Three terrible news anchors
Doing the news can't be easy. It's a lot more than just reading the teleprompter, especially when you do it live. The really good anchors make it look easy and the merely competent ones make it look hard (but you feel for them). It's the really bad ones that make you cringe and throw something at the TV (or change the channel). Not only are they incompetent when it comes to skills, they have an off-putting air about them. At best they are anchors who should be reporters and not sit in an anchor chair.
I've picked the three very worst ones I can find on TV right now. And just so we're clear, I'm talking about news people who read the news or anchor. So you won't see show hosts like Nancy Grace or Bill O'Reilly here. And I'm concentrating on national anchors, not local ones. There's not enough space on the web to do one on local anchors. Though I'd love to do one on Boston anchors some day.
1. Rick Sanchez (CNN): Do I really have to explain why he's #1? OK...
Formerly of MSNBC, Sanchez's claim to fame is the time he got tasered by the police to see what it was like (the video was mocked endlessly on The Daily Show). But beyond mocking Sanchez for the ridiculous stories he does and the way that he does them (a mixture of arrogance and cluelessness), the guy is an irritation when it comes to his voice too. It's one of those faux, booming, "I'm an announcer! Three people have just died in a horrific accident in Los Angeles, and you just heard "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club. Coming up next..." type of voices. But he's casual too! You can tell by the way he sits on the edge of a console or leans back in his chair. The casual guy with the evil demeanor. You want really bad things to happen to Sanchez, like a tax audit or explosive diarrhea. He's the guy who makes you realize, yes, Ted Baxters really do exist. When Sanchez is on, I change the channel immediately, even if the only other thing on is a Supernanny rerun.
2. Ann Curry (NBC): Curry never met a sentence she couldn't stumble over. She seems to favor reading the news really rapidly, as if that gives her segments more gravitas, that there are so many stories to cover, but don't worry fans, I'm here to cover them all! She seems to jump three words ahead from what the teleprompter says. Then there's the "banter" she tries with Matt and Meredith and Al. Banter as in "I'm going to say something really inappropriate right now." She often has a pained expression on her face, as if she doesn't know what question to ask next but if she looks really serious (which often involves putting her hand on her chin) she'll appear to be a "journalist."
3. Tony Harris (CNN): Also known as "the guy who looks off into space," because whenever he is doing the news, he seems to look off to the side, pausing, as if looking into a monitor. Though I think that's just his "style." He looks off to the side to show he's "thinking." The pacing of his words, his tone, his inflection...it's a really odd mixture of boredom and intense, over the top questions.
I'm sure there are more. Who do you think is a terrible news anchor? Who makes you shake your head and/or change the channel?
(Coming later this week, a list of great anchors.)