Wednesday, November 28, 2007


AC = Wolf Blitzer 3.0

Tonight's Republican Presidential Candidates Debate hosted by CNN in St. Petersburg Florida was uneventful despite the preceding hype. Billed as a ‘YouTube / CNN” debate, the format featured questions submitted by citizens via the Internet based social network Like most public and political discourse today, many of the questions and, certainly the format itself, appeared to be more entertainment rather than actual substantive answers to issue oriented questions. Certainly, the front runners were given ample opportunity to throw jabs while the others seemed pleased just to be on the stage. There were a few serious moments; particular answers that did give voice to the actual positions of the responding candidates. They were few indeed.

What was in fact most striking to the casual viewer, perhaps the viewer not accustomed to watching CNN as a source of news, was Andersen Cooper. Holy shit! Where did this mega-media giant find this brainless mannequin? There was a time not too long ago when only highly respected, esteemed journalists were presented with the honor of hosting a candidates debate. Of course those were the days when television news consisted primarily of the big three major broadcast networks and one or two cable based outlets. In those days, TV news anchors were iconic, trusted voices that spoke to Americans seriously about important matters. Yes. The world, our society, culture, media and collective intelligence is dramatically, if not traumatically different now. This is much to our disadvantage.

The point is that the men who anchored news programs were all veteran journalists, many very gifted, talented reporters and writers deeply engaged in the process of producing their broadcast. Now we have Andersen Cooper.

It is so painfully obvious that Mr. Cooper was not selected for his current position based on a resume’, education, inherent intelligence or any other objective ability required of a journalist. He scarily appears to have been created, fabricated out of new-aged composites based on the input from some American Idol addicted focus groups. This manicured, made-up, facsimile of a TV news anchor makes Chevy Chase of the old SNL Weekend Updates look like Edward R. Morrow. It must take a staff of dozens to cue, lead and point this garbonzo in the right direction. Lord knows every word he utters must be fed to him via that wireless earpiece that blends so inconspicuously with his mortuary pallor and aluminum colored hair. Clearly, this android is totally incapable of an original thought of any kind and apparently came equipped with the bare minimum of accessories. He can read a TelEPrompter, repeat what is whispered into his ear, look at the camera he is told to and not much else. Actually, in a sense, he is a marvel of our modern sophisticated techno-society, a true, genuine, representative product of our culture: a digitalized, pixelated, downloaded, overloaded, rebooted, multitasking, Hi-Def, Blue-Toothed, Wi-Fi amalgamation. He is “us”, he is what we have become, what we tolerate, what we accept and expect. He is non-substantive, more celebrity than journalist, more highly programmed, scripted, prompted and visual than intelligent. He could easily (and very well may have been) mass produced overseas with customer support available 24 / 7 via 1-800 something in Malaysia or Bangalore. He is Wolf Blitzer 3.0.

In loving memory of (in no particular order) Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, David Brinkley, Chet Huntley, Bernard Shaw, John Chancellor, Roger Mudd, Marvin Kalb, Edmund Neumann, and so many others. You are missed.

Copyright © 2007 TBC All Rights Reserved

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