Friday, April 13, 2007

"Expressing truth is hard work."

I feel more than a bit schizophrenic jumping back and forth between Imus and Katie Couric like this, but wanted to link to Tim Noah's article on Slate today about the firing of Couric &Co's web producer, who was found committing plagiarism. Or at least, that's what the article is about on the surface. At core, it's really about the not-so-new practice of networks hiring producers/writers to craft pseudo-personal commentaries on behalf of their anchors, and the kind of fakery that involves and, alas, the pabulum it produces.

It's funny that this issue should come up today because just yesterday, as I was searching for a link to add to that post about Katie and my old high school classmate, I came across Meredith Vieira's blog--which, I just assumed, would be the same old crap that all her compatriots "write" (or maybe "rubber stamp" is the better phrase). But, for the record, register me shocked to realize that, unless I am the most gullible media analyst on the planet, Meredith almost certainly has a hand in writing these posts. They are wacky in exactly the same way she is; they really sing with the same voice as her own. (And if it's the case that she doesn't actually write them, then every other production team should be trying to steal the person that does write them out from under NBC--because she/he is brilliant...or takes really spot-on dictation.)

Anyway, point is, Noah's article struck me because he highlights something that many of us have just taken for granted these days, which is that there really is some legitimate deceit going on on the part of these news organizations when they offer us personalized content in the name of an anchor that the anchor has little to do with. There are probably plenty of other "bigger" issues to deal with regarding our news orgs, but this certainly sends another chill down my spine... Trusting the MSM gets harder every single day.

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