Saturday, September 26, 2009

TV Jobs I Would Not Want

There are some high profile jobs on TV that, for one reason or another, I would not want. For example:

Anchorperson – It looks easy to sit there and read whatever comes up on the teleprompter, but to do so with a straight face would be difficult for me. For one thing, the writing is usually not very good. I have written elsewhere about the use of “troop” to mean one person; it actually means a whole bunch of troopers, soldiers, whatever. Other questionable writing is also commonplace. (See my blog for September 14.) I would probably have to sigh while shaking my head. Not good PR.
I also have a hard time keeping my expressions to myself when I don’t particularly care for a situation. For example, when I am in a restaurant, and hear someone order a steak well done, I reflexively cringe. One might as well eat shoe leather. If I were reading about, say, a political speech, I would also probably cringe. Some things are just hard for me to swallow.
Plus the anchorperson is expected to make small talk with someone he or she may not know very well, or perhaps may not even like. I have trouble just engaging in small talk with a friend – I would be tongue-tied with a mere acquaintance.

Weatherman – In addition to all the disadvantages that come with the anchorperson’s job, the weatherman must keep his composure even though he knows full well that the “information” he is spewing is worthless. And yet he has to spout it day after day with a straight face. In addition, he has to have some knowledge of geography, not only of his immediate area, but of the whole country. “There is a storm front making its way through Oklahoma.” First of all, I don’t care – it will probably veer off to Georgia or some other foreign place. This is way over the head of someone who doesn’t even know where Brownstown is, although I think it’s nearby.
Possibly I could pull off this part of the job because most of the audience doesn’t know much about geography either. I don’t think they teach it in school anymore, because by the time the students learn where Burma is, it has become Myanmar.

Team sportscaster – I could do this job under three conditions:
1.) My team is on a winning streak. It must be terribly difficult to hype a losing team, and do it every day with real (read “sham”) enthusiasm. And my team is usually losing.
2.) I would be allowed to shut up when nothing is happening on the field. The best sportscaster I ever heard is Vin Scully, and the second best was the late Don Drysdale. Both learned to be quiet when they had nothing to say, but that seems to be a difficult lesson for the contemporary sportscasters to master, particularly those in Philadelphia.
3.) I would not have to put up with network sportscasters, who blow into town the night before a nationwide broadcast and pretend they know everything about the team, the city, and everything else. All they really know they get from stat books provided by the participating teams.

Of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion of any of these positions if the paycheck is right.

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