January 1, 2006

AN APPRECIATION: Television Journalism

Why waste time documenting the atrocities of war or examining fraudulent voting systems in the world’s great democracies when there is “real” news to cover? I salute 20/20’s Elizabeth Vargas for her hard-hitting, in-depth work on my favorite TV news segment of 2005: “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I humbly suggest the following investigative assignments for other noble inheritors of the honored traditions of Murrow, Cronkite and Rather:

  • “In Search of Santa,” in which Dateline’s Stone Phillips goes undercover in the North Pole to reveal hidden truths about the jolly, generous recluse.
  • “What’s Your Sign?” in which CNN’s Anderson Cooper is strapped into a specially overhauled space shuttle and hurled toward the blazing sun to give viewers an insider’s look at the ancient secrets of the zodiac.
  • “Bunny Blues,” in which 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl uses hidden-camera ambush interviews to expose the sad and lonely side of the Easter Bunny at the annual White House Egg Roll.
  • “George Washington and the Cherry Tree: A Re-Examination of the Single Axe Theory,” in which This Week's George Will hosts a 12-round battle of wits between presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith.
  • “The 11th Commandment,” in which Fox News’ Brit Hume discloses recently documented “scientific” evidence proving that Moses personally supported privatizing Social Security.

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