Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can't They Find Someone or Something to Like

I have a few questions about media people and perhaps politics. Or maybe about what political people should think about when thinking about media people. Or what media people need to think about when they are questioning themselves about what they do? Is that clear? Probably not but my job is to blob not to oversee searches for the self.

If I were running a political campaign today the first call I would make is to the people who do the Geico commercials. Some are better than others but they are all clever and at the least, amusing. While I am hard pressed to find something good in bad things that happen, I am a big proponent of humor in politics and, in fact in life. You have to be able to find something to smile about in everything you do or you will lose perspective and start to take yourself too seriously. This is the first step to a nervous breakdown. I would take a look at the strengths of my candidate and design attractive, good natured, messages about why they should be elected. Something people will remember –like the early Paul Wellstone ads when he was running for Senate, and won. Even funny negative ads, like the ones where people are talking to a shrub, are more powerful and preferable to attacks. But that’s not what I wanted to blob about as you read in my introduction.

Is there anyone that Maureen Dowd likes? My mother would say, “She’s such a pretty girl with such a ‘febisina punam’,” that means sour face. And why would she have a loving kind appearance—there is no one that she likes. Can you imagine going through life having to find something horrible in everyone you write about? And it probably becomes a way of life. I understand that it’s difficult to be an important voice—although I have never actually been recognized as such. And I know it’s not her job to make friends or take sides, but does her perspective have to be mean spirited? Can't she be an independent thinker without being an exceedingly negative liberal or conservative.

Is there anyone who Chris Matthews doesn’t scream at? Do you think he’s just hard of hearing? Maybe he grew up with lots of siblings and never had a chance to talk so he’s overreacting. Before he became the super television talking head he is today, I actually spent social time with he and Kathleen. When we were at small dinner parties he used a soft voice-- if not hushed tones. It is not unpleasant, and in the studio he does have microphones, so why he feels it’s necessary to shouts is a puzzle, and I might add, very rude.

How did Wolf Blitzer get to be a senior international news correspondent with his own program? Do you think he could pass the Foreign Service exam? Do you think he could pass a high school government test? Remember when he was a reporter and couldn’t do that very well. Have you ever listened to his news reports? He doesn’t actually seem to know about anything substantive. I get the feeling that if he didn’t have a teleprompter he wouldn’t be able to get through a sentence. And let’s be honest, he is not a pretty face.

And speaking of pretty faces, if the news is supposed to be serious, why has Katie Couric changed her looks from someone with whom normal people could identify to movie star beautiful. Are we going to believe what she says if the first thing we look at is her eye make-up and what she’s wearing. I have liked Katie since I first met her as a reporter in Washington. God knows, she has had a fine professional career but her personal life has not been without difficulty. But I guess if someone pays you enough money to be pretty and being smart is not a priority, you are likely to hunt for an extraordinary make-up person.

Why do local news anchors all around the nation think that they have to position themselves as if their professional colleagues were their family. And worse, as if they were our family. We know none of them are related. We sense that like family, they are forced to ‘like’ one another, but they don’t have to sit by a hospital bedside if one of their co-hosts gets sick, or get invited to holiday dinners. Doesn’t it piss you off when they pretend to feel a subject’s pain or wish them a speedy resolution to a problem. Is it too much to ask for them just to report the issues without comment. Why don’t they try to be reporters instead of the social directors?

And why is anyone paying Ann Coulter to say anything. It’s kind of been there done that. We know how she feels about everything. She hates liberals, democrats and women—she’s a self loathing woman. It’s the same story over and over—or as some people in her party would say, déjà vu all over again. In last months Vanity Fair she confessed that she just writes stuff which she knows is horrible, not truthful and confrontational because that’s what pays her salary. She is not attractive, not young anymore, is fairly vacuous, and has nothing of substance to add to the conversation so she would rather not have a conversation and just go right to the screaming match. What more do you need to know?

Maybe I’m just tired of people (media or otherwise) who can’t be nice. People who are rude and have to shout or interrupt or make up information to prove a point. People who degrade women, demean anything which is not the status quo or debase lifestyles not like their own. I want people who come into my living room every night to do it honestly (without cosmetic surgery or enhancement), have good manners, and use their indoor voices. We’re just sayin...


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Bravo, Iris! There are a number of present-day journalists you've described that..well..may be better off in hushed tones..

Anonymous said...

I think the media is just reflecting the negativity that is coming from Karl Rove and the perpetual campaign the NeoCons are waging against the rest of us. It's so much easier to just find something nasty to say than it is to actually construct a thoughtful rejoinder.

phil said...

wcco (cbs) in minneapolis has a husband/wife team as co-anchors on the evening news. they lead the ratings, tho they started together around the same time that katie couric did.