Fox Hunting: Jillian Reynolds Gets Harshed
|Barberi at the Gates|
The sources of Rainey's outrage are manifold. Mainly, though, it gets down to Reynolds being one of the more egregious personalities to survive the decline and fall of the American television newsroom -- right when her station has pink-slipped 95 presumably more high-minded members of the news staff.
For Rainey, Reynolds is "the Medusa-haired, wailing siren who epitomizes the noxious celebrification of what we once called news."
In some ways Reynolds, whose most important hobbies seem to be pet adoption and losing weight, is a perfect target for those who mourn the fact that TV news has become the intellectual equivalent of beach volleyball. Good Day L.A.'s Web site tells you all we need to know about the zeitgeist. Ads for luxury cars vie for attention next to ones inviting people who are about to lose their homes to refinance their mortgages. Today, for editorial copy, the site's "Hot Stories" include links to these breaking stories: "Was Obama Looking at Girl at G8?", "Nudists Attempt Skinny Dip World Record" and "Jackson Casket Maker Stays in Shadows."
Rainey sees Reynolds as an example of what's wrong with television news, but I would say she's not the cause of the great decline, only a symptom. People don't lose interest in watching news stories about complex and important issues because an anchor chews gum on the set or wears too much eye makeup. She's there because they want her - she's the Elvira of the Information Age.
If it's true that a people get the government they deserve, then perhaps also we get the news we deserve -- and the entertainers who perform it.