September 4, 2009

"2 of the 3 broadcasts being anchored by women is nothing to sneeze at..."

Well, I'm sneezing because I think it means that the network news isn't important anymore. That's not progress in feminism. It's what is conventionally a symptom of anti-feminism: That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important.

40 comments:

Original Mike said...

You're sneezing in your sleeve, I hope.

ironrailsironweights said...

Network news has been largely irrelevant for years. That being said, I don't see any feminist/anti-feminist message in the fact that two anchors will be women.

Peter

kcom said...

I think you're right, news like that isn't important any more. But I don't think its an anti-feminist symptom or a pro-feminist one. It's just an irrelevant factoid in an irrelevant medium.

Ann Althouse said...

@OM I had "in my sleeve" originally and forced restraint upon myself and took it out. Thanks.

elHombre said...

That's pretty uncharitable. However, having seen both of the female anchors conduct interviews, I have to admit you may have a point.

WV "fusto" = *!&@# with gusto!

jacksonianlawyer said...

To think...it's come to discussing Katie Couric and "journalism" within the same breath. Unreal.

Roger J. said...

stop and think what a silly term "anchored" is for a bunch of twits that simply read what's in front of them. Recall that Peter Jennings--the telegenic ABC dude--didnt even have a high school education. We do not get news via television.

traditionalguy said...

If the Networks want females for their anchors, then why settle for an old time announcer personality. Why not get some blonde ESPN Babe and put life back into the News. Who is the grandfathered-in remaining male announcer anyway?

chuck said...

I thought the same thing about all the woman who were doctors in the Soviet Union. It's a shame things work like that, but it doesn't help to pretend otherwise.

TRO said...

I suspect you are correct. If network news had the relevance it once enjoyed I don't doubt these women would not be anchoring. Maybe a woman with more gravitas would hold one seat of the "big" three, but neither one of these gals would be sitting in it.

mccullough said...

Isn't it a good thing that people get their news from a variety of different sources, including the three network news broadcasts?

I'm glad that Walter Cronkite and the NY Times aren't setting the news agenda of this country.

It's great that MSNBC and Fox are different and have different audiences.

The SUNY professor with the "news should be serious and cover stories in-depth" is a fossil. There's plenty of places for people to get the type of news they want and it's up to consumers to decide what they consider in-depth and serious.

The Drill SGT said...

The Brits understand the role.

They call them, "News Readers"

SteveR said...

I'm not going to equate Couric with Sawyer but in any event, I think all three of the last group of people who did the wash by pounding the clothes with rocks along the riverbank were women, as if that means anything.

"achoo"

rhhardin said...

Unimportance is the result of the audience, which is women, and their tastes in news-entertainment.

My favorite characterization of today's news is the NBC anchor page itself here, which is semantically enough to express its triviality.

Women's mistake is letting the 40% soap opera contingent come to represent them.

The 40% is the media business model target, is all.

Show some ridicule and you might separate yourself from them.

bagoh20 said...

I consider many things women do to be quite important. With some tasks, I wouldn't have it any other way. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

The networks have no ability to resist putting a woman in, when she is next in line. They just can't skip over her. It's in the constitution somewhere isn't it?

rhhardin said...

They don't want women with gravitas. They're more into perky.

former law student said...

CW: That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important.

Half of all law students are female, so ...

Extrapolating a bit, to maintain her standing, it would be in Althouse's interest for UW (and all law schools, in fact) to hire as many male assistant profs as possible.

dbp said...

former law student said...
CW: That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important.

I'll extrapolate further and hope for the day when Congress is dominated by women and the Presidency is held by a woman too. Then I can rest easy, knowing that I can go about my business without a worry that they might do anything that has any impact on my life.

Of course the feminists won't be happy but then that is axiomatic.

edutcher said...

The Professor, of course, is correct.

Barbara Walters (and I believe Diane Sawyer at a later time) were only allowed to co-anchor with Harry Reasoner, but that was all. Considering how eager the nets in those days were to cry "sexism", it's interesting no one called it what it really was - tokenism.

WV "muessal" = undigested mueslix

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I agree with the Professor here. To back up her assertion I submit this: the single most celebrated moment of Katie Couric's tenure as anchor was her takedown of Sarah Palin.

