Ok, here goes, when I was a kid (classical opening but it works) viewing White House press conferences was like eating a peanut butter sandwich without the peanut butter. Infotainment when it hit the waves, back in the 90s, relied on chiseled and ageless beauties as anchors, and the whole sweep and glamor of newsrooms where even desk shapes made a statement ; that extraterrestrial abode of information seemed to float above cityscapes piqué-ed with buildings, a picture in itself of boundless power. The new science of delivering the news squeezed out and transmogrified (go look it up) ideas of beauty and seriousness. Out with you Severeid, Be gone Mudd, As for Cronkite, he has gained the same status of great Grandpa’s sepia oval portrait with favorite rifle and favorite bird dog ignominiously hanging on a wall in a room of minor importance. Well, to be honest, when your last name is Mudd or Severeid or Cronkite, you pretty much cannot escape your fate of being plain, serious and listened to. Now, the first appointment that young journalists make the day after grad school is with plastic surgeons. So be it. And, frankly it took me a few years to cotton to the fact that seriousness and analysis can come forth from mouths rouged expertly.
The political arena took some time to come around although the stirrings of the president as a Star were seen in JFK. Gotta hand it to him. When you have charm, it is to be used. Message came back with a vengeance in the 70s and 80s but charm raised its charming head under Clinton (I was thinking metaphorically) and attained its paroxysm with Obama, arguably the coolest guy in the USA. Well, if that’s what the voters want, give it to them. Except in 16. For two reasons : 1) One cannot call Mrs. Clinton charming without being accused of degrading women. 2) One cannot call Mrs. Clinton charming. As for substance. The Donald has it all, whether you like the beef or not and the stew is plenty thick. What he is doing is brilliant. The bull in the universal china shop. The man I believe basks in detestation, bring it on is his watchword, and it got him elected. As for the voters, for the first time, we are not faced with a happy smiley one size fits all tastes and mentalities type. Perhaps for the first time, what you see is really what you get and what you see and get is the opposite of the time tested basket of roses for all. Fine. Now we have the epitome of substance coming at us with a vengeance and we find it either entertaining or hateful. For how long ? And that, my friend, is a question asked of all of us.