Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Talk with McCain and Mrs. Palin

It suddenly occurs to me exactly what the McCain and Mrs. Palin pairing reminds me of. They look like a typical local news anchor pair back in the day. For some years, I taught a course called News Media. We did lots of simple eyeball research. We wrote various news stations in local markets and asked them for photos of their anchors and then we tacked them up on the wall.

And the most common pairing back then was: old white guy and perky female half his age. The subtext was sexual, of course, but also involved dominance of the female by the male -- though perhaps you will respond that the sexual subtext already implied male dominance.

Even ten years ago, a common variation on that pattern was old white guy/young Asian female, so McCain and Mrs. Palin are certainly an older variant. But that's what they remind me of, an Action News team, the old boy curmudgeonly and familiar, the gal half of things so bright, perky and filled with smiles that you wondered what she was on.

Oh, another part of our analysis of local TV news underlined just how much of it was nonsense, so obsessed with the trivial that it seemed more a diversion from rather than a description of the day's important events. So McCain and Mrs. Palin have that working for them, too.

Late Saturday night: Brother Pat Daugherty points us at a clip of Mrs. Palin's days as a sports anchor. Nicely vapid, I'd say, just a very pleasant empty pants suit.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Anonymous said...

And your explanation of why perky Katie Curic flopped and the two elderly gentlemen at ABC and CBS flourish?

....J.Michael Robertson said...

She stood alone. And she's *old*, so very very *old*, at least in TV woman/years, which (like dog years) mount up so quickly.