There’s a stiff competition between the three not-really-news news channels, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, as to which can boast the most irritating prime-time anchor. CNN has put three runners in the qualifying heat: Anderson Cooper, the Incessant You-Knower, Chris Cuomo, the Great Interrupter, who’s yet to allow a guest to finish a sentence, and Don Lemon, the Great Pontificator, whose scolding looks, punctuated with those cringeworthy seven second silences, is sure to propel him into the finals.
For its part MSNBC is putting up Rachel Maddow, the Great Preambler. If you want to know the story … wait for it, wait for it … change the laundry … nope, not yet …
And, not to be outdone, Fox News has qualified two for the finals, the ever-outraged Tucker Carlson, and the Platonic form of smarm, Laura Ingraham.
Lemon, Maddow, Carlson and Ingraham have all been training hard, but I’m going to have to give the gold, the silver, the bronze and the also-ran to Lemon, Ingraham, Carlson and Maddow respectively. Why does Lemon take the gold? Because much as I can’t abide Maddow’s cloying sincerity, nor Ingraham’s and Carlson’s neanderthal stupidity, I can least abide being preached at by someone who can’t think beyond a sound bite.
So why do I watch these people? I think it’s the same reason we all gawk at the still-smoldering car accident. It’s our morbid fascination with what, thank God, we’re not. Of course not being Don Lemon is no great accomplishment; but neither is not being decapitated by the other guy’s windshield. Still, we take our victories, however small, where we find them.