Printer Friendly

CNN SHINES WHILE OTHERS FUMBLE TO FIND THE STORY.

Byline: David Kronke TV Critic

Have all the TV pundits who have groused unrelentingly that Al Gore is an epic dullard checked out their own acts lately? Surfing through the yammering heads dominating Democratic National Convention coverage on the sundry networks and cable news channels can be like shopping for sleep aids. Sominex or strychnine?

First, one must wade through the lame Los Angeles cliches the New York- and Washington-based reporters seem to think they've just invented. An MSNBC correspondent dons shades and tells her anchor, ``let's do lunch''; CNN declares, ``Hollywood is putting the stars in the stars and stripes.''

Everyone is seemingly anxious to drag celebrities into their coverage, regardless of how spurious or contrived it may be. Larry King hosted a dazed-looking Cher, who suggested that voting Democratic would give everyone a chance to be as successful as she is. Sarah Jessica Parker conceded that vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman might not be a big fan of her sitcom, ``Sex and the City.''

Day One's tempest in a teapot was over a quintessential L.A. subject - the Playboy Mansion - as California Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez demonstrated the bad form to arrange a fund-raiser at Hef's pad; Democratic leaders followed with klutzy form by insisting she cease and desist.

No serious reporter could bring himself or herself to simply say that the controversy's inanity was more artificially inflated than a Playboy Bunny's bosom - that was left to Bill Maher on ``Politically Incorrect.''

Monday's other theme was the potential for violence outside Staples Center. MSNBC correspondent Joe Johns noted the police promised to quell any uprisings, adding, ominously, ``We'll see.''

ABC's Peter Jennings also referred, gravely and melodramatically, to the possibility of violence, while Tom Brokaw, on MSNBC and NBC (which Channel 4 scrapped in favor of its own, fairly amateurish coverage), referred with a trace of distaste to protesters - and, in particular, alternative band Rage Against the Machine and its fans - as ``those people.''

It's easy to make such statements - if something happens, you can cite your dismay; if nothing takes place, you simply ignore it - but is it responsible?

In general coverage, CNN and its crew on Monday proved again, decisively, why it's the brand name of choice for the true news junkie, with its commentators and news staff repeatedly offering perspective and insight into what was and would be occurring.

Fox News Channel was all over the map, inviting former American Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky to burble on about ``the importance of ritual'' and allowing Brit Hume to introduce a Playboy Bunny's take on social issues and marvel that Christy Brinkley was able to string together a couple of sentences on social policy.

MSNBC spent most of the afternoon trying desperately to manufacture drama and asking idiotic questions: Anchor Brian Williams asked one reporter to gauge the mood of the floor at Staples Center - when it was virtually empty - and confused the terms ``liberal'' and ``Libertarian'' in his interview with filmmaker Rob Reiner.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Television Program Review
Date:Aug 15, 2000
Words:497
Previous Article:GOV. DAVIS SHOULD KEEP HIS DAY JOB.
Next Article:DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC LIGHT FEARS OF DNC TIE-UPS MAY HAVE KEPT MANY AT HOME.
Topics:


Related Articles
WAR DEMANDS DECISIONS ABOUT FOREIGN NEWS COVERAGE.
CNN ADMITS ERRORS IN NERVE-GAS STORY.
TURNER REGRETS CNN FIASCO; CABLE CHANNEL FOUNDER OFFERS APOLOGIES FOR NERVE-GAS STORY.
MORNING TV AIRS SCENES OF GRAPHIC COMBAT.
CYBERSPORT.
CONEJO TV TEST GIVES VIEWERS DEEPER LOOK AT CAMPAIGN.
NEWS & NOTES : WHILE WRITER PRAISES BERGEN, SHE DUMPS `MURPHY' FOR `SPIN'.
THE WAR THAT PUT CNN ON THE MAP.
NO SHORTAGE OF OPINIONS ON TV WAR COVERAGE.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters