Monday, December 29, 2008

Shoes for Me-Shell

The one benefit of NPR's seamless (seamy) integration into the corporate media (e.g. Liasