Thursday, August 10

"Abandoned By His Party"

I forgot to set the VCR, what with all the excitement of Jane Powell Day on Turner Classic Movies,, wait. It's Jane Powell Day on Turner Classic Movies. The thinking man's June Allyson. This is, I believe, the third August's worth of Star of the Day, a promotional schtick designed to prove there are very few stars whose careers include more than three movies you'd care to watch, and almost none you can take for more two in a row. And that list emphatically does not include Jane Powell, not that you'd try.

So I forgot to set the VCR and I can report on last night's CBS Evening News only from what's left of my memory. I was curious about how they'd cover the Lieberman story, or rather I was curious to see if their Lieberman coverage would be as bad as I assumed. And it was worse, which was a real accomplishment since my assumption was already that it would be worse than I assumed.

To begin with, though it was apparently coincidental, Harry Smith was guest anchor. Harry Smith is that rarity among teevee news hairdos in that a) he has no hair and b) he has actually gotten worse as time goes on, not through ego or insertion of a personal agenda but as a direct result of Image Consultation. Whatever they did to him to make him morning-show compliant was indeliable. He's now a sort of Urban Midwest Charles Kurault. Which is a major problem, because Midwesterners in this day and age cannot be folksy, especially if they've elbowed their way through the crowd at CBS all the way to the guest anchor chair. The American Middle West is a place where most every kid with a modicum of brains aspires very early to lose the local color, as much as possible, and it's damn near impossible to reverse the process and seem anywhere close to genuine. The War put an end to it. Call it the Herb Shriner Line.

Anyhow, they gave Harry the interview with the President of BP, and you could actually see the moment, after the response to his first softball, when he remembered that he wasn't interviewing the guy about his new movie. But it didn't help.

Lieberman was the lead story, just as I figured, which is about all you really need to know about the coverage, considering what else it bumped from that spot. It's a frickin' primary election. In Connecticut. Okay, okay, so an incumbent got bumped off. Sure, he was a VP nominee, more's the pity. But referendum on the war? On George W. Bush? Don't we already know what people think about those atrocities? This had all the distinct news scripting value of a junior-high student hiding behind an open door to find out what her boyfriend said about her when she wasn't around.

And to that end they gave the story to Trish "Kneepads. Literally, Kneepads" Regan, the former Miss New Hampshire, who uttered the memorable phrase which gives us our title. I'm sorry I can't do a transcript, but here's a recap: Blah, blah, blah, Democratic stalwart. Blah, blah, anti-war. Blah, blah, November elections, blah, bloggers, blah, blah, Far Left, blah, here's Tony Snow. Regan closed by noting that Lieberman going independent might be a positive note, since there are more registered Independents in Connecticut than there are Republicans or Democrats.

And that's no shit, if I may borrow Herb Shriner's old radio catchphrase.

No comments: