Monday, April 07, 2008
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.