Monday, April 22, 2013

A Matt-er of Fact

Friday morning, woke up to a ton of news out of Boston.  It was disorienting to see Savannah Guthrie on air before 7am.  Literally, I had to check the clock, the alarm, and the TV to figure out what was happening.  From that moment on, I was hooked.  Scarily, I didn't miss a moment of the stand-off in Watertown.  I was glued to Savannah Guthrie's measured reporting.  She showed up to work an anchor and a sidekick to Matt Lauer and after seven hours on the air non-stop, she left a star.  She was astonishingly good.  Savannah never jumped to conclusions, she differentiated fact from rumors and fiction. As the news rapidly came through producers, her blackberry, Pete Williams, Kerry Sanders, and the rest of the on-the-job reporters, Savannah Guthrie carefully sussed out the truth and the facts.  It was a remarkable reporting job and was reminiscent of the news people we have longed for: Walter Cronkite.  Congratulations to Savannah Guthrie!  

On the other side of this story is Matt Lauer.  Matt was sent down to Texas to cover the horrific fertilizer company explosion.  I am sure when he flew down to Texas on Thursday,  he thought he had the big story.  He's Matt Lauer, for goodness sakes. Boy, did he get hoodwinked.  The Texas story was totally overshadowed by the stand-off in Boston. As a matter of fact, on our cable system, when they finally went live to Matt, there was no audio for the first 20 seconds.  That's a long time when you only are getting maybe two minutes of live airtime.  If there weren't bigger things to worry about, it may have been the most embarrassing professional moment for Matt.  

Matt Lauer has been having a really tough time in the media.  The NBC executives through him under the bus with the Ann Curry situation.  They didn't protect his ass at all and his entire career has been besmirched by bad press.  The ratings are down and now that Savannah Guthrie rose to the top like luscious creme, where does that leave Matt? NBC and The Today Show put themselves in a pickle and I have no idea how they are going to get out of the barrel.  It's a problem with no easy answer.  

The other outstanding reporter from Friday was Pete Williams.  He has always been a very steady and assured reporter whatever he is doing but Friday...CNN wished they had someone like him.  As CNN and AP were putting out unconfirmed and incorrect information out about the bombers, Pete Williams would not speculate, suppose, predict, etc.  He only reported facts.  Not the "facts" that he wanted, but actual facts.  He did a superlative job. Though I hope that we won't have to experience anything like Friday's standoff again, if we do, I will definitely turn to Pete Williams.  We got to witness real journalism, which has been sorely missed.  

Watching the events unfold on Friday was reminiscent of watching the SLA shootout in the 70's and the Bronco chase of the 90's.  It was incredible viewing. Kerry Sanders on the scene reporting was as if we were there.  When he hit the pavement and continued to be on the air, was classic. NBC definitely won this reporting war. So hear, hear to Savannah Guthrie and Pete Williams.  

Sidebars:  I can't tell you how uncomfortable Miami Heat's Chris Anderson makes me.  I know we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, but his over tattooed body and mohawk hairdo is unnerving.  I would definitely cross the street if I saw him coming towards me. I really can't wait to see what all these over tatted people look like as they age.  I really don't understand tattoos.  Something permanent? Not for me.  Is Ryan Lochte getting the last laugh or is he as dumb as he seems?  Sorry for Eva Longoria that her much touted show, Ready For Love, was pulled after two episodes.  Fairly amusing that NBC thought it was that bad.  They are so desperate for ratings.  Can you imagine?? It was that bad. NBA playoffs began. The longest playoff schedule ever.  The next NBA team will be crowned in June.  LOL!!  Chilly in the east.  It was last year, too.  We always forget.

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