Friday, April 4
Punch, Punch, Punch, Punch
Hating Wolf Blitzer's Voice
Bruce Jackson, Counterpunch, April 3, 2003
I have recently come to hate Wolf Blitzer's voice. I didn't used to hate it, but now I do.
Before I came to hate Wolf Blitzer's voice the only TV performer's voice I really hated was George Bush's.
I didn't hate George Bush's voice all the time. When he read speeches crafted for him by Karen Hughes I hated what he was saying, but not so much how he was saying it. That's because Karen Hughes is one of the few speechwriters who could get him to utter words and phrases the way people normally utter them in English--stopping briefly where the text has a comma or semicolon and a little longer where it has a period. [...]
And when there is no new news for a minute or so? Then Blitzer asks the "CNN Web question of the day," which on Sunday was, "What's the biggest threat to Coalition forces in Iraq? Friendly fire? Weapons of mass destruction?" There was a third alternative I didn't write down and forgot.
In what world of sane journalism is such a question subject to a vote by members of a television audience every one of whom is ignorant of every fact at play? Why would "the most trusted name in news" waste time pooling such ignorance, processing it in its computers, making charts and graphs of the results? Why would "the most trusted name in news" give currency to the idiotic notion that people of good will can vote on facts?
Before we got any answers, there was another cut to commercials for pharmaceuticals or garden products, after which Blitzer read questions and emails from audience with exactly the same stresses, same velocity, same implication of significance he earlier reported battlefield casualties and statements by presidents of nations and leaders of armies.
There is no difference, no discrimination. CNN is a world of equal-opportunity information. Facts and pooled ignorance, off-the-wall opinion, all are equal in the carnival of 24/7 reporting. [...]
I hate Wolf Blitzer's voice not because of what he's saying, but because everything he's saying is exactly the same, everything has exactly the same value.