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Sometimes the news is shocking

December 3, 2017
Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Wow. And by wow, I mean WOW.

First let me explain that I have watched the Today Show on NBC for a lot of years. And by a lot of years, I mean a LOT of years.

I am not sure why. It just sort of happened.

I mean, I remember watching Meredith Viera, Katie Curic, Bryant Gumbel. Heck, I think I remember watching Dave Garrow and his chimpanzee when I was just a kid and the Today Show just started.

But when I say I watched the Today Show, I mean I watched the first 15, 20 or 30 minutes of the three hour show and then I went off to work.

I just wanted to catch the news quick before I left for the day. And the Today Show did a good job of cramming the day's news into the first 15 minutes of their show.

It is what television news is good at. Short bursts of news.

I am a news junkie. I got it from my mother, who was a news junkie. I like to know what is going on in the world. And lately there has been just a whole lot of bad news on the TV news.

Mass shootings or other forms of violence seem to come along at least once a week. Then there is the daily update of what President tweeted overnight.

And sometimes I watch the news just to see who we are war with now. Or if North Korea has fired off another missile.

I need to know.

Don't get me wrong. I don't get all my news from television. I have to read a couple of daily newspapers every day (and maybe a dozen weeklies as well) because that is, of course, where you get the in depth news a whole lot more than just a 20 second burst on TV.

But I digress.

For evening TV news I hop around a bit. I watch the local news on area TV stations sometimes. And for national news I jump from NBC to CBS and back again. I loved Walter Cronkite. I?think he was the best TV anchorman ever.

I have watched CBS Sunday Morning and CBS 60 minutes for more years than I can remember. Both shows do a good job of getting more in depth reports on things. I hate to miss them, so they are DVRed at my house each week.

But for that short burst of news each morning, it has been the Today Show for me.

So to see Savannah Guthrie struggle with telling the news of Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct in the work place was, well, a real WOW moment.

It was a shocking way to start the newscast.

Seeing all this sexual misconduct in the work place accusations coming out against people in politics and the entertainment industry is not so shocking, as it has been happening in the past. Probably for many, many years.

But in the news business? Of course, television news is half news and half entertainment. I mean, after all, Matt Lauer was not being paid $20 million per year just because he could read the teleprompter well. He was paid well because he entertained as well as did the news, and he was a television 'personality.'

If all the accusations against him are true, and there is no reason to believe they are not, then it makes you believe that he had two distinctly different personas. The nice guy and the creep. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Then later the same day Matt Lauer was fired came the news that Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) for misconduct in the work place. Garrison Keillor? That one is nearly impossible to wrap my head around.

Like many others, I listened to his Prairie Home Companion show for years, and had the chance to visit with him one on one a few times. He even came to tiny Tyler, Minnesota, and participated in a seminar, and did an interview with yours truly there.

I own autographed copies of his books.

Garrison Keillor? Really? The word wow just doesn't work in this case. But I can't seem to come up with the right word. Maybe 'incredible' works.

It is becoming rapidly apparent that there has been a lot of misconduct by sleaze ball men in power. And I suppose that has always been true. But now it is no longer being covered up, and women are feeling empowered to come forward and tell their stories of what these men did.

Perhaps that will help keep it from happening as much in the future.

We can only hope.

But, really...Garrison Keillor?

I suppose next I will find out the Walter Cronkite was no saint either.

 
 

 

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