Friday, March 6, 2009

Being a Pundit, Newscaster and Analyst

I have written here about pundits, newscasters and financial analysts, the likes of Santelli and Cramer, who often enrage me with their arrogance and ignorance. Here Jon Stewart pokes fun at them:

But is he dead serious?


John O'Leary said...

This belongs in the next time capsule. His skewering of Santelli is Stewart at his best.

judith ellis said...

Agreed, John! The best!

allen said...

John Stewart is doing the country a great service. This points out how rediculous the pundits are.
They say that free speech ends when you shout 'fire' in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Some of these guys are doing the exact opposite - they are literally yelling that there is no fire when there is (and they know it) -

judith ellis said...

Beautiful, allen. Relevant analogy with a twist.

Brosreview said...

I always thought arrogance inevitably came with brilliance. But, if arrogance came hand in hand with ignorance; oh dear!!! there is a disaster approaching.

judith ellis said...

Ajey - For me, there is a difference between arrogance and confidence. The former is assoicated with haughtiness and superiority, the latter more with strength and assurance. Both can be brilliant. But many of these pundits, newscasters and analysts are not!

Hmmm? With this arrogance and confidence distinction, who might be public examples?

President Obama, for example, is confident.

Brosreview said...

Hmm... I understand now. Yea, President Obama is a very good example there. Thanks for correcting me.

I always noticed brilliant ones having this something; an air of arrogance circling them. But, I reckon I was wrong. It was confidence. I classify "nose in the air" to both confidence and arrogance. Ignorant me!!!

judith ellis said...

No correction there, Ajey. It's just my understanding. Ignorant, you are not!

Brilliant people are often quite arrogant. I do not deny this at all. I have know quite a few in my life. "Nose in the air" is most definitely arrogance to me. This is unbecoming indeed. Confidence does not require such.

Scripture speaks of God hating a "proud look." This is what the "nose being in the air" reminds me of. It separates and elevates when we are all made of the same stuff in spite of our gifts, talent, abilities, etc.

We have come into this world alone and shall take nothing out, this includes our intellects, possessions and bodies. What is important is who we lift up as we walk in world. Put your nose down! Please! This is ugly!

Lloyd C. said...

Comedian D.L. Hughley was pummeled by critics when his weekend talk show debuted on CNN last fall. "What the hell was CNN thinking?" a columnist for AdAge asked after watching the first episode. But the network may have come to its senses or at least decided to cut its losses. The move wouldn't be surprising given CNN's troubles as of late and the fact that HLN (the network you used to know as Headline News) is now "beating its older sibling CNN in the target 25-54 demo," according to Broadcasting & Cable.

Here's an official statement from a rep from CNN, who tells us that it was Hughley's decision to end the show and not specifically related to budget issues:

"D.L. approached CNN about being permanently based in Los Angeles, where his family lives. To accommodate this, we agreed upon a new role where he will be a contributor for the network based in Los Angeles. We are eager to continue our relationship with D.L. who is a tremendous talent and a valued colleague."

I have mixed emotions both about this show in general and the cancellation in specific .Should CNN should have ever tried to copy Jon Stewart's popular "The Daily Show" featuring D.L. Hughley?

My answer is why not? It's a very popular format for many seeking alternative political news sources and has changed the way many politicians go about their daily lives knowing that any misstatements or misdeeds will be aired almost instantly.

In my opinion, CNN has gone stale. Too much Anderson Cooper, Larry King, Being Black In America, Special Reports, etc., etc., etc. That is why I'm spend most of my viewing time over at MSNBC and occasionally FOX News.

That is why I thought that D.L. Hughley's show was refreshing and something I watched when I happen to come across it. Somehow he was able to interview many of political movers and shakers in Washington and actually was able to have them open up and say how they really felt about an issue, even if they wound up apologizing for it the next day.

One of my favorite episodes of D.L. Hughley's show was his interview with Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Considered a nutcase by many on the right, I was impressed with many of his "common sense" solutions to past and current issues. Take time to view this 9 minute interview over at YouTube. Tell me what you think.

Considering that Mr. Hughley's show came on late at night and did provide some insight and humor, I believe that CNN made a wrong decision in canceling the show.

I guess they'll replace it with more Soledad O'Brien telling me what it's like to be "Black In America".

What's your opinion? Was D.L. Hugley's show doomed from the beginning? Is there a place for a political show from a Black comedian's perspective? Is CNN relevant anymore?


judith ellis said...

Lloyd – Thanks for popping through and for your thoughtful comment. I must admit that I have only seen the D.L. Hughley show once; this was his first show and that was for only 10 minutes or so. I was not initially very impressed, though I have watched the Ron Paul interview just now and thought that he did reasonably well.

One thing that I noticed right away is that Hughley seemed more active in ways that Bill Mayer is as opposed to Jon Stewart; Hughley gives his outright opinion whereas Stewart does so, but not really. He does so in a round about way or even as an advocate of others. I would say that Stewart's writers are better too--this is my first thought after listening initially to the first show and to the Ron Paul interview.

Speaking of the Ron Paul interview, there were more things to explore with regards to the Civil War, stimulus package, etc., that Mr. Paul addressed that Hughley seemed simply to go along with, perhaps because his knowledge on some issues were limited or because he simply agreed as he said more than once. There was no real challenge to Mr. Paul's ideas.

Whether Hughley agreed with him personally or not there is always an alternative view that he did not address. It was essentially 9 or so minutes of the Ron Paul Show. As Mr. Paul is forceful in his opinions, he often dominates in other interviews as well. But I have seen others tactfully approach interviews with him. Hughley did OK and with time he would have improved. But such is not given to many these days.

Although never being a huge fan of Hughley's even before his show, I wish him well. He has talent. But comedians today are simply not as good to me as those back in the day, who also spoke politics but in a way that actually made you laugh and listen. My mom's cousin, Richard Pryor, was not considered a politician or pundit by any means, but he surely made many political statements as did many other great comedians of his era. I actually appreciated Letterman's interviews with McCain and loved his recent take on Rush Limbaugh at CPAC. But he's a veteran in a different vein.

With regards to the relevance of any network, freshness in always needed, but it needs to actually fill the vacuum through creativity and bring in viewers. I do not know about Hughley’s ratings, but if they were high, I’m sure the show would not have been cancelled. Also, as I have mentioned, sometimes time is needed and not given.

Remember CBS seemed initially not to give Katie Couric time initially? And she was a veteran! There is a vacuum in women anchors, but that did not make a difference. I am also not terribly big on snarkiness in the newsroom no matter the race or gender. Please check this piece I posted here, Being a Diva, that addresses interview style, though not from a comedic perspective.

Thanks again for your comment. Do pop through again.