Saturday , February 24 2024
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Media Today: The Bad=Larry King

Time For Larry King to Quit

(This is the third in a series of rants about news media personalities. On Friday I wrote about Judy Miller and her latest assignment and the The Washington Post’s blogger problem.)

Larry King, it is time for you to quit. Or if you prefer, you can call it being Novaked, a verb I made up while celebrating that Robert Novak left CNN. Now it is time for you to also leave CNN.

Larry, you have long been an embarrassment to the news profession.

One of the worst kept secrets in politics and entertainment is that if you want to try to revive a dying career, or fight a controversy, you go on Larry King’s show.

I’d say his questions are softballs, but that would be an insult to softball players.

Jon Stewart – whose show I have started writing about regularly – does a hilarious bit in his book Naked Pictures of Famous People – sending up the idea of Adolf Hitler going on Larry King’s show. You can listen to it – or read the transcript – at NPR’s site.

As offensive as the idea might be, it does hit on two central points that are totally true: first, go on King’s show, and you can pretty much have your way with him. In terms of not being pressed hard about questions, I mean.

He will avoid asking the tough questions, and you can virtually say whatever you want, spin whatever version of reality you wish to spew. It is a handler’s dream come true.

Second, you get a chance – on his shows – to convince millions of viewers that the news media is wrong about you when they suggest you are a slimeball for (pick one) your involvement with Enron, sleeping with an intern who then disappeared, slept with his mother, etc.

I have long held this position that Larry must go. While writing this, I noticed that other Blogcritics’ writers have also made similar suggestions.

I decided it was time to put these thoughts to paper, er, to screen, when reading stories on the Internet about whether or not CNN was considering pulling the plug on King’s show.

Executives at CNN say rumors they are about to can King are false.

Count me as one who hopes they reconsider.

It’s time to get rid of this sad excuse for a television interviewer.

Say bye-bye, Larry

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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