Jan 302002

For many journalists, political nights like the State of the Union address are our version of the Super Bowl.

As much of a pain as it is to sit in front of a television or be forced to undergo vigorous security to watch in person, I think journalists love covering those big events. The power is attractive, and the whole thing is so appealing – the exposure, the deadlines, the analysis.

I used to watch State of the Union speeches with my family and not understand much more than the facts: Reagan = bad; Bush 41 = bad; Clinton = good.

I change my mind all the time about our fearless leader – for the most part, I like him lots more than I used to – but one thing has remained constant the whole time: this stuff is really entertaining.


They haven’t been getting as much interesting or amusing press as their rivals, Fox News and CNN, have been recently.

I mean, Paula Zahn might be “a little sexy” and all, and sure, the Greta Van Susteren – Connie Chung switcheroo is interesting, but what about “The Leader in Cable News”?

They have a new show called “Alan Keyes Is Making Sense.” Therein lies the problem.

MSNBC already has “Hardball.” Do they really need another partisan political pundit show?

Plus, Chris Matthews is fantastic. Keyes, a failed Republican presidential candidate, is just annoying. Has anyone else seen that hideous cardigan sweater he’s wearing in the TV house ads?

Though Matthews worked for such liberal giants as President Jimmy Carter (as a speechwriter) and Speaker Tip O’Neill (as his top aide), he’s established himself as a fair, nonpartisan journalist, at least by cable news standards. He has a lot of fun with his show, and he doesn’t take any crap, which is why he and “Hardball” are popular. Keyes, on the other hand, fills his new slot with such drivel as the abolishment of the federal income tax and why it’s a great idea. He grins a lot and invites viewer responses, but don’t be surprised when Alan Keyes starts making sense somewhere else.

Greta Van Sufferin’

Give me a break. The New York Times reports that CNN’s erstwhile “Burden of Proof” host, Greta Van Susteren, jetted Ted Turner’s network for greener pastures because CNN /_” gasp – HURT HER FEELINGS. Oh, my.

As Jack Shafer of Slate says, if you’re planning to quit your job every time the bosses violate one of your deeply held journalistic principles, make sure to update your resume daily. You’ll need it.

Shafer also dutifully reports on just what those witches at CNN did to poor Greta, short of sticking her in an oven:

/_/ They under-promoted her, giving lots of house ad time to newbies Aaron Brown and Paula Zahn. (Greta should talk to Paula about the latter’s beef with the CNN bigs.)

/_/ They gave her a show named after her, called “The Point With Greta Van Susteren,”and programmed it as a lead-in to Larry King Live, CNN’s No. 1 show, making Greta No. 2. Somebody call a waaaaaaa-mbulance!

/_/ Labeling her “second-class citizen” once and for all, Greta didn’t get an invite to the White House Christmas party, Well, neither did I. Sniff, sniff.

Dick Cheney

Would you buy a used car from this man?

If you’ve done nothing wrong, you let the American people know. If your used car is broken, you let your buyer know. If your company is about to go bankrupt, you let your employees know. Right?

Becky is a senior or a junior majoring in journalism and history. She thinks Bush 43 is morphing into a Jack Kennedy clone. Send her your opinions on POTUS or any other government acronyms.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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