Autumn of the Patriarchs
Like much of the rest of the media nation, employees at Wonkette HQ are still genuinely grieving the loss of Peter Jennings. But the depiction of the admirably plainspoken ABC News anchor as a fallen King Lear figure is getting a bit out of hand. In a psychologically, uhm, revealing remembrance, the AP's David Bauder imagines a relationship between the nation and its network newscasters that seems just a tad too intimate:
Jennings was the unflappable dad, the debonair one whose suit closet you dreamt of invading. . . .
Brokaw always dispensed plainspoken advice. He'd finish the day with a beer, not a martini. He could dress up in a tuxedo for a fancy party, even though you knew he felt better in jeans.
Rather would make eye-rolling comments half the time he opened his mouth, even as he secretly smiled at your indignation. He was a little too tightly wound, and you'd have to watch his temper. But you could count on him.
But why stop there? The punditscape is littered with father figurines, after all: John McLaughlin is the crazy mean drunk dad, primed at a moment's notice to have at you with his belt or lock you out of the house Christmas morning; David Brooks, the wannabe with-it dad who always embarrasses you by cracking wise about hipster culture he knows nothing about; Bill O'Reilly is the bitter semi-employed dad, who yells at the teevee and blames the ACLU every time the car doesn't start.
But you know, if we were forced to choose, our favorite TV dad is Nancy Grace; she's so intoxicated by her own moral certainty that she wants to punish you even before she sees your report card. And we totally dream of invading her closet. --HOLLY MARTINS
Our Fathers, Our Anchormen [AP, via CNN]