November 15, 2004

CNN's New Look

What is up with these CNN newscasters? Besides the obvious (they
don't report the news and even apologized like the New York Times did
for not questioning the war in Iraq more) they are really having an
image crisis. Increasingly good-looking with capped teeth,
newscasters smile too much and every guest, even if they are a CNN
staff member is thanked heartily after their interview. Isn't that a
fairly new development? Are they trying to hide the ugly truth with an
everything-is-rosy attitude? Carlos Watson has the most dazzling
smile of all. His new show which kicked off right before the
election? It's called OFF-TOPIC, and he interviews Heidi Klum and
Shaq. What a great time to go "off-topic" and divert attention from
the tragedy of the election unfolding. For chrissakes, even Aaron
Brown has gotten the new blue-white chompers put in. They look ok on
Tweety-Bird impersonator Paula Zahn, but show-bizzy teeth caps in
Aaron's friendly potato face look bizarre. And I'm certainly no
prude, but aren't false eyelashes (Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsome) and
lip gloss (Kelly Wallace) a bit much for NEWSCASTERS? Come on, I'm
a drag queen so I know good and well that trends in cosmetics may
come and go but lip gloss clearly signifies "place dick here" or
"my lips, like my pussy, is moist". (On the other hand, for some
inexplicable reason CNN broke with their own beauty trend when they
sent poor moose-like Candy Crowley on the campaign trail with no
make-up artist! And if anyone could use a little help, it's Candy.)

Their newest golden boy is Rick Sanchez. I've always marvelled at
former golden boy Bill Hemmer, whose inane chatter strikes me as
preposterous. Eg: After the lovely Soledad O'Brien covered a story
about Egyptian artefacts, Bill cheerily chimed in with "Good
history, Soledad." What makes it good or bad? It's history, you
dunce! But Bill's ditzy homecoming king personality is infinitely
preferable to Rick Sanchez's sugar-coated conservative bias which is
driven home with the most emphatic, showboatin' hand and arm
movements I've ever seen on anyone reporting outside of a sports
segment. Rick must resonate with their (increasingly conservative?)
audience since his career is on the rise, filling in for Paula and
making more and more frequent appearances. He often interrupts
guests, and he's chock full of those bullshit "in as much as" and
"in point of fact" corny, archaic interjections which lead you to
believe that he is very much in love with the sound of his own
voice. He's so desperate attempt to act "newscaster-y", I wonder if
he can even listen to the guests he engages in debates with? He is often
seen looking away from the interviewee when the camera cuts back to him.(His
last name indicates Spanish roots. Is he so desperate to honkify
himself that he is overdoing it?) Plenty of slang, too, to make it
all conversational and accessible--to morons!

And impartiality, formerly a hallmark of newscasting? Forget it! Two
young guys, just back from Iraq, were being interviewed by Rick, and
were describing the rampant anti-American sentiment there. Sanchez
buts in with "Well, we don't really like hearing that when we are
over there trying to free 'em." We're not trying to "free 'em",
hon, we're trying to occupy them so we can steal their oil--that's
my opinion, anyway. But should HIS opinion really be broadcast AS
NEWS? So you "don't like hearing that". You booked these guests as
authorities on Iraq, and now you don't like hearing the truth? When
discussing Palestine with a guest, the Clinton-Barak peace plan was
brought up and Rick interrupted with "I must say it's a pretty good
plan." To whom? To Palestinians? To Israelis? Or to Americans like
you who don't want to hear the truth and don't live there?

Look, I know that news shows are still show-biz and need ratings, etc., but these trends, on CNN alone--I don't watch much else--are disturbing. Are we so shallow that we can't even stand to watch a newscaster who isn't prettified? And we'll put up with rotten reporting as long as the reporters look good? Give me stodgy, un-glamorous, impartial Walter Cronkite anyday! Oops! Gotta run or I'll be late for my botox appointment!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN Ms. Bunny!!!!! Finally someone else has said it. I thought i was the only one who noticed how CNN has become about looking good and sounding good rather than reporting the news. The only news sources i trust are NPR and BBC news. All american news sources have become about ratings and making money rather than reporting the news.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... and traffic has risen 40 per cent with American audiences for this very reason

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have so pinned the tail on the donkey Ms. Bunny. I'm a native Southern Floridian and grew up to Mr. Sanchez's news broadcasts on the most sensationalistic channel we have in Miami, WSVN 7. Rick Sanchez was born in Cuba and grew up in Hialeah. A blue collar Cuban neighborhood in Miami Dade County.

Now I don't have anything against Cubans, heck I'm Cuban myself and damn proud of it too! However, Mr. Sanchez personifies the typical Cuban Jerkoff, always trying to have the last word and exagerate any detail to embellish his reporting capabilities.

Now, I do have to admit there is that rubber necking factor to consider when watching him. His entertainment value is way up there because you see this person try so hard to be serious when in fact he comes off as a total idiot, and you enjoy seeing what an ass he is presenting himself as, actually thinking to yourself "Is this guy serious?".

The entertainment factor is fine when dealing with his former job at WSVN 7 in Miami. The whole station's news programming was presented in that way, still is, and one would actually watch for fun, not for news. But CNN! A once respectable news media outlet?? Give me cuban break!

10:28 PM  
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8:31 PM  
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11:19 PM  
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3:36 AM  

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