File Under: Editorial

Bob Costas refused to be the substitute anchor for Thursday’s Larry King Live on CNN because it was primarily about the teenager who went missing in Aruba. Chris Pixley filled in at the last minute. In a statement released by Costas, he said:

“I didn’t think the subject matter of Thursday’s show was the kind of broadcast I should be doing. I suggested some alternatives but the producers preferred the topics they had chosen. I was fine with that, and respectfully decline to participate.”

Many on the web are applauding Costas for “taking a stand” against sensationlism. And while that is nice to see, I can hardly applaude him, because he refused to do his job. Shoot, he’s only oblidged by contract to do 2 weeks a YEAR on Larry King Live. And though he is still a very busy man outside of CNN, was refusing to do a show on the mystery in Aruba worth refusing to do your job over?

The producers said that they were fine with Costas not hosting, that it was a mutual decision. Listen, when they pay you to anchor, you’re job is to anchor. There may be days when you don’t like what you’ll have to talk about. But can most of America just walk off the job because they’ll have to do something for an HOUR about something they don’t necessarily like? NO. Because they have to do their job that they’re being paid to do.

The press is building Costas up as a hero, for “refusing sensationalism”. With the guest host talking about Aruba, Larry King Live saw the highest numbers for the week – more than Costas got.

While it’d be great if Aruba coverage was toned down, ’cause it is overwhelming and unnecessary, what would refusing to anchor accomplish? One look at the ratings chart whenver “Aruba” is mentioned, and the viewership spikes. As many as are vocal about “it’s annoying”, there are many more actually watching and paying attention, in a huge way. It’s kinda weird, but in television, it’s all about ratings, so the networks pander to what can get ’em ratings. Bob Costas isn’t really going to change anything.

Is he above reporting EVERYTHING? Imagine a evening newscast with him… “I don’t like anything about the Pentagon. I won’t report on that. AT ALL, no matter what.”

Also, what does this say to the family of the missing teenager? That she’s not worth caring about at all? You have Bob Costas, a cultural institution, refusing to talk about Natallie, because he didn’t think it was “the kind of broadcast I should be doing.”

Finally, kudo’s to CNN President Jon Klein for letting his anchor’s walk out right under him. Ever since Klein became president of CNN US, ratings have fallen. All of the “changes for the better” have been changes for the worse. It’s good to just allow uppity anchors to march right out, rather than have them do their jobs.

Costas, I used to like you, and I kinda wondered why you didn’t do more stuff. I now know why – because “more stuff” is beneath you.

(side note: does Bob Costas have Dick Clark-itis? I’m not sure that he ages…)


4 Responses to “Ah…”

  1. Mark Says:

    If you can get out of doing something you object to, more power to ya. He’s refusing to feed the beast, and let’s face it, this has very rarely been about the missing girl – it’s been all about the ratings. I doubt Costas thinks he’s going to stop sensationalism just by not covering the same stories, but he’s refusing to take part in it himself, something I’ve got to admit I admire.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    AMEN! No doubt fnc covers natalie like it does is to get ratings. It’s time someone stands up and says NO to the sensationalism of ‘news’ when there are other stories to be covered. I can only wonder if Costas will be back.

  3. notliberal Says:

    I’ve always thought Costas was the most over rated broadcaster in television. He’s certainly the most over rated baseball broadcaster. If given the oppertunity to host Larry King on this subject, I would simply mock the entire story.

    On a side note, why is Mark Caddrell, a former Democratic insider and fundraiser, covering the President for CBS News? I saw him on their Saturday morning program while I was working out yesterday. His story was totally slanted against the President and no one on CBS mentioned his clear Dem ties.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Hmmm…look at the former political heads FNC has hired as reporters/hosts/contributers. HECK even fnc president ailes is a former repub campaign manager. No wonder it’s pro BUSH.

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