Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Early Morning to You Today, America!

I am not a morning person, unless it’s marking the end of my day. I like to ease into my morning routine and slowly accept that I eventually have to head into work. I already get plenty of stress from my caffeine-induced morning commute. So today’s question: when watching any of the national morning news programs (GMA, The Early Show, or Today), what’s up with the 25-second interviews?

You can’t rush a hurricane victim who's lost everything because you have three more segments before the national weather report (which is apparently so useful we get six every hour)! I understand that structure and tight timing is required in a live television program, and things don’t always go as expected. But if you’re going to speak to someone about anything sensitive that requires patience, respect and at least a little decorum, don’t put them in the speed slot and rush them along! There’s nothing more distasteful on these shows, in my opinion, then cutting someone off a mere 15 seconds after they've been asked how they’re coping after a tragic event, just to get to the Cooking with Crisco segment.

“When the doctors told you your son was slowly being poisoned from the peanut-free macrobiotic meals you had been preparing for him with unknowingly tainted well water, what went through your mind?”

“Well…it was just awful. I kept saying ‘This is all my fault. [tears] I was trying to protect him from packaged foods that could trigger anaphylactic shock and all this time I was—’”

“I CAN ONLY imagine. Well, Tracy, thanks for taking the time to be with us here this morning. All of us here at NBS have you in our thoughts. [beat] Gordon, what ya got cooking over there? I’m thinking peanut brittle!!!! And it smells delicious!”

Look, if you can’t spare enough time for a non-celebrity to at least respond, don’t have them on your program. It’s uninformative, insincere and leaves all of us with a bad taste in our collective mouths. Almost as bad as peanut brittle.

Honestly, I watch a lot of ESPN’s SportsCenter in the morning so I’m up to date on my favorite sports and, more importantly, everyone else’s so I can maintain my man card at the water cooler. I get my national and world news from NPR’s Morning Edition on my drive in. I get my local news from an RSS feed to my local rag, the Baltimore Sun. And I like the national morning shows for human-interest stories, regional weather envy (it’s always nicer somewhere else), watching bands perform outdoors in 22-degree weather at 7:30 in the morning, and blog fodder.

Back to you, Chet.

No comments: