I never watch the Sunday morning talk shows. Terrible admission from someone who needs to be in the know.
The idea of listening to a bunch of middle-aged white guys opining gives me a migraine. Don’t we get enough of that already?
Now Christiane Amanpour, one of my idols for her passionate intelligence, is hosting a new talk show. Writes Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times:
Ms. Amanpour [has]…a range of international experience that is hard to match. More important, she has panache and a no-nonsense briskness.
She gave a somewhat lame rationale for taking over a Washington-based news show, telling viewers that she was “thrilled” to have the ABC job because “after 20 years covering the world, the story in this country is turning into one of the most fascinating.” …
But for viewers Ms. Amanpour’s outsider status comes at an opportune time. The country is sick of its elected officials, and it has never been all that keen on the Washington press corps. If Ms. Amanpour can bring some of the nerve and authority she had covering foreign affairs to a program that has until now had a clubby, old-boy focus on domestic news, she will certainly stand out. She may even be good.
I am deeply weary of smooth, clubby, old-boy journalism, a contradiction in terms if I ever heard one. It’s all about the log-rolling.
But to win so high-profile a gig as Amanpour’s means being aggressive enough to look serious, but not such a bitch no one wants you on their team. By the time you’re within reach of journalism’s coveted brass ring — the chance to rattle the largest and most powerful of cage, the Capitol, the Pentagon, the White House — your own has likely become so gilded you don’t dare jeopardize it. No one wants to be shut out of the best dinner parties, the right invitations, Davos, Aspen, TED, whatever.
Biting the hands that feed you requires a well-controlled jaw.
Which is why so much “reporting” and “analysis” is bloodless and anodyne — when it’s not fanged and clawed and insanely intemperate. Everyone is desperate to be heard, heeded, quoted, Tweeted.
How about….respected? I wish Ms. Amanpour the best of luck with her new venture. She will, no doubt, kick ass the best way possible.