The Porning of Broadcast News


Media pundits love to talk about the failure of newspapers to envision and adapt to the Internet, but what about bobblehead broadcast news operations like CNN and Fox?

Clearly, their leaders are as bright as a bag of hammers when it comes to understanding what the Internet’s unlimited pornographic options mean to their gussied up newscasts.

Look folks, it’s time to get back to news fundamentals and away from news boobs and strong chins. Not the other way around. That’s what the Internet means.

Case in point, the recent porning of veteran political journalist Candy Crowley. Here’s a pic (below) of the way CNN has made over their award-winning reporter and the way she really looks.

This makeover is beyond ridiculous. It’s clownish and degrading to Candy, who is 63. It’s the equivalent of the jumping the shark episode in the old “Happy Days” TV series.

Let me be even more succinct: Have you lost your friggin minds?

Viewers watch Crowley because of her experience. Not because of the way she fills out a shirt. However, the managers who have been brought in from entertainment to boost TV news ratings always think that if something works once it will again, regardless of the circumstances. That’s why we keep getting one young sexy failed actor after another playing the role of informed journalist in a skintight shirt.

It’s predictable, it’s boring and it’s been done to death. It’s also a disservice to the handful of journalists who are both incredibly attractive and talented, like Anderson Cooper.

Only at a network that had employed Andrea Thompson (below right) would real journalists have to compete with failed actors who play journalists for a living and fret about being confused with them.

CNN apparently didn’t learn its lesson back in 2001, seven years after the birth of the World Wide Web, when it tried and and failed to shove Thompson down our throats. The buxom actress, model and high school dropout secured her GED and apparently decided she was ready to inform and educate the world. No need to pay your dues and master your craft when you’re smoking hot.

TV news  continues to perform the same old tired trick by hiring sexy looking people as studio anchors and porning its best reporters until they look like clowns. Replete with pancake makeup and youthful hairstyles.

For example, you couldn’t blame a andreavisitor to the U.S. for thinking that no one at the Weather Channel is capable of buying a shirt that isn’t at least one size too small for them. Case in point, reporters Jim Cantore (below right) and Stephanie Abrams (below right).

And let’s not forget Sports reporter Ines Sainz of Azteca Deportes (bottom right) and her distinctive news uniform.

Local TV news has followed CNN’s lead in recent years by bolstering its requisite sexy meteorologist with a raft of young traffic honies, business hunks, flirty medical babes, and buxom entertainment news hoochies.

I ecnnnjoy a pretty face as much as the next viewer, but the pursuit of sexual charge has been so overdone that the experience of watching TV news is now akin to eating a cake made entirely of vanilla frosting. It no longer has any intellectual nutrition because there’s almost no substance. 

Just empty intellectual calories.

Former model and reality TV actress Jill Nicolini embodies this new trend. That’s her at work (top left) as a traffic reporter. She reportedly won the title of Miss Long Island in 2002, but was stripped of her crown after the contest learned she had posed for Playboy a year earlier.

Nicolini has now worked for two local news broadcasts stephin New York City. Her qualifications?

Come on man…

This is beyond ridiculous. If you want to do porn, do porn. Don’t call it news.

TV news at every level needs to decide whether it’s competing with celebrity gossip network TMZ and free pornsites, or wishes to be the rightful heir to the legacy of broadcast news legends Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. Nobody ever slapped a fake tan and pancake makeup on those guys and I don’t think we’re going to dig up too many photos of them delivering the news while holding a stein of beer.

Apparently, this is the kind of management blind spot you createright when you place entertainment executives in charge of news in the endless corporate search for profit growth. A similar scenario occurred when print news elevated advertising over editorial operations.

Both industries wound up with leaders that substituted market surveys for initiative and vision, short-term profit growth for long-term brand building and business stability, and the basic math skills needed to read financial metrics for true analytical ability.

The painful truth is that viewers have a million news and entertainment options right now. They typically have more than 1,000 cable TV channels, a dozen radio stations and an unlimited number of websites.

That means the days of selling people sexual innuendo via news are done.

If viewers want to stare at attractive strangers they can do a whole better than tight shirts and titillating newscasts. They can visit a porn site and see strangers having sex naked, or partially clothed or with a small horse.

They’re turning on news for news now, which means it’s time to isreturn to the core values of good journalism. It’s time to focus more on the brains of the people reporting the news again and less on the way they fill out a shirt or clench a cheek muscle.

That’s what the Internet really means to broadcast news.

First broadcast news operation to figure it out gets to stay in business.