Monday, March 26, 2018

TV: 60 MINUTES of gossip

A big event changed everything, right?

That's the lie we were told.

Does anyone remember?

Does 60 MINUTES?

a new illst

Last week was the 15th anniversary of the ongoing Iraq War.  And the weekly magazine 60 MINUTES did what?

Not one damn thing.

Not Sunday the 18th, not Sunday the 25th.  Not one damn thing.  This despite it supposedly being a serious news magazine, this despite the media having sold the Iraq War (including the CBS news magazine), this despite everything.

But, please note, Anderson Cooper showed up on 60 MINUTES Sunday night to interview Stephanie Clifford.  Who?  Her porn name is Stormy Daniels.

He could have asked her about exploitation in the porn industry.  He might have asked her how you maintain a marriage to a fellow porn actor (she has had three) while also filming porn scenes.  He could have used the time with her to explore why male actors in straight porn like to have a little scruff on their chin while waxing every other part of their body.  Or he might have gotten right down to it and asked how many men's anuses she tongued on camera and how many females' and whether she preferred shoving a vibrator up another woman or having a woman shove one up her?  He might have probed the area of cosmetic surgery and how, unlike most women, her breasts appear to have actually increased decades after puberty.

None of that would have qualified as spectacular journalism but it would fit interviewing a porn performer.

Instead, Anderson didn't even ask her what drug (or drugs) she was on in the interview -- her pupils were extremely dialated.  (A CBS NEWS friend swears it was Klonopin but we're going to guess Benzodiazepines.)  That's a news story, right?  News magazine airs segment with drugged out interview subject without informing viewers?

If not to argue over who had taken more loads, why did Anderson and Stormy sit down together?

Because she says she had sex (once) with Donald Trump -- reality star turned President of the United States.

This month saw 7 US service members killed in Iraq and 60 MINUTES devoted zero segments to the story.

Early in the interview, Anderson Cooper declared, "I guess I'm not 100% sure why you're doing this."

We could relate.  We weren't 100% sure why any journalist would be interviewing her about one act of sex from 2006.

But then we realized it was Anderson Cooper and the former host of THE MOLE isn't much of a journalist.


Remember that?

Leading up to 9/11, we were awash in sex talk.  Bill Clinton did it with this woman, did it with that woman.  Made a pass here, made a pass there.

That's what the so-called news media concerned themselves with.  That's what the gabby pundits talked about.

Supposedly, 9/11 changed everything -- including the media.

In 2011, Brian Lowry (VARIETY) observed, "In hindsight, news organizations were second-guessed for their trashy and inconsequential coverage leading up to Sept. 11. The most ostentatious examples included the media scrum surrounding missing D.C. intern Chandra Levy and a trumped-up outbreak of shark attacks breathlessly transformed into a 'trend'."  The media landscape was supposed to change.  But it didn't.  A point Jefferey Cronin (Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communication) covered in a 2011 essay:

Assistant Professor Peter Jaroff, MSP, who was a producer for the 6 p.m. news on 6abc on 9/11, remembers the overwhelming feeling that the viewers were counting on him. He was on his way into the office when he first heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center.
"I had think about whether I would continue on to work," he says. "But of course, I had to."
In the days immediately following 9/11, Jaroff remembers thinking that, "if anything good can come out of this, we could have more of a seriousness about what we do." He had hopes that local affiliates would focus more on important national and international news and recapture "something we had lost as a genre since the O.J. Simpson murder case."
But he says it didn't last long.
Within two weeks, Jaroff remembers the newsroom buzzing over news that someone was attacked by a pit bull and the level of interest in making it the top story. "To me, it's remarkable how little things have changed."

"To me, it's remarkable how little things have changed."

We really felt that way watching Anderson Cooper's nonsense tonight.

So the big 'news' from the interview?  The woman had sex with Donald twelve years ago.  Consensual sex.  Once.

This is news?

America didn't know Donald Trump cheated?

Where were they when Ivana Trump found out in 1990 that her husband was sleeping with Marla Maples?  Or during the months when gossip columnist Liz Smith did nothing but cover the affair?

Liz Smith died in 2017 but her spirit lives on in Anderson Cooper.

Anderson and other nonsense peddlers like to insist this is not about the sex, it's about payment.  It is completely about the sex.

At this point, Donald's not even accused of paying the porn actress for her silence.  B-b-b-ut it could lead back to him!  And what?  It's not a crime to pay someone to lie about sex.  And if it turns out to be a campaign finance issue -- which some are sure it will be -- well, those are monetary fines usually and they don't amount to high crimes and misdemeanors for those who keep insisting this will lead to impeachment.

You have some saying that it will remove Trump from office via special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

That would be his investigation into Russia 'hacking' the 2016 presidential election.

He's found nothing so far but you have some 'resistance' members finger banging themselves to the thought that he'll expand his investigation.

Expand his investigation?  That seems so familiar.  Hmm . . . Oh, Ken Starr.  The special prosecutor who overreached and was widely rejected by most Americans as a result.  Assigned to probe Whitewater, he came up with the 'news' that Bill Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinsky.

Who cares?

That was America's reaction.

Interesting that some of the people who felt it was a non-issue in 1998 are now insisting this is about a serious issue today.  It's about sex.  It's a non-issue and Americans are not going to care about it.

Robert Mueller's investigation has come up empty thus far but if he really wants to look like an idiot then all he has to do is turn his focus onto Donald Trump's sex life.

Equally true, no one needs to hear from the porn star.

She signed away her rights in 2016.  It's not her story to tell.

If she had been raped, we might see a point to her breaking the agreement.  She states it was consensual.  There's no reason to break the agreement.  'But she changed her mind.'  Tough.  Sherri Ellis would love to have that out.  Who?

In the film SILKWOOD, Cher plays Dolly Pelliker.  That's Sherri Ellis.  But because parts of the story weren't really Sherri Ellis' story (the affair with the character played by Diana Scarwid, for instance), they called the character Dolly Pelliker.  Sherri Ellis was paid $67,500 for elements of her life to be used in the film.  She feels that the film defamed her.  She'd probably love to back out the agreement she made.  So let's start a new movement where you get paid for a part of your life to be used or kept silent and then you insist that you've changed your mind -- after you've signed it away and deposited the check.

In what world does that make sense?

There are real issues out in the world but Anderson Cooper and his colleagues at 60 MINUTES can't find any.  Instead of addressing real issues, they're a bunch of cackling hens offering about as much 'news' as the cast of THE VIEW, THE CHEW, THE TALK, etc.  That's a huge comedown for what was supposed to be a serious news magazine.

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