Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gotcha! Tabloid is as tabloid does

“Yes, the twain have met, they’ve mated and Murrow’s legacy of idealism has exchanged fluids with Murdoch’s rules of cynicism. The mingling of the two in a more acceptable arena has led to the creation of something bigger, yet something less..."
--Tabloid Baby, page 481

"Tabloid television isn't dead. Shows such as A Current Affair and Hard Copy that thrived on news, gossip and scandal and brought the world dramatic reenactments and hidden-camera scoops were simply made redundant. Burt Kearns was a producer on both of those shows. To hear him tell it, tabloid TV simply morphed into network news magazines, syndicated talk shows, ceaseless cable 'news' coverage and those morning programs where the men all wear sweaters and the coffee is decaffeinated..."

Shortly after Tabloid Baby was published, the book was blacklisted by the mainstream television news media in an effort led by celebrities like Tom Brokaw and Diane Dimond and joined by self-professed “fans” like 20/20 executive producer Victor Neufeld, because they didn’t like the way we characterized their evolution into tabloid television imitators.

Finally, the establishment is catching on. Today, the New York Times (which still has not reviewed the book) boarded the Tabloid Baby train in its review of NBC’s Dateline newsmagazine and its recurring sweeps series in which they entrap Internet sex perverts:

“NBC ran into a little trouble over a series taped in Ohio last April when it was revealed that 'Dateline' had paid the group Perverted Justice $100,000 for assistance in that operation. 'Dateline' was accused of checkbook journalism, which technically would be correct if the cheesy magazine program actually rose to the level of journalism. At best, it's a tabloid-entertainment show with a muckraking streak…”

At a time when CNN’s news anchor is a Scissor Sisters-loving former host of The Mole and Dan Rather’s successor made her bones by literally sticking a camera up her arse, Tabloid Baby is looking like a regular Nostradamus.