Today Show and Good Morning America aka GMA
While NBC has been the king in terms of morning shows with the Today show, it has been widely reported that Good Morning America is nudging up in the ratings and so the two shows have been working to keep or gain that number one spot.
Most recently, NBC brought in Palin as a response to Katie Couric’s week-long stint on “Good Morning America.” It became the most hyped iteration of the long-running morning show wars for some time. “Today” is pulling out all the stops to fend off a resurgent “GMA” in the ratings. Palin’s one-day gig helped top the ABC show.
Palin was both interview subject and host during her Tuesday appearance, shifting from heated denunciations of Barack Obama to light-hearted conversation with Tori Spelling.
Former “Today” Alum Bryant Gumbel came out saying that he was not impressed by the move to use Palin to boost ratings.
Gumbel makes a great point when he notes that hosts “used to be judged not just on their popularity level but the extent to which they were capable of interviewing someone or reporting on a situation, or able to have a degree of gravitas,” he told Howard Kurtz. “Now that is secondary to being popular.”
I was watching “Today” when they had Palin as a panel member for one of their discussion segments “Today’s Profesionals” and I was reminded why I was never a fan of the popular politician: She is 90% fluff and 10% substance.
Actually saying 10% is not really accurate but I suppose I am feeling generous.
Most of what Palin says is common sense or woefully underwhelming in usefulness or uniqueness. Her opinions continue to be basic and predictable. I feel like I could answer any questions at least as good if not better than her—or could predict how she would answer it if anything.
Gumbel speaks not from a political bias but rather as a traditional journalist. It’s like the ‘Seinfeld’ when a character told Jewish jokes who had recently converted to Judaism—Seinfeld had said he was offended not as a Jew but as a comic. “He converted just for the jokes!”
I think Gumbel is offended as a journalist.
It seems like “Today” might as well have Kim Kardashian co-host the show, given that ratings would soar and people would watch to see what she would do with that position, even if she isn’t a reporter. Palin is no reporter and frankly, doesn’t have much to offer aside from tired conservative rhetoric.
Gumbel said that he was “embarrassed” by the Palin stint. It’s interesting that he would go that far in his response. He is not just displeased, he is embarrassed—that really means something.
I can only imagine other responses from the reporter world—I can picture Matt Lauer rolling his eyes when a producer explained her role in upcoming shows.
Lucky for us, Lauer is still on the show—likely the main reason most of us still watch the long-running program. Lauer gets paid major bucks for his gig, but network executives know that not only is he popular, he actually is professional and does a fantastic job as a newsperson. Having both is something that undeniably is worth millions.