stark contrast to the unambiguously moral protagonists of the past, good guys like Magnum, Matlock or Barnaby Jones," writes Warren St. John in a Dec. 11 New York Times story. "They are also not simply flawed in the classic sense: men who have the occasional affair or who tip the bottle a little too much. Instead they are unapologetic about killing, stealing, hoarding and beating their way to achieve personal goals …"

I wonder if it is possible for anyone to become a national television news anchor without being sucked in to a "rock-star vortex" where you begin to believe you are smarter and wiser than the lesser human beings that watch you ever evening. I never thought that Dan Rather was smarter than the average American but Dan sure thought he was.

Rachel's picture

I'd take Suzanne Malveaux

I'd take Suzanne Malveaux before I'd take Katie Couric. I'd take Greta Van Susteren. I'd take Barbara Walters or Leslie Stahl.

Want to see how a real reporter works, male or female?  Take a look at Christiane Amanpour.  She's my hero.

Sven's picture

It's Bjork, Bjork, Bjork,

It's Bjork, Bjork, Bjork, thank you very much. And the Encheferizer missed the best phrase: "brooteesh, muruneec guuns."

 

 

 

 

 

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