Friday, March 05, 2010

Who's More Meltingpot on the Morning Shows?

So I grew up watching the Today Show. First it was Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley, then Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric. Now it's Matt and Meredith, Anne and Al...and sometimes Natalie Morales.

Clearly, the morning news shows have gone through some major changes over the years, most obviously in that they barely cover the news anymore and are more lifestyle and entertainment vehicles. But I'm not going to go there right now. What I want to talk about is the ethnic make-up of the morning show on-air cast.

It seems par for the course that the producers want to have diversity delivering the morning headlines. So on the Today Show, we have Matt and Meredith representing White America. Anne Curry is there for our Asian quota, Al Roker is representing for the brothas and sistas and Natalie Morales, is obviously our Latina rep.

So, one of those times while flipping away from Anne and Al, I happened upon Good Morning America. On that show, I was met with another obviously rainbow-coalition-inspired cast with Robin Roberts (the Black woman), George Stephanopoulos (White guy), Sam Champion (Ken doll White, but gay) and Juju Chang (Holding it down for the Asian fans). I really like Robin Roberts and Juju Chang. Not because they're women of color, but because they are really smart, can hold their own in a serious news story but can also be funny and silly when appropriate. Meanwhile, George S. is getting the hang of being a morning news anchor and learning to chillax a bit.

We all want to see people who look like us, people we can identify with on the small screen in the mornings. What about you? Do you watch the Today Show or GMA? Why?



Teresa said...

I'm a long time fan of the Today Show but Ann Curry has been changing all that for me. I cannot stand to listen to her interview someone. In addition to the fact that she talks over everyone, she also thinks every interview is supposed to be some emotionally gut-wrenching experience, even when obviously faked. I don't care what race, color, gender or creed---I just want a good interview! I'll be checking out GMA now.

Sista4life said...

Hmm to each their own. I enjoy both Al for his quirkiness and Ann for just her genuine character. It's been a mainstay in my morning routine since forever!

Carleen Brice said...

I can't tolerate morning tv. Everybody talks too fast trying to cram an interview into just a couple of minutes and it's just too much stuff going on first thing in the a.m. Give me the internet & the morning paper (I'm THAT old school) or if I'm in my car, NPR.

Thinking Aloud said...

I concur! Morning news is not better either. The only black commentators that I liked(because they didn't have to say stupid thing to make the public accept them)was Bryant Gumble, and Sean Gables. By the way, where is she now? Can't stand Lori Stokes-the fake laugh drives me up the wall.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

GMA! I stopped watching The Today show years ago because they kept leading with some dumb entertainment story while GMA opened with an important hard news story.

Robin and Diane were a real team. Katie and Matt seemed fake to me.

Robin is great at interviews, smart and funny.

I know the Today Show does better in the ratings. To me it's like Leno vs. Letterman. Leno may get the higher rating but Letterman's show is much better.

LT said...

I agree with your Ann assessment 100%. Let us know how you like GMA.

I'm glad you like the Today Show. I'm not trying to take away anyone's fun. Thanks for sharing. And prolly, there are a whole lot of other big Today Show fans who disagree with me completely.

I hear you. And honestly, I get my real news from NPR as well. Especially now that I live in my car.

Thinking A,
Preach on. Interestingly, the more I know about Bryant Gumbel as a man, the less I like him, but as a newscaster I thought he was great! Still do.


Well said. All around. BTW, are you watching the morning shows in Rome?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I always thought I was such a hater for thinking Al Roker is buffoonish - he just bothers me (and I suspect his colleagues, particularly Natalie Morales, think he's a clown - just urgh). And Ann Curry is painful to watch, her interviews are unwatchable, unlistenable, and she might be borderline retarded, I'm not sure - just listen to her soundbites sometime...she sounds completely mental, honestly. Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera are a horrible pair. Basically Today show might be the most cringeworthy tv that we subject ourselves to everyday. Which is one of the reasons I'm weaning myself off of's a very, very slow process, alas.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

The only American morning show I get is "Fox and Friends". I can't watch it all the time. It's Fox News and life is too short.

I usually watch CNN International, BBC and SKY 24 (the Italian News channel)

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching the Today Show after their coverage of Katrina. I always thought Matt was a little racist and after Katrina, I simply couldn't tune in anymore. Matt has a habit of interviewing trashy white chicks like they are sweet girls-next-door (Amy Fisher, meth-addicted blondes from Middle America) and grills John Edgar Wideman about his brother in prison. I agree with you about Al, which makes the show even more painful to watch.