Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Heidi Collins...

i watch CNN every morning as i get ready for work. i have enjoyed, for a long time now, the relatively un-biased, fair, and smart news reporting that goes on. they present the news with little or no unnecessary personal commentary or annoying banter and hollywood gossip that so many local morning "news" shows seem inundated with (especially here in LA)...however, of late, i have noticed a steep descent into the abyss of the local news reporter quality. meaning, the anchors on CNN seem to be getting stupider.

Heidi Collins is one of the many talented anchors on CNN's morning news show. she's pretty, generally intelligent, and usually does a good job. this is a woman who has interviewed political giants such as Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell. She has journalistic excellence awards and been nominated for Emmys. She was a huge part of the CNN news team during the capture of Saddam Hussein, and has worked extensively for Anderson Cooper (silver fooooooooooox). Apparently, she is also an expert in militay and aviation issues. all that said, i cannot overlook the decline in her general attitude over the past couple of months...

specifically, i can't stand her attitude towards stories that, i suppose, she doesn't consider to be "real" news. the under-handed jabs, the comments, the "banter" with fellow anchors and reporters that is supposed to be "witty" but instead reads as mean and petty.

for example: today, she and her fellow anchor, Tony Harris (lovely fellow, a bit chatty, but lovely) were covering the box office numbers for "mamma mia" and "the dark knight", which both opened to impressive showings this weekend. perhaps not the most significant news story of the day, what with wars, presedential elections, the olympics, a plunging economy, gas and oil prices, a global climate change crisis, amongst other notable topics, being on the agenda, but nevertheless, a full 15 minutes was devoted to the box office.

not only does ms. collins spend a fair chunk of that 15 minutes mocking mr. harris for seeing "mamma mia", she (and, to be fair, the reporter covering the story whose name escapes me also participated in this adventure) mocked the whole of the audience who saw "mamma mia". with comments and facial expressions. the general tone of her commentary was that seeing "mamma mia" is totally beneath her.

the classy train didn't stop rolling there, though. because next, the reporter shared with ms. collins and mr. harris that MANY of the attendees of screenings of "the dark knight" honored the occassion by dressing up in homage to heath ledger's joker. the reporter had pictures of these audience members. and ms. collins made fun of each and every one of them. they scared her. they freaked her out. they have too much time on their hands. they are ridiculous.

it was like watching the head cheerleader pick on the kids from the drama club. it was not fun to watch. it was rude, SNOTTY, and downright mean.

listen, i don't watch CNN for your personal commentary or opinions on movies, lady. or for your opinion on any PERSON who goes to see those movies.

it was irritating to me because i can GUARANTEE that most of HER audience went to see those movies this weekend. her attitude and behavior in presentation of stories affects how those stories are percieved and received by her audience, and she needs to keep that in mind and adjust her attitude.

i mean, it's CNN, for god's your news. she's not even giving an opinion on the movie (which she hadn't seen), she's just making fun of her own audience.

if i want biased and judgemental reporting, i would watch Fox News, and if i want insignificant and frivolous prattle, i would watch the Today show...or Regis and Kelly... i want none of that, which is why i watch CNN.

report on the box office numbers, if you must, and then move on to Iraq, the presidential election, the economy (yes, i understand that the economy, especially our local economy, is greatly impacted by / interested in the box office), the olympics, anything.

but shut up about what you think about joe-schmoe who was so freaking excited about "the dark knight" that he wanted to pay homage by dressing up.

Adjust your attitude, Heidi. It's not attractive and does not do your obvious intelligence justice.

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