Friday, October 10, 2008

Virginia Kerr and the KMOV-TV early morning news

From our American correspondent...

The time was just before 5:50 Tuesday morning. I usually bounce around the various news broadcasts while I do my early morning internet surfing ritual. I was stopped on KMOV Channel 4 morning news watching a brief article about the criticism being made of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Ms. Palin made some comment about how the comments are nothing compared to the shots our troops are taking. Ms. Palin closed the interview with a wink of her eye to the unfortunate reporter interviewing her. I guess the eye wink is now a staple of her new folksy mannerisms.

At the end of the video clip the camera cuts back to Virginia Kerr at the early morning anchor desk back in the news room. I started to take my attention away from the television and go back to my computer when it happened. I caught a fleeting glance of it out of the side of my eye and almost missed it. I didn’t think I saw what I thought I had just seen. I grabbed the remote and rewound the DVR to make sure. It was confirmed. Ms. Kerr had rolled her eyes up into her head like she was about to be ill. A split second later she recovered quickly and went on with the news with a smile and a slight look of embarrassment on her face as if to say she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. But too late, Ms. Kerr is human and suffers the same human reactions to tripe.

I know local news people are supposed to be impartial when it comes to national politics. But I couldn’t help but be pleasantly surprised. Ms. Kerr was only mimicking what I was feeling at the time. I was probably making the same exact facial expression to Ms. Palin’s eye wink and fake smile intended to make me feel like she’s all down to earth and make me think she’s a regular joe six pack.

But Ms. Palin’s eye wink has as much warmth and sincerity as Arizona Senator John McCain’s plastered grimace during a North Korean interogation with two broken arms. I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t even have to wait for Mr. McCain’s rhetoric. Like Pavlov’s dog my eye muscles start to twitch and do their own thing when Mr. McCain’s image comes on the television. Or, if I hear his voice or his name, my eyes will override whatever brain impulses are coming their way and do their manifestation of disgust.

And in the little more than five or six weeks that I have come to know Ms. Palin I have developed the same reaction to her image and voice. Thanks, but no thanks. Just writing that phrase triggers a psychosomatic reaction that sends nerve impulses up and down my spine invoking a reaction as if I just heard Freddy Kruger’s mechanical nails slowly dragging across a school room chalk board. I was happy to see some semblance of that type of reaction with Ms. Kerr. All too often people who report the news have to simply give politicians free publicity to spout their messages and speeches in spite of their lack of true substance or integrity.

Much of the criticism being directed at Ms. Palin is rightfully deserved. Ms. Palin has done very little to engage the public and deliver any clue as to what specific steps she would take to be the maverick reformer (more eye rolling) and clean up Washington and national politics. She reads all the magazines, every single one that comes in front of her, so much so that she can’t remember the name of a single one. She appreciates so many court cases that the Supreme Court has ruled on that she can’t name a single one in the great history of American history. She has so much international political experience because she governs a state that borders Russia and Canada. And she has military experience because as governor she had the authority to call the National Guard of Alaska to duty even though she never did during her entire twenty months running the state. The woman is a political joke that has a good chance of becoming a nightmare, although that chance appears to dwindle a little more each and every day.

For Ms. Palin to compare the criticism coming her way to the alleged criticism being directed at our American troops is another desperate move of a person who is hard to take seriously as a viable political alternative by any remotely level headed personality. No one is criticizing American troops for following the orders of wayward, self serving, and egotistical commanders. By any measure people recognize that the American military is doing its best with the situation it has been given. For Ms. Palin to use them to score a handful of political points is more evidence of her utter shallowness.

I know Ms. Palin turns my stomach. Her voice grates on my nerves so much it’s just a matter of time before I jam an ice pick down my ear canals. Just seeing her image makes me want to gouge out my vision balls. Any regular person would have the same reaction. It turns out Ms. Kerr over at the KMOV News desk is human and suffers a similar reaction to the sight of Ms. Palin. It turns out Ms. Kerr is more real and has more substance than Ms. Palin can over hope for.

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