Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bless Her Heart.

In Montreal, the main newspaper is La Presse. Main because it more or less equally covers the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, International and Business. La Presse boasts excellent journalists and if a time capsule of Montreal were to be built, a copy of it should be included.

One of La Presse’s famous or infamous and popular editorialist is Nathalie Petrowski. The once-upon-a-time Maureen Dowd-like star quality she once carried is still there – regardless of what people might say. Now bear in mind, I’ve met her and have spoken to her on many occasions and I understand what the hype was and is still about. And, should I start my own newspaper tomorrow, I would want the woman on my team.

Still, I found she totally dropped the ball in her column on Saturday. The topic was Bernard Derome, famed news anchor for Radio-Canada for over 25 years, about to leave the anchor chair … for a second time. Even if it was for the 15th time, the man deserves all the fanfare and trumpets Radio-Canada and the rest of his followers damn please to give him. Why shouldn’t we give him the ra-ras? Being in the business, Miss Petrowski should realize that anchors à la Derome are a dying breed. And yes, as she so eloquently reminded us, information has changed and so has the way we get it. 24hrs-a-day access to what’s happening in the world has metamorphosed important news into Big Macs and that, is sad. There’s a deep examination that must be made of a medium that makes Anderson Cooper a star and paints him as a newsman. Anderson Cooper is not a news man. I’ve said it a million times on this blog: he will never be a Walter Cronkite, a Charlie Rose, a Morley Shafer, a Pierre Nadeau or a Bernard Derome. We should shed tears at the departure of Bernard Derome because the harsh reality is there is – so far – no one to fill his shoes.

A past Anderson Cooper rant: http://groupemilagro.blogspot.com/2007/03/pretty-is-killing-news.html

Read Miss Petrowski: http://cyberpresse.ca/opinions/chroniqueurs/nathalie-petrowski/200812/13/01-810143-merci-bonsoir-bernard.php


Anonymous said...

Cooper is closer to a news man in my opinion than the ranting partisan editorialist "anchors" who fill American cable news these days, the Olbermanns and O'Reillys. He has an old school commitment to neutrality and courtesy. Those qualities in a addition to personal charm and an interesting personal story have contributed to his rise more than looks (there are plenty of good looking people in news - and with more conventional good looks - he left in the dust).

American culture revolves around cult of personality. That's what we're seeing in the continued evolution of news, and Cooper is just a little part of it. As an outsider you see it in US politics, the way VJs are glorified into public personalities on MTV, everywhere. It seems like in America there can't be a political movement or charitable effort without a search for some celebrity to put their face on it.

Martine | Le Groupe Milagro said...

Bonjour Anonymous,

I agree with you that Anderson Cooper is more of a newsman than Bill O'Reilly who is anything but. But is that as low as we are ready to raise the bar? Bill O'Reilly is our news reference?

When CNN replaced Aaron Brown with Anderson Cooper, I thought it was a sad statement on behlaf of Cable TV. Furthermore, Anderson Cooper hasn't decided whetther he wants to be relevant or popular.

But you are right: he is endearing with a nice personal story and the guy is likeable, without a doubt. Still, Mike Wallace he is not. What scares me in Television is the way elders are being pushed aside. Are news less credible coming from someone with liver spots or someone passed menopause?

You are also very right when you say American culture revolves around the cult of personality. It's a culture that mistakes idols for heroes and that, is as scary as seeing D.L. Hughley have a show on CNN.

Thank you for your comment. Love it.