EKatz said...

"That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important."

Signified by whom? TV executives?

Big Mike said...

I think they should have given the job to Erin Andrews.

Being serious for a moment (a very short moment) TV news is meant to be reality-based entertainment. Nothing more. All any anchor needs is the ability to figure out which camera has its red light on, and speak as though to make the most unrelenting drivel seem protentious. Playing a kazoo takes more skill.

Original Mike said...

@Althouse: Never let it be said that I shied away from the obvious.

John Lynch said...

I'd use the same argument to prove that the State Department is no longer important.

Windbag said...

If gender doesn't matter, then this doesn't matter, right?

Scott M said...

@Althouse

That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important.

How? Honestly, I'm truly confused by that without further discussion to back it up.

Nobody involved...not the suits, not the viewers, not the people not watching on purpose...has any control over the fact that the "evening news" is nowhere even close to the vaunted position it used to hold.

If the march of sexual egalitarianism in the new studio just happened to hit stride when the internet and satellite tv robbed network news of said vauntedness, that doesn't seem to speak to any sort of disparity between the genders at this point in history.

John said...

They should have given the job to Robin Meade. I could watch her read the phone book.

Oligonicella said...

I am now confused. They are, or they are not, tarting up the news?

wv: endeffa - A terminating statement similar to "whateffa".

chuck b. said...

"That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important."

Like being Secretary of State.

Skipper50 said...

Precisely why I say, 2 down, one to go.

Eric said...

I'd use the same argument to prove that the State Department is no longer important.

It's funny you should say that. As John Derbyshire said, "Hillary seems to be Secretary of State for countries that don't matter." Places like Iraq and Russia have their own "special envoys" to do actual diplomatic work while Obama has Hillary attending community center openings in Africa.

Though I think that has less to do with her gender than it does her status as a former and potential rival.

David said...

Aaaaaaaachoo!

ricpic said...

Once Diane Sawyer could at least provide the viewer, as he dropped off into dreamland, with a pleasant languid semi-tumescence. Now? Not even a tingle.

rhhardin said...

For dropping off to sleep, you want an 1990s Radio Japan English Service newscast.

I think I have one up, um... here, Aug 11, 1998 (Takehito Kobayashi, their most interesting newsreader)

Or one of their expert interviews
The bamboo expert,
the cartoon expert,
the economy class syndrome expert,
the mad cow disease expert,
the aeolean dust expert.

kentuckyliz said...

Putting the "broad" into "broadcast news."

former law student said...

Now? Not even a tingle.

Sawyer is 64 years old. Women in my family were great-grandmothers at that age. There's a time when tingling is no longer expected.

srfwotb said...

I've heard similar said about the Presidency. You know, "oh, it's such a mess we'll give it to the black guy. Well, now that everything is ruined we may as well let the women in."

Follow the $$$ and see if compensation goes down significantly as it has in other areas when women become the majority - except stripping of course. (Docs under socialized medicine, anyone?)

Not a lot of areas left. After all, if the Alpha guys don't get that extra cash and position, how are they going to attract and pay for their fancy wimmens?

Penny said...

"That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important."

That may have been entirely too true until the mommy bloggers came along. Now what do we have? We have a group of women thinking that EVERYTHING they do is important, including whining.

Of course, we have the feminists who put roaring above whining. They just can't get enough of Helen Reddy, I guess.

Personally, I am very happy for Diane Sawyer. She didn't ride on anyone's coattails, she worked hard, was there when her network needed her to move into the early morning slot for ratings, and patiently waited until Charlie Gibson retired. She's not only smart and competent, but a tireless hard worker who is a class act, willing to do whatever it takes to bring her network along. I feel certain she has always understood her personal value, but believed in loyalty first.

Network newscasts may be dying, but Diane Sawyer is not. This lady is one in a million.

Hazy Dave said...

rhhardin - Real Audio clips? No way am I installing that player on a new computer in 2009. Can you summarize?

I suppose the pay scale for network anchors is becoming depressed now that it's a female-majority profession...

raf said...

"That women do something signifies that it isn't considered important."

OH NO! What does this mean about blogging?!