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This story is not inspiring.

NEW YORK ā€” Oh, man. One little joke about Barack Obama and that Middle Eastern fellow with the rhyming name, and her inbox is piled high with squawky offended e-mail. It’s enough to make make Jeanne Moos wish she were back interviewing three-legged pantyhose or even two-headed turtles.

”I’m used to doing dog stories,” says CNN’s queen of quirk, shaking her head as she leafs through outraged denunciations ranging from not particularly bright to how low can you sink? “Dogs don’t write in. I’ve never gotten any angry e-mails from dogs.”

If there’s one lesson Moos has learned in the 12 months since becoming a regular on Situation Room, the network’s daily campaign roundup, it’s that political activists have much less of a sense of humor than the average canine. Whether she’s musing on John McCain’s difficulties using a teleprompter or Hillary Clinton’s befuddlement at the technology of convenience-store coffee machines, Moos has drawn almost daily fire.

I admittedly don’t watch CNN much, but what the hell? They put someone who does those useless “quirky news” stories on to do political humor? Why? The rest of CNN’s content wasn’t trivial enough?

Now, Media Matters could lighten up, but whatever. This is even worse:

”Media Matters is after me all the time,” Moos sighs. “I did a funny piece on the whole Obama/Osama thing, just observing what was going on in the culture. They put out a press release. . . . I was doing a piece on people confusing the two, and they put me in the press release as if I had confused them. It’s PC to the nth degree.

”It has a chilling effect, a very systematic one. Everyone becomes paranoid. Look what happened to David Shuster (suspended by MSNBC after suggesting Clinton might be “pimping out” her daughter Chelsea on the campaign trail) or Chris Matthews (forced by MSNBC to apologize for saying Clinton won sympathy votes because “her husband messed around”). Everyone becomes gun-shy. I don’t want to be gun-shy. I want to have a sense of humor.”

In what universe were those comments funny? They were absurd and have no place on a serious news show.

Veteran TV newswoman Terry Anzur, now a Los Angeles-based consultant who coaches reporters and anchors, says every station in America should have a Jeanne Moos on staff.

”The most important things in a TV newscast are the first story and last,” Anzur says. “The first one decides whether viewers will stick with the newscast or flip the channel. The last one decides if they’ll come back again. If you can end with a great writer like Jeanne Moos, who takes a story everybody knows and puts a reverse spin on it, they’re always going to come back. She’s like dessert, and as long as you’re serving a well-balanced meal, there’s always room for dessert.”

*sigh* These people are morons. Well balanced? How many hours did they loop clips of Rev. Wright? How many hours do they spend covering whatever missing white girl scandal is hot at a given time? The life-blood of TV news is trivial scandal and fluff. It’s not even particularly interesting scandal and fluff. Well-balanced? It’s like a meal that consists entirely of stale candy corn.

Categories: 2008 elections
  1. June 2, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    That’s not the half of it. She IS serious news next to Nancy Grace and tells of Brittney’s beaver.

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