Recently a Boise, Idaho sportscaster, Paul Gerke, did his whole segment on the local news in character as Will Ferrell‘s Ron Burgundy. Yes, part of it was because it was Halloween and also partly because Anchorman 2 previews have begun airing. I found it amusing and then I thought about it: more news teams should do things like this more often. It’d help break down some of the walls that stand between the viewing public and the media, which has really become quite skeptical about the nature of the messages that are being conveyed.
The mainstream media just really seems to take itself way, way too seriously sometimes. Yes, I understand that they are the purveyors of news, but they act like they are afraid the ghosts of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite would haunt them if they did the news as anything less than the ULTIMATE truth. Sports did offer more opportunity for levity than say the main anchor talking about the Washington Shutdown in the style of Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland.
This is why people like shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Yes, they know the news are spun with a comedic tilt, but they also aren’t so busy genuflecting at their own altars. They may also be aware that these two shows are pushing an agenda but it’s not like they are pretending to be unbiased as opposed to other networks who do say that (‘Fair and Balanced News’, my foot) and are pretty much the opposite of that.
Breaking down that barrier would be a good thing. Like I said, just something to keep us on our toes and show us that these are not all talking heads who seem to be puppets controlled by a bigger entity – then again, why do we only see the newscasters from the waist up most of the time? Hmmm.
Maybe more newscasters could don fake mustaches every now and then in the future, not just on Halloween. People would probably tune in even more. We could even have a phrase for it: doing a Gerke. So… stay classy, everyone.