Bob Franken

TV News Beauty Contests

You can be sure that some enterprising TV executive, somewhere, is going to take advantage of this. In about a year, the station’s newscast, featuring the latest perky, sparkling anchorwoman, will open with “Here She Comes, Miss Amerrrrrrica”

Cue Caressa Cameron, who follows in the long line of beauty pageant contestants. who felt that looks and personality were all anyone needed to report on the tough issues of the day. Any fool can do it.

Journalism? Facts? Experience? Who needs them when you’ve got cute? What does it matter that the nation is drowning in a sea of ignorance, misinformation and oversimplification? Who cares if our clever operators are able to manipulate and distort issues with little chance of being exposed on yuck-it-up shows at 11 PM or 10:00, depending on your time zone?

Forget about that. Television’s owners managers and cursed consultants couldn’t care less about informing the public. The name of the game is ratings delivered by gimmicks and anchors who are 8 by 10 glossies.

Obviously this is not always the case. There are a small few news hosts out there who are not raving beauties. But it really really helps. In fairness it must also be noted that one can have both looks and smarts. But the truth is the smarts don’t matter. Miss America wants to be an anchor because she knows full well, that in today’s near vacuum, she can find a place. She’s qualified enough.

The politicians know exactly how to game this system. President have learned that real reporters are nothing but trouble, what with their knowledge and pesky follow ups. So each administration comes up with ways to avoid them and deal with puff balls instead. Even the seemingly tough ones are really set ups. Witness President Obama finessing his You Tube questioners.

Those who still argue that a democracy needs a truly informed electorate are crying in the wilderness. But wait, the emptiness is being filled with music. “Here She Comes. Miss Amerrrrrrica”

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