Monday, April 07, 2008

Killer Queen

I've been pretty good about traveling the high road -- or at the very least, the slightly elevated overpass -- since being fired by CNN a couple of months ago. Despite being fiercely critical of quite a few of the decisions made by both the network as a whole and my former show, American Morning, specifically, I've really gone out of my way not to take too many shots at the institutions or the managers running them.

Until right now, anyway.

Usually, to prove to myself that I'm infinitely happier now than I was pulling duty on AM, all I have to do is turn on the fucking television. American Morning is a painfully bad show, and being "out of a job" has always been preferable to being forced to put together that daily nonsense. I've already listed at length many of the choices behind the scenes that have turned AM into such a laughable embarrassment (Say What You Will/2.18.08), but this morning, I feel vindicated in ways I've not known.

That's because, this morning, American Morning's Kiran Chetry did a one-on-one interview -- live -- with Perez Fucking Hilton.

Let me go ahead and repeat that for you: Perez Hilton was on CNN.

I likely don't need to point out what an indignity this is for so-called quality journalism and CNN in particular -- what kind of an unfortunate Rubicon this crosses -- but just in case, here's my own take on Perez Hilton from the beginning of last year:

"It would be easy to run down the Britsay Federlohans of the world, or detail the ways in which the heir/heiress crowd was a blight on humanity last year -- but that's to be expected. In this case I'm going to defer to the sage advice of the ancient philosopher Obi-wan Kenobi, who said, "Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?" If you've ever caught yourself thinking that if everyone would just fucking ignore them, these attention-whores would go away once and for all, then by all means aim your ire where it belongs. Born Mario Armando Lavendeira Jr., this sycophantic uber-douchebag spun around like Wonder-Woman and was reborn as Perez Hilton, self-proclaimed "Queen" of the gossip bloggers -- and 2006 marked the year of his ascendency. What separates Mario's site from other tongue-in-cheek celeb-bashers -- some of which I count myself a fan of -- is his complete lack of any discernable talent (a child could draw little semen stains and write "slut" on paparazzi pictures), as well as his propensity for playing favorites; in particular, his hands-off approach to his celebrity namesake, dyna-whore Paris Hilton. Mario also has a habit of trying to out male stars he believes to be gay, and often likes to party with the very celebrities he's crucifying on his website, which essentially makes his critical opinion worthless. He's basically an oversized and overpaid sixteen-year-old starfucking groupie, and the kind of offensive flaming-gay stereotype that would make even Paul Lynde roll over in his grave."

The story Hilton was brought on to discuss this morning involved the recent deaths of a few bloggers and the ways in which the blogging "lifestyle" can occasionally be dangerous. Being someone who understands the difficulty of keeping a relatively successful website afloat while trying to have some semblance of a life, I won't deny that it's a story worth pursuing. But for God's sake -- I can think of about two dozen other bloggers, just off the top of my head, who could give you the kind of interview you want and not torch the very last vestiges of CNN's credibility in the process. That said, I already know full well the decision-making process that went into procuring the Hilton interview -- the giddy, celeb-fellating, professionally stunted 14-year-old-girl mentality that was allowed to rise to the top of the morning news meeting and drown out any of the saner, more mature heads. I know that had I been there, I would've excused myself, gone to the bathroom, splashed cold water on my face and stared at myself in the mirror wondering where the hell my soul went.

Which is why I know that I'm so much better off now than I was two months ago.

Because American Morning is just one big, fucking joke.


Stephen said...

Look no further than his regular contributor gig on "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (morning talk with a late-night attitude) to see just HOW low CNN has gone. I'm with you, this is absolutely jaw-dropping.
I may go back to watching MSNBC and their 'mood set.'

BV said...

You want to see something sad and embarrassing go to the Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2008 poll. Mr. Hilton is #5.,28804,1725112_1726934_1726935,00.html

It's just a poll and not the final results, but it is still disgusting.

On another note...writers piss people off. I don't think you have truly arrived at being a good writer unless you have, in fact, pissed someone off. Writing a blog and/or publishing a book about personal experiences in your life is probably the best way to accomplish that goal, and you will weed out the people who truly care about you over the ones who only care about themselves.

I applaud you for standing up for what you write at a time in your life where it was probably not always easy to do so. I don't always agree with you, but I think very highly of people that stand up for what they believe in even if they stand alone.

After you write and/or blog for a long time you begin to self censure yourself. You think twice about pushing that "Publish" button. You start to think about what other lives will be affected and the number of phone calls you will receive and who you will upset. I know this better than anyone and my writing has become boring and trivial because of it.

Keep up the good work and don't back down.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the righteous indignation, I need to hear someone spout what I'm thinking to keep my own sanity. :-)

Jacki Schechner said...

Great minds... I posted the same thing about 30 seconds ago before I got to scanning your writes for the day. Except I took a slightly different approach. See, there was nothing NEW about this little segment. CNN just read the Sunday NYT and decided to plagiarize someone else's enterprise piece.

Journalism? Really?

Anonymous said...

And we can all thank the 14 year old school girl running the place - Jon Klein. She's a student in the slow class.

Anonymous said...

Great post my friend. Join us!

Fifth Generation Leftist said... Perez's real initials are MAL. Fitting, I'd say. What a stupid move by CNN.

Dusty said...

Perez Hilton is a tool that seems to appeal to the powers that be in televisionland.

Why I have no idea..but then..I ain't in a position to make any of those decisions..

Perhaps they love that fact that he is an idiot of the highest degree and it feeds their basic pov about bloggers and such.

They do us no justice however when using that nimrod as an example. None.