Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesdays with Paulie 06/19/07

Broadcast Journalism Reality Check
The days of Murrow and Brinkley are over

When Katie Couric began anchoring the CBS Evening News in September of 2006, I was highly critical of the decision. Your brilliant blogger stated, "CBS should be more concerned about the credibility of their news reporting than who sits in the big chair." I also brought up the harsh reality that women on television are required to be very attractive if they are to be successful. I stated that Couric was "pleasant looking" and had success due to her personality, but was not pretty enough for the evening news.

Last week controversy erupted over comments former CBS anchor Dan Rather made regarding Couric's terrible ratings. He said that CBS was "tarting up the news," with Couric, which prompted CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves to say that the bad ratings were partly due to sexism. As you know from my previous comments, I believe Moonves is correct. He should know about sexy news woman, he is married to CBS Early Show host, Julie Chen, who is 21 years his junior.

Like it or not, the reality is that news programs require men to be dignified, but woman to be beautiful. Couric doesn't fit that description. As if the journalism wasn't shameful enough, a different low point has emerged, the new reality program on Fox, Anchorwoman. From the Producers of American Idol comes a new program that capitalizes on the notion that news programs need beauty queens to get big ratings. Former Price is Right model and World Wrestling Entertainment Diva Lauren Jones, will be learning the art of broadcast journalism at KYTX CBS Channel 19 in Tyler, Texas.

Can Jones be a successful journalist? It depends on your definition of success. Considering how low the current bar is, this college graduate in Design and Management, already has a lifetime of experience in front of a camera. A monkey can be trained to read a teleprompter. That may be good enough for her new television station as long as she has the ratings.

Media critics and bloggers tend to criticize the 24 cable news networks and the pretty faces they display during each broadcast. My answer to them is, it is true that your Robin Meade, Kiran Chetry and every blond on Fox News, make for good eye candy. However, they all have the credentials (education, experience) to back it up. News directors understand that you have to make the view appealing, but also put a real journalist in the seat.

The bottom line is that ratings equal advertising revenue. In our society we utilize sex in ads to sell everything from toilets to hamburgers. If all visual media outlets use sex to attract attention, it only makes sense that broadcast journalism would do the same.

Wake Up America, Suicide Bombers Coming
Newly trained suicide bombers being sent to the United States and Europe

As trouble in the Middle East continues mounting, citizens of the United States, Canada and Europe better keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. ABC news is reporting that an Al Qaeda/Taliban training camp for suicide bombers held a graduation ceremony held on June 9th. The recent graduates, some as young as 12 years of age, have been ordered to conduct their attacks in the United States, Britain, Germany and Canada.

As the 9/11 attacks become a distant memory and most Americans forget the tragedy of that day, people must wake up and understand the threat against our lives. Sadly, many so called experts have claimed that the video is mere propaganda or a scare tactic. As far as your brilliant blogger is concerned, these threats must never be taken lightly.

I beg all my readers, especially those in urban areas who take public transportation, be aware of your surroundings. Watch for backpacks and duffel bags with a wire coming out onto the person in some fashion. If you see a case, bag or box left unattended, get away from the item and tell a cop or call 9-1-1.

As superb as our security has been since 9/11, the terrorists only have to be right once in order to cause large scale death and destruction. Countless attacks are thwarted every year. However at some point the odds will catch up with us and we will be hit again. Make sure your not a victim.



At 6/20/2007 3:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My response seems to be the only comment so far, but that, in itself, is telling, perhaps pointing out that finally, this country has arrived at a critical juncture when "ordinary" people have nothing better to do with their time (worthless?) than to act like they know anything about something.

I'm sure that Mr. Moonves, his lovely wife and the comely, professional Ms. Couric must sit with the rest of us, waiting, on a daily basis, for your wisdom and anal ysis of something that means nothing. Celebrity for each and all!

As a country, we are where we are, soaked in blood and violence, not even minimally represented any longer by all of the dishonest, venal politicians, watching the rapid and sure disintegration of our nation, going down simply because we are no longer willing to stand and take our country back.

The terrorist's havoc, whatever, whereever it may be, holds no candle to our own ability to send America to its ruin. Who among us does not see it?
Who among us cares?

Wait! I think "American Idol" is on the air, right now! Or, is it Brian Williams leading his Nightly News with the latest Rape of Paris?

If Americans deserve this president and his war, then we deserve everything else he brings as well.

The fault....lies not in the Stars.....

At 6/20/2007 5:16 AM , Blogger Paulie said...

Anonymous, thank you for your comments. Obviously you care what I think or you wouldn't be reading my commentary let alone responding.

You made reference to my,"analysis of something that means nothing," in reference to Moonves and Couric. You are correct that in the grand scheme of things, Moonves defense of Couric or Dan Rather's opinion "means nothing." What you fail to comprehend is the commentary was an indictment of the lowered expectations of joiurnalism and the harsh reality of what the public wants from broadcasters, which is distinguished men and very attractive women.

Your sarcasm regarding American Idol and Paris Hilton is well taken. Your right that it's despicable that we care about Hilton or are so obsessed with Reality TV. However, these faults will not ruin America.

Regarding our polticians being dishonest, couldn't agree more, but they aren't any worse today than they were 50 years ago. They are more partisan today, which is detrimental to our nation.

You said, "If Americans deserve this president and his war, then we deserve everything else he brings as well."

Fair enough! We do deserve unprecedented prosperity, minimal unemployment, record home ownership, not being attacked since 9/11, and of course freedom.

Maybe you would prefer the Islam fundamentalist way of life. Mass execution of Jews,Christians and homosexuals. Woman being property not people, imprisonment and torture of political dissidents.

Maybe you would prefer Sharia law, I don't know you so I won't assume. Even though you assumed I am "ordinary", my time is "worthless" and I "know nothing."

Ain't it nice to express your opinions without being arrested, tortured and murdered. Maybe you think we deserve that way of life?


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