The Casey Anthony verdict is doing some good: it is exposing the awful deficit in objectivity and professionalism in the broadcast media.
The latest example: while CBS’ “The View” rip-off, “The Talk,” was underway, viewers saw co-host Julie Chen break down as she tried to read the news that Casey Anthony had been found not guilty of killing her daughter Caylee. Chen attempted to read the verdict, but was overcome with emotion and was unable to continue, asking her co-hosts, “Help me out here.”
In 1937, radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison was correctly criticized for being unable to keep his composure and report the flaming destruction of the zeppelin The Hindenburg without weeping and becoming unintelligible. In 2011, a woman described in her official bio as a “news anchor; reporter; and journalist” couldn’t compose herself to read the news of a not guilty verdict. This is nothing but bottom of the barrel, amateur hour, biased journalism:
1) A professional reporter is supposed to be able to read the news clearly, whatever it is.
2) A professional reporter is obligated to possess sufficient competence and experience to both overcome emotion and to shield listeners and viewers from her own views about the events being reported.
3) A professional reporter is obligated by objectivity not to be so invested in a particular outcome that she cannot report the news without being rendered mute by elation or disappointment.
4) A professional reporter is supposed to be professional. Walter Cronkite overcame his obvious emotion to clearly and accurately report the death by assassination of President Kennedy live on the air, November 22, 1963. Now, on the same network, one of his successors couldn’t muster the character and skill report that a nonentity had been acquitted of killing her daughter.
Julie Chen disgraced her network, her profession, and, I’m sorry to say, her gender. This is the state of broadcast journalism in 2011; this is what CBS has descended to, from the days of Murrow, Severeid and Cronkite.
That is worth weeping for