Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Katie Couric

What has happened to news in America would be the stuff of comedy if it weren't so tragic.

The following piece from a Curic interview with Obama reveals the contempt Couric and others have for news while trying to dazzle the audience with their verbal skills and "investigative" abililities.

Nonsense, all of it.

Has the ratings race rendered Couric and Dobbs and others lamebrains? Or are they, in fact, lamebrains?

I get the uneasy feeling that if Obama said Yes, Couric and Dobbs and others would say No, just for the heck of it. But something more insidious, I think - they have fallen in love with their own virtuosity, their influence on the American mind, believing themselves to be in control, watching their influence via the polls, playing a cat-and-mouse game with all of us.

Give me the news ... not the latest Brittiny disaster, or the latest LA car chase - this isn't breaking news, and it hardly qualifies as news at all. As for Dobbs and his increasingly lame, "Don't Americans deserve a government that works?" I think the real motive was revealed in his flirtation with a presidential candidacy. Yup, that's what it's all about - an overwhelming ego.

Real news is expensive. Reporters need to be at city hall, police stations, state capitals, and the capitals of the world; they need time to dig, and staff for research - it takes effort and money to find what's newsworthy, elements that neither the networks nor cable stations want to invest. Rather, as a substitute for the news, talking heads - endless displays of vacuity and mindless opinion. Yes, there are some folks worth listening to, but they're few and far between, what with the retired generals who kiss butt, the partisans who defend their candidate without thought, and a host of others who vilify and/or mock those who raise serious questions.

There was a time when CNN was a vital force for news, but they've deteriorated to the level of Nancy Grace, and, frankly, what has happened to Larry King - now just a notch or two above Jerry Springer much of the time?

Is that what the American public deserves?
Are we this mindless?
Is Couric the best we've got?
Or is Couric only aping the patterns around her, heeding network heads who demand a pit-bull approach rather than reasoned and skilled questioning to bring out the thoughts of a candidate? I can hardly believe that Couric could be proud of herself and her work in its present state?

No wonder a whole generation is turning to Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report, both of whom demonstrate a grasp of the news and a verbal skill no longer found elsewhere. Maybe Aaron Brown - who, for awhile, brought a breadth of analysis and articulateness quite distinctive, but, then, we know how long he lasted.