January 06, 2005

Media Query

Aaron Brown: insufferably smug, frustratingly arrogant and suspiciously faux--or a beacon of light, intellect and civilization in what is otherwise a primetime cable news desert? I've been struggling with this one for a while--so any feedback more than welcome.

Posted by Gregory at January 6, 2005 03:47 AM
Comments

It's the former. Was there really a question? I've never seen any evidence that the guy was terribly bright, let alone intellectual. The illusion that he is civilized or intelligent comes from the following logic: The only reason CNN would put such an annoying, nebbishy loser like that on during prime time would be if he was very smart.

His attempts at extemporaneous commentary are unbearable to watch.

Posted by: David at January 6, 2005 04:46 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You should not be struggling with this at all. He is unwatchable.

Compare with Brit Hume. Hume blows him away. Brown comes across like he is an anchor in Youngstown, Ohio (which is a similarly sized audience to CNN's).

Posted by: Paul at January 6, 2005 05:32 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I started watching Mr. Brown right after 9/11. Since then the world has changed quite a bit and my own political leanings have, yet I've stuck with NewsNight pretty often. I'm a journalist myself. I like Brown and Hume, both seem centrist and insightful. Much more real and intellectually curious than too many anchors and hosts.

The great thing about cable competition: you can choose Brown or Hume!

Posted by: Justin at January 6, 2005 06:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

He's a newsreader. No intelligence required. Just glibness.

Conflict of interest time for CNN: Christiane Amanpour is married to some (IIRC) Democratic Party bigwig. Reporter Raim Brahimi is the daughter of Lakdar Brahimi, Kofi Annan's Iraq Envoy.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell is married to Alan Greenspan (weird).

It's a very incestous, closed world. Which is why they all sound, talk, and think alike.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at January 6, 2005 09:39 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mr. Brown has developed Cronkititis. He's turned against the Iraq endeavor (if he ever was for it) and is doing all he can to undermine it with his snide comments about it and his litany of anti-war "analysts."

He is also painfully boring, even for a Minnesotan. (And I'm a Minnesotan, so I should know. )

Posted by: JZ at January 6, 2005 03:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Jim,

One more for the pot:

Howard Kurtz is also married to a Republican strategist

Posted by: Eric Martin at January 6, 2005 03:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why bother spending time on the question?

Posted by: David Sucher at January 6, 2005 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why bother spending time on questioning the question? Coudn't resist ...

Brown is a smug, superior newsjerk, and when he tries to establish context it's condescending and offensively biased, although he clearly believes otherwise. Hume is smarter, more experienced and more intellectually honest. No contest.

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at January 6, 2005 04:51 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A beacon of light, intellect and civilization in what is otherwise a primetime cable news desert. He has a smile that looks like a smirk (and knows it), which gets misinterpreted as smugness and arrogance. He asks good questions, though again his slow lead-in to them makes him seem self-important. His segments are too short (about four minutes, I think), but he gets good and thoughtful guests. He understands the difference between objectivity and neutrality, to say nothing of faux neutrality. I have no brief for his participation in CNN's disaster coverage, but I blame the coverage on CNN and not him.

He's the only reason I still get CNN, and I radically disagree with JZ's claim that he is painfully boring, even for a Minnesotan.

Posted by: Jeff L. at January 6, 2005 05:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I must say I haven't seen much of Brown in the last few weeks (since I got TiVo and gave up channel surfing). My liberal media bias antannae soured me against him in the early going. But a couple of people whose opinions I tend to take seriously (one of them being that of my mom, who couldn't be any less aware of the issue of media bias) got me to take another look.

Is he a lefty? Yeah, in the MSM-American Establishment kind way, but that's par for the course. By the standards of that narrow universe, I actually now find Brown a somewhat appealing personage. He's seems to me to give off a certain humility and refreshing lack of pompousness. He's certainly not slick or macho. I actually prefer him to the recently retired showboat at NBC, or the soon to be retired whack-job at CBS, or the truly weird xenophobe-who-passes-for-a-serious newsguy colleague of Brown's at CNN (you know him; he's big fat white guy whose initials are L.D.).

Anyway, Brown's not terrible, and his low energy style is strangely, soothingly appropriate for his time slot.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida at January 6, 2005 05:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What's the alternative? Two people shouting at each other -- again?!?

Let's at least not bitch about one of the few shows that at least *tries* to provide light, not heat.

PS: I'm not elderly and I do like loud noises in my music, not my news.

Posted by: Chris Rasmussen at January 6, 2005 06:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

James Carville is married to a GOP strategist, while Mary Matelin is married to a Demo strategist!

Posted by: David at January 6, 2005 07:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

And what is the deal with "the morning papers"? Isn't that why we're watching TV, so we don't have to read the papers? Do I really care if the weather in Chicago is 'illuminating'?

Posted by: cynical joe at January 6, 2005 08:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I can't get past the suspicion that he's wearing a toupee...

Posted by: Steve in Nashville at January 6, 2005 08:50 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You don't get any "news" from Nightline. You get an hour of his "feelings" about the news.

Posted by: Spaceman at January 6, 2005 11:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Am I the only one in the nation who can't stand the news scripting on his show. The "it may be this" but perhaps "it may not be what it seems" on every subject the entire durn show. Argghh, give me some earplugs please!!!

Posted by: alabama hillbilly at January 6, 2005 11:12 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I LOVE James Carville, he's my favorite actually. He doesn't try to hide who he is, and his insights are usually spot on.

Guy just rocks, he's partisan, a real insider, and often gives you a straight up perspective you don't get from guys like Stephanopoulus who shade or carefully form their responses.

What makes Carville so great is ... he is who he is ... with very little censoring. He's "real" in the way the newsreaders aren't.

I do love the guy, seriously.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at January 6, 2005 11:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Politcs aside, Aaron Brown is truely self absorbed; he manages to inject himself into every story he reports. IMO, he is more of an actor, than reporter.

Posted by: sofia at January 7, 2005 03:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Re: Brown, I don't always agree with his comments, the ones
about Martha Stewart tork me, but his show is
somewhat different than the others.. Personally, I just don't do FOX, and cannot tolerate Chris Matthews.
Actually Jon Stewart from The Daily Show usually
says it best.

Posted by: DeeAnna at January 10, 2005 07:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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