Wednesday, September 12, 2007

GImme more?

A little anger can be good motivation for a workout, so I'm glad I only watch real TV -- as it's broadcast, with commercials, reality shows and all -- at the gym. If I watched it at home, I don't know what I'd do with all the angry energy I get from TV news.

I'd be a big hypocrite to criticize coverage of celebrity fumbles, since I tuned in when I saw a clip of Britney's Video Music Awards "performance" on CNN this morning. I expected familiar speculation about her lack of preparation and all-around crappy showing -- so I was pretty shocked to see the headline "Is Britney fat?"

Fat never crossed my mind. I don't mean that I thought, "Oh, she's kind of chubby. No, wait, she's normal. I'm not judging. I respect women and will not be part of our culture's system of body fascism," as I might think about someone like America Ferrera -- pretty and talented, but being rounder than most stars is a lot of her appeal, and it catches me off guard. No, in light of Brit's awful performance and her recent exploits in general, it never occurred to me to think of her size.

Udoubteldly, the spangled bikini was a bad idea. Even Vegas does not necessitate such trash from a mother of two. She should aim for a comeback that does not involve reverting to an old image.

But Britney's image nor the sexist objectification of the recorded segment were not what really appalled me. When we returned to the newsroom, the anchors bantered about this very important national issue. Then the (apparently Emmy-winning) anchor Tony Harris said, "Get that butt cheese off TV."

Excuse me? The entire newsroom seemed taken aback. Britney may have some serious issues with professional judgment, but she's not pretending to be part of "The most respected name in News." Who says things like that even in private company? I feel tacky just typing the quote.

Fortunately I switched quickly to The Today Show, where the very respectable anchors spoke intelligently with Condoleezza Rice and Barack Obama, and TV redeemed itself in my too-forgiving eyes.

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