Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All the News That's Fit to Share (and Then Some)

I grew up in a Huntley-Brinkley household (that's how old I am) but married a Cronkite man and easily converted. As a late teen, each evening my mother and I would eat an early dinner and then go in to learn about what was going on from Chet and Dave's perspective. I can't speak for my mother, but I believed that whatever they said had to be the truth. (Give me a break -- I was a teenager.)

When I married Joe, he preferred Walter Cronkite and always called him "Walter." It was so easy to make the change: the man simply reeked of credibility. We stayed with Walter until he retired and by then we'd become less regular with the evening news -- kids had come along and life had become complicated. We never did form a new firm affiliation for evening news. Peter, Dan, Connie all were okay but not okay enough for a permanent attachment. Besides, there was the time problem.

Then I discovered Aaron Brown and quickly fell into like, if not love. His calm demeanor impressed me. He was articulate, never talking down to anyone, and at the same time never putting what he had to say beyond my reach. I came to see Aaron as Walter's successor. At least in our household.

It didn't last long.

CNN, which had begun its decline into muck and mire, didn't see it that way, and Aaron was booted off and replaced by the insufferable Anderson Cooper who always brings to mind the Muppets episode where Kermit the Frog, dressed in reporter garb, provides a hysterical news broadcast. I can't abide Anderson Cooper. Wolf Blitzer (tell me, please, just what was his mother thinking when she named him? Does he have siblings named Beaver, Badger and Coyote?) is no better and, I think, the less said about the pompous Lou Dobbs, the better.

Christiane Amanpour, however, now there's another story. A class act and someone I can trust.

What I'd love to see, friends, is for some brave network to bring back Aaron Brown as an anchor.

I wonder if I'll live to see it.

The foregoing rant was brought on by a truly worthwhile piece I read this morning in Salon. I couldn't agree more with what Saturn (talk about unfortunate names) Smith has to say. I urge you to read it here.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

What you said, exactly. I did see Aaron on some other network, can't remember what it was, maybe a documentary.

Guenveur in Kent said...

I loved Huntley-Brinkly and nver got into anyone else. Actually all these people do is read the news in sonorus tones and wear suits and neckties well.I listen to NPR and get the rest of the news from a couple of newspapers every day. In fact, I have found myself avoiding most news these days. Without extended cable, I have no idea who most of the celebrity news readers are. Hey, Nancy, I remember when you were an Eric Severeid fan.He had class.
WV - gervers: people who gerve.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I miss Captain Kangaroo.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I've actually started watching some of the obviously biased "news" shows, ie Rachel M, on MSNBC. At least she is funny, not pompous. And once in awhile I check in on FOX. I don't have to be on that long to see their bias, but it is probably good to see the way they go trolling for believers. It is kind of a faith based station.

Gretchen said...

OMG! I loved Aaron Brown too! He was a good journalist (something that is rapidly disappearing if not extinct). Aaron got me through 9/11 and its aftermath when I was home recuperating from surgery and watched CNN 24/7. I miss him terribly and wish I could hear his voice every night again. Last I knew he was teaching at a university. Thanks for this post.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

From Wikepedia: Brown was under contract with CNN until June 2007, which prevented him from doing interviews or returning to television.[4] In 2008 he returned to television as the host of PBS' Wide Angle. Brown is the anchor of the series and also does reports from the field.[5] In May 2008 he began hosting a radio program, The Aaron Brown Show, based out of National Public Radio's Arizona affiliate KJZZ.

[edit] In academia

In 2006 Brown assumed the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. In Spring 2007 he co-taught a course called "Turning Points in Television News History." The class became popular with students at the university and the next year he became a permanent instructor at the Walter Cronkite School, teaching television news history. He is serving as the inaugural 'Walter Cronkite Professor' for the college.

See also:
live chat today

Hope that link works.

Anya said...

I read that piece this morning and agree with you 100 percent. I have gotten so disgusted with CNN and frankly, all of the so-called "news" channels.

*karendianne. said...

I enjoyed the heck out of this post!

(wd vfy: miess - what's it with the rodents?

DPUTiger said...

I liked Anderson Cooper a LOT when he had his old show. That was NOT in prime time, and had a different tilt/focus. He did a fantastic job reporting on Katrina, and that's when he got bumped up into his current horrid spot.

I'm also completely NOT surprised that Time Magazine's poll winner for "Most Trusted Newsman" is Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. He's unapologetic about what he and his show are, and I always enjoy his take on the day's news.

blop said...

I LOVE your blog and especially this post.
I watched Aaron when he was in Seattle at KIRO and he was Chip Brown. Then he moved and changed his name (probably was his legal)!
He still has that voice and integrity that is sorely lacking in todays news shows. I too loved H/B but did watch WC when there was important events.
Great post!

Expat Hausfrau said...

I assume that Wolf Blitzer's full first name is the German "Wolfgang" - let's hope so, anyway!