They Don’t Cry?

The latest in Glenn Beck-inspired coverage, from a New York Observer piece about how tears are all the rage in TV news:

With the Big Three rapidly losing prominence in the American consciousness, a fractured network of opinionated, impassioned news sources have brought emotions center stage in the delivery of the news. Making the case against the emotionally dessicated coverage of the supposedly objective networks, especially in an era of breakdown—financial, emotional, ethical—means showing that, well, you’re not afraid to break down.

During Hurricane Katrina, [Anderson] Cooper practically emoted his way into our hearts at CNN. During the 2008 campaign, Chris Matthews got thrills running up his legs. Somewhere between the Florida recount, 9/11, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and the financial meltdown, emotional apoplexy became the coin of the realm.

Cited in the piece are Beck, Cooper, Matthews, [CNN’s Roland] Martin, Olbermann, Kramer, Santelli… Where are the “emotional[ly] apople[ptic]” newswomen (weeping or raging their way to “authenticity” and ratings)? The female news anchors losing control of their reportorial selves, as Roger Mudd puts it in the article?

The only woman mentioned in the Observer piece is CNN’s Campbell Brown and her No Bias, No Bull show on CNN. But, when has Brown been “apoplectic?” (During her popular-on-YouTube interview with Tucker Bounds during the presidential campaign? Hardly.) But maybe, as CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld tells the Observer, CNN should “go back to impassive and impressive,” “tone it way, way down,” let MSNBC and Fox News have their tears?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.