Down in Front!

Usually I like a stand up guy. Who doesn't?

But I don't need one delivering my TV news, thank you very much.

I blame Wolf Blitzer.

Blitzer, on CNN, seems to have started this trend that's beginning to creep into other news programs---that is, the reporting of news stories standing up, the camera showing him head to toe.

I don't like it.

There's a reason why we call the TV news people talking heads, after all.

The only people I care to see standing up and walking around on the set are the weather folks, because they have big maps to show us and satellite images and they're more like class instructors to me---and those types are forever standing.

But the news anchors need to take a seat.

There's just something nerve wracking, to me, about having my top stories and breaking news delivered by someone standing. It's not natural.

Think about the conversations you have with people while one of you is standing. Such a confab is either very casual, or in an elevator, or in a retail outlet. Rarely do you have important, serious discussions while standing.

Isn't that the first rule of receiving sobering information?

"Are you sitting down? I think you'd better sit down for this."

So why should the deliverer of said sobering news be allowed to stand, as if he's giving a lecture on campus?

Why is this man standing in my living room?

They say that people identify with TV news people because it's like they're "coming into your living room."

But wouldn't you be nervous as hell to have someone standing in your living room, talking?

Wouldn't you have the urge to interrupt with, "Umm, why don't you have a seat?"

Yet there's Blitzer and some of his brethren, standing in front of huge screens, the cameras unable to stay put, either---they're forever panning and swooping and trucking.

Just sit down, look me in the eyes, and tell me what's going on.

Watching Blitzer in his self-described "Situation Room" (pssst---it's just a studio!) as he gives me the news in that bordering-on-yelling delivery style with the huge images behind him makes me anxious.

The only people who should be standing and giving me information are, once again, teachers, lecturers, and meteorologists.

Everyone else needs to return his or her tush to the chair.

It's the news, not open mike night.


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