Saturday, March 05, 2011
Piers Morgan & Other Jerks
Ed here: Because I read the London papers on line I was aware of Piers Morgan without really knowing much about him. I decided to check him out when CNN began to bombard the cable waves with commercials for the guy. He'd been a true blue asshole savant in the U.K. and based on the U.S. commercials he promised to be even more so here.
He came off as a braggart, a smirker and a tool. The copy was so hyped up I'm amazed even someone with his considerable powers of ego was able to get it out of his mouth. I took particular exception to the implicit way he dumped on Larry King. I'll take ole Larry any day over this jerk.
While his show hasn't bombed it certainly hasn't fulfilled network expectations. It's the Katie Couric syndrome. I sort of like Katie. I can't even tell you why. I felt sorry for her when she allowed CBS to hype her to the degree that failure was assured. Remember "Something news in news!" Will she be nude? Will be she be in contact with aliens? Will she be able to channel the dead and jabber with Lincoln? No...she'll just sit behind a desk and read the news like the other network anchors. Nobody could live up to that kind of hype.
I urge you to read Wolcott's take not only on Piers Morgan but also his overview of what "news" has become. That was part of Morgan's pledge--not just gossip but hard news with newsmakers. Oprah? Ricky Gervais--who as Wolcott points out was at his most arrogant right along with ole Piers. And an inadvertently hilarious horndog interview with the Kardashian tarts.
Wolcott also makes this important point:
As Rachel McAdams says to Harrison Ford in Morning Glory:
“The world has been debating news versus entertainment for years, and guess what? You lost!” Which hasn’t stopped the losing side from singing the chain-gang blues. Civic-minded souls in journalism, academe, and the mushroom farms of C-span panels can still be heard lamenting the infestation of news and politics by showbiz values, a war between informed debate and pole dancing that they (unlike Ford’s Pomeroy) recognize as a lost cause, hence their elegiac tone, the dead fly in their lemonade. The days when the words “Hollywood actor” framed Ronald Reagan like bunny fingers as an ID tag and an implied insult seem far-off and quaint: nearly everybody in politics—candidate, consultant, pundit, and Tea Party crowd extra alike—is an actor now, a shameless ham in a hoked-up reality series that never stops. (Only Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, his polished-leather insincerity unsalted with irony or anything remotely self-aware.) Mourning the fall of the judicious savant (or solon) and the rise of the preening jester is pointless, foolish; elite opinion has failed this country so miserably that it has no moral or intellectual standing left, only its club-member privileges. Think back on the Iraq war and the W.M.D.’s, the Terri Schiavo circus, the iguana contortions of John McCain under the guise of maverick integrity, the Wall Street meltdown and bailout—TV satirists and late-night hosts drove much deeper nails into the marrow of what was happening than the editorial pages of The Washington Post, that prison morgue of Beltway consensus. A new political-entertainment class has moved into the noisy void once occupied by the sage pontiffs of yore, a class just as polarized as our partisan divide: one side holding up a fun-house mirror to folly, the other side reveling in its own warped reflection.
for the rest go here: