SILLY SEASON: Greatest teen bimbos of the past!

THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2013

Part 3—CNN’s version of Miss Indiana remembers: It’s hard to get one’s arms around the emptiness of our modern “journalistic” “elites.”

Despite that, we’re willing to try! Consider the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed gang at CNN’s new morning program.

The adjectives come from the headline atop Alessandra Stanley’s profile. In Tuesday morning’s New York Times, she described the cheerful threesome who have become the face of CNN in morning drive-time.

At the start of her piece, Stanley captured the bushy-tailed trio at play as their program premiered:
STANLEY (6/18/13): Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed, With a Serious Streak, on CNN

There is already way too much happy talk on morning television. So it's a little worrisome that on the Monday premiere of CNN's revamped morning show, ''New Day,'' Chris Cuomo responded to a report on the Supreme Court by his co-anchor, Kate Bolduan, by saying: ''My mom says my tie is not on straight. How does it look? Look all right? Is it better now? All right, Mom, better?”
Despite this funnin’, Stanley judged that the new morning show was destined to be “an earnest, news-driven operation with more diligence than panache.”

The headline noted the “serious streak” Stanley had spotted among these players. She even suggested that the new program was trying to be “smarter” than other such shows.

Based upon her later descriptions, we’re not sure why Stanley said those things. In this passage, she captured the mood at the earnest new program:
STANLEY: The mood was much sunnier on CNN, where Ms. Bolduan, Mr. Cuomo and the news anchor, Michaela Pereira, gamely tried to seem like good friends—they even showed clips from a team-building weekend they spent together, grilling cheeseburgers and fishing. But the show was at its best when it stuck to the news, asking CNN's Christiane Amanpour to assess the Iranian elections or parsing a new poll that recorded a significant drop in the president's approval ratings after news broke of the Internal Revenue Service and National Security Agency scandals.

There was still a steady supply of silly features, including images of a Chinese man piloting a moving lounge chair and an older man who had an image of his young, bikini-clad wife tattooed on his bald spot.
Interesting! Despite their serious streak, they managed to include an image of a young, bikini-clad wife!

Whatever! Last Friday night we caught Pereira, the new news anchor, saying hello on Anderson Cooper. Right at the start, guest host John King hit her with a tough one:
KING (6/14/13) Michaela joins me now. Welcome to CNN. I'm down here in Washington. My first question for you: New Day, based in New York, you spent a decade on the west coast. What is it like, going from left coast to east coast?

PEREIRA: This really is a new day. It's such an adjustment, a lot of wide open space in the west.

KING: Your former colleagues, I watched the old clips when you said farewell on KTLA. You got a car for your birthday once. Do your new colleagues understand that, what they have to do?

PEREIRA: I don't think they fully understand what I left in Los Angeles. I think they are starting to get a sense from the tweets and e-mails that I've been getting and I've been sharing with them. You spend a decade—John, you know this. You spend a decade in a market, fall in love with a place, you make connections, part of community. It was difficult to leave and they made it difficult with the series of send-offs.
Pereira seemed to be helping us see how much everyone loves her.

Whatever! Soon, Pereira helped King understand the way the new gang views the news. (“We care profoundly about the world around us and what is going on.”) Then, King sprang a surprise on the person who has been charged with creating “an earnest, news-driven operation.”

Enough with Pereira’s serious streak! “Let’s play word association,” the world-famous newsman said:
KING: News is and always will be our top priority here at CNN. You know this better than I do, you have to juggle. You have to talk about a range of issues. Let's play word association. Here is your morning TV test.

PEREIRA: Here we go.

KING: Justin Bieber.

PEREIRA: Canadian, ha, ha.

KING: Politics.

PEREIRA: D.C.

KING: Wolf Blitzer's beard.

PEREIRA: Foxy.

KING: The Kardashians.

PEREIRA: A lot.

KING: A lot. That's good!
As we’ve said, it’s hard to get one’s arms around the fatuity of our upper-end “press corps.” In fairness, this line of questioning wasn’t necessarily Pereira’s fault.

On Monday morning, the bushy-tailed trio kicked off their earnest new program. Three days before, the Washington Post had fawned about the manifest greatest of Kate Bolduan, the program’s 29-year-old co-host.

That said, this was Bolduan’s reaction to the fact that a 21-year-old pageant contestant had given a badly jumbled reply to a somewhat poorly-formed question:
BOLDUAN (6/17/13): A new Miss USA has been crowned. But it's not Miss Connecticut, the winner, everyone's talking about this morning. People are piling on for Miss Utah, Marisa Powell, after she fumbled her response to a pageant question on why women in the U.S. earn less than men. Listen:

POWELL (videotape): I think you can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem. And, I think, especially the men are seen as the leaders of this, and so, we need to try to figure out how to create education better.

BOLDUAN: Before you two—I'll get your reaction. This reminded us a lot of the similar flub that happened in the 2007 Miss USA pageant. Who could forget Miss South Carolina?

CAITLIN UPTON (videotape): Some people out there in our nation don't have that, and I believe that our education, like such as South Africa and Iraq, everywhere like such as. And—

BOLDUAN: So what do you think?
“Who could forget Miss South Carolina,” CNN’s version of Miss Indiana said into the screen. But how perfect! As she rolled her eyes at the lesser beings Upton and Powell, the deeply serious newswoman Bolduan misstated several facts:

Upton, then 17 years old, had actually been Miss South Carolina Teen. Back in 2007, she had actually been competing in the Miss Teen USA pageant.

Whatever! Bolduan, paid millions of dollars per year, blithely misstated these basic facts. But as she did, she kicked down expertly, even at a teen-ager.

As Bolduan misstated those basic facts, she identified our new biggest bimbo—and entertained us with a teen-aged bimbo from the past. In doing so, she revealed the ratty soul it takes to be one of our leading pseudo-journalists. And she helped us recall the evolution of a modern-day shark attack—the shark attacks these flyweights spring on some pageant contestant each year.

(Due to embarrassment incurred in 2001, the cable press corps no longer kills time with reports on actual shark attacks. Instead, they stage metaphorical attacks of their own, in which they kill the pig.)

Upton, who was 17, gave a horrible answer six years back. What makes Bolduan, who is 29, want to keep playing the tape?

Let us briefly play the shrink, as these flyweights so frequently do. Our psychiatric novel would go something like this:

People like Bolduan understand how fatuous they themselves are. For this reason, they are eager to find and ridicule someone, anyone, who may briefly seem even dumber.

They’re especially happy to land on young women, perennial targets who will “sell” within a casually misogynistic culture. This helps us recall some of the progressive world’s greatest recent embarrassments.

It helps us recall the openly misogynistic way Keith Olbermann attacked Miss California in 2009—for the sin of stating the same view about same-sex marriage that was held by President Obama.

It helps us recall the way well-known progressives spoke about Olbermann’s open misogyny—but only in their private conversations, which were later revealed! None of these fiery figures was willing to stand up in public and tell this big asshole to stop.

What a disgrace those conversations were! No one said so, of course.

It helps us recall the open misogyny displayed by Chris Matthews over a great number of years dating back into the 1990s. It helps us recall the way his ass was saved in 2008, when liberals finally began to complain about his relentless misconduct.

His ass was saved by Rachel Maddow, who praised his brilliance to the AP, then signed her first contract with Matthews’ channel the very next week!

It’s hard to get one’s arms around the rattiness of our cable stars—the depths to which these contestants will descend to pocket their millions of dollars. Tomorrow, we’ll review the somewhat incoherent question our new biggest bimbo was asked Sunday night.

And not only that! We’ll recall the way our most brilliant star seemed to lie—just last year!—about this very same topic. It’s amazing how ratty these people will be as they stage their glorious quests to become huge cable stars.

Tomorrow: The wages of fame

Kicking down, perhaps inclined to kiss up: Rather deftly, Bolduan kicked down. Is she perhaps a bit inclined to kiss up to major power?
FARHI (6/14/13): Bolduan recognizes that the success of the program depends on that X factor. Cuomo, Bolduan and the show’s newsreader, Michaela Pereira, a former anchor at a Los Angeles station, will be on the air for three hours, making them, rather than the shifting drifts of news, the primary reason to watch. In preparation, Bolduan and her husband, Michael Gershen­son, an executive with Washington’s Carlyle Group, have been hanging out with Cuomo and his wife, Cristina.

“There’s an intimate relationship you build with viewers, especially in the morning,” Bolduan says over lunch in the Time Warner Center. Ergo: “Viewers will see, and my family will say thank goodness, people will finally get to see the whole Kate. This is a format that lets Chris and I show a fuller part of our personalities. . . . There’s a little bit of exposing yourself that you have to be okay with. Welcome to morning TV.”
Bolduan's family will say thank goodness that we “finally get to see the whole Kate?” How this family must have suffered down through the wilderness years!

As we see “the whole Kate,” we see someone prepared to kick down and perhaps willing to marry Big Power. For a rundown on Carlyle, click here.

Who knows—we may be seeing it wrong! “Welcome to morning TV!”

10 comments:

  1. "This is a format that lets Chris and I....."

    I guess TV news people are no longer required to know basic grammar?

    Or is that the unfortunate residue of a George Washington University degree?

    ReplyDelete
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