CBS News is cutting back on free speech. The “Free Speech” segment on the Katie Couric Evening News—oh, sorry it’s written cool-- ”freeSpeech”-- that was destined to be killed from the beginning is being cut from five to one or two nights a week. What? There aren’t enough Americans who’d like to slide into the chair and read a prepared “This I Believe” speeches off the TelePrompter? Or did they figure the Rush Limbaughs and Howard Deans of the world already get enough free airtime? The sheltered news elite on New York City’s Upper West Side actually thought they were being innovative when they decided to give over 90 seconds of the very tight news broadcast to “talking heads.” Real innovative. Real closed circuit high school TV. Real 1966. Actually, it’s real Wilton-North Report, circa 1987, and we warned Les Moonves to dump it thirty-three days before the show premiered.
Next suggestion: Dump that segment with the reporter who looks like kd lang. His cutesey phony Americana segments (with an "Assignment America" tag, after all these years still treating 99.9.% of the nation as flyover country, though that could be because they're getting their marching orders from Hollywood now) make us long for the days when Charles Kuralt was chortling wholesomely while waddling off to bang his Idaho mistress in the back of his Winnebego (they all waited til he was dead to let that cat out of the bag. And CBS leakers: Please be nice to Ed Bradley. He used to date Maureen O’Boyle back when she hosted A Current Affair. Ed knew the real deal when it came to the intersection and overlap of "mainstream" and tabloid). If this new guy’s got a double life, the second one surely involves heels. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there really aren’t enough cappuccino yuppies out there in Neilsenland to give a hoot about “voting” on which story Mr. Botoxed Dimpleface will report on the following week (aah, but there are more than enough yuppies on the Upper West Side and in Georgetown, and that’s still the problem at CBS). Whether its another local news feature on a cat hotel or the fifty millionth story on a sheriff who makes inmates dress in pink, why don’t you make your choice, guy? Most everyone else is off watching real news.
(Hey-- wait a minute! Did we just write a freeSpeech script? Rome, we're ready to read it off the TelePrompter. You can reach us here! Cool!)