Matt Lauer

I always wondered when an erudite commentator would write a fine article about the illiteral rise and shine of the morning shows. It’s happened in last week’s (or was it two weeks now) issue of The New Republic.
I can’t recommend this piece highly enough. In it, Lee Siegel brilliantly and so cogently deconstructs the awkward ties between the emotional and monetary oddities that play out on shows like The Today Show, where Matt Lauer’s thin hair is a point of dishonest shamefulness (unlike my own) and Katie starts to look a bit like a stuffed animal. Siegel makes the point that, as the morning shows have eclipsed all other “news” programs on television, the strained and self-conscious faces of the commentators have taken on a reality that everyone can bear, particularly in the morning. I’ve always thought that it was odd that these people are pretending to be like our jagged morning selves and because they’re tired and well-paid, they are. Just a few excerpts, which do so much more justice to the entire affair:
Diane Sawyer is the master of the endearing awkwardness, sometimes forgetting which way to walk on the soundstage. (She always remembers when to forget.) There is even a kind of daily duel between her and her office-husband, Charles Gibson, over who is a more flawed and ordinary human being.
and
Matt Lauer makes Sammy Glick look like Khalil Gibran. The new haircut, revealing the thinning hair, gives his anxious pushiness both justification and pathos. His facial expression is always one step ahead of his conversation. He is a man whose eyes have never been introduced to his tongue. If he is talking with someone who just lost a child, his expression indicates that he is thinking about his next guest, who just made a new movie.
and mostly:
Gide said that you cannot appear sincere and be sincere at the same time.

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