Sunday, June 26, 2005

Nursing A Media Grudge

What the hell does the New York Times have against Today?
  • On April 25, Alessandra Stanley accused Today of losing its popularity to Good Morning America and Katie Couric of being a harridan to her colleagues.
  • On May 17, the paper reported how GMA was gaining on Today in the ratings. Ooooohhhh...
  • On June 6, David Carr reported that Maria Shriver was still a de facto staffer at NBC when the author of a book attacking Gov. Schwarzenegger was denied an interview because Shriver failed to OK the appearance. Shriver denied any role and Today still didn't do the interview. In fact, no one did. Except maybe GMA.
  • On June 11, more coverage on the narrowing ratings race. Oooohhhh...
  • And on Saturday, Ms. Stanley applauded Tom Cruise for ignoring conventional publicist etiquette and taking a firm stand on psychiatry opposite a glib Matt Lauer who was only out for the celebrity "get."

What?

Did she SEE his interview with Hillary Clinton when she described a "vast right-wing conspiracy"? Turns out she was right, but Matt held his ground and gave her little room to make unexplained accusations. Time after time Lauer proves himself to be a gracious interviewer who asks tough questions. But it's hard to uncover facts when there's no "there" there.

Tom Cruise, on the other hand, stammered, accused, and tried to convince us that he is quite the student of the history of psychiatry but didn't share one fact in the entire interview. And Lauer gets slammed for being opportunistic? Ms. Stanley seems to think Tom Cruise is the only celebrity who has dared to share his own agenda in interviews. Here are few reminders:

  • Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet
  • Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and Sean Penn and the Iraq War
  • Vanessa Redgrave and the Israelis
  • Marlon Brando and Native Americans
  • Charlton Heston and the NRA
  • Rosie O'Donnell and gay adoption

My, how novel Mr. Cruise is...a celebrity actually speaking his mind in the media!

Maybe Ms. Stanley's axe is particularly dull and she's determined to keep grinding it or maybe she has a close personal friend on staff at GMA. Whatever her motives, the Times must have ink to spare (did you happen to catch a half-page article in Friday's issue that could be summed up in one sentence: "You can't tell a book by its cover"?).

Newspapers are losing their popularity because they treat their readers like idiots. Ms. Stanley needs to either re-examine her career choice or start finding some REAL news. Either way, get off Today's back until something newsworthy actually happens.

2 Comments:

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Loganite said...

The Today Show is fast becoming just another celebrity chat show. I have been a loyal watcher for about 10 years, and I doubt I will be watching much longer. I like the folks, of course, but it is hard to stomach the show when the Michael Jackson or Runaway Bride or missing teen in Aruba is the top story day after day after day. I usually just watch while I make my lunch in the morning -- about 10 minutes maybe, and I want some news.

Good Morning America and CNN's American Morning probably aren't much better, but I am willing to give them a try because I want some news that matters. Maybe that is why Today's ratings are slipping. Ms. Perky might be getting a bit droopy.

-- L.

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger TC Byrd said...

That is interesting--is there some financial connection between GMA and the New York Times? I think all morning shows suck (though I am rarely up early enough to see them), but frankly, I simply cannot tolerate Katie Couric, especially since the morning she asked the women of the USA Olympic swim team if they felt fat in their new swim-suits (!). I'll just stay in bed, thanks.

/note when I am writing this :)

 

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