Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blonde on Blonde

My mom asked me the other day why the Today Show felt they had to bring in Meredith Vieira instead of promoting from within and making Ann Curry the permanent co-host instead of sending her back to the news desk. The answer seemed pretty obvious to me: from Barbara Walters on, the female cohost has always been a blonde. I love Ann, but she didn't stand a chance.

It was also obvious that today's show was going to be about fawning over Vieira, and when they showed the 1988 Esquire picture (multiple times), we got another hint why Meredith was heir apparent. "At least I was wearing clothes!" she said as she pulled out a recent magazine with a candid snap of Matt in speedos. And to just pile it on, we cut to a clip of George W. asking Matt to autograph the picture before Matt really gave him something to laugh about.

Fine, get it out of your system, then get back to the nation's business...of how to feel sexy over 50 or whatever the hell the later hours have been about this summer. The Media Research Center has been freaking out over Vieira being "a megaphone for the liberal cause", which would hold more water if Today was actually about news most of the time. Whatever hard news content a typical Today has tends to land in the first hour, the other two hours given over to lifestyle segments, inspirational people stories, and celebrity chat, except for extraordinary circumstances. It takes something like 9/11 to remind us that they can do something unspeakably heavy (I had forgotten until the MSNBC repeat on Monday that even Al Roker was providing useful information about the towers in the moments immediately following the impact.) But on average days, the closer we get to Regis and Kelly time, the fluffier it gets. A toot and a snore to get you out the door, that's our Studio 1A, and I won't deny you if that's what you need.

As for the new studio, the one that's all about "hi-def", it's loaded with neutral colors, there's a couch and a coffee table, and I honestly can't tell the difference from before. This is what the NBC carpenters did with their summer?


The Brown Guy You Chat Wit' said...

I hear ya.
Why even bother critiquing this tripe, though? I guess it's because that's all we on television. If there was something really hard-hitting, something challenging for the American public, that would be critiqued with the same vigor. However, people may not want to wake up with their cup of joe to hearing a spirited discussion between Lauer and Vieira about Bush's political stance regarding the independence of Iraq. Ratings dictate what we see on our television, so when you blame what you see, don't sneer at the talking heads first. Instead, sneer at the American public, who gladly want to ignore the real world in favor of learning about BawBaw's talking dog, Cha Cha.

Eric said...

Hard hitting...challenging...drooling on myself...HEY, NEXT IS ON!

Later, bub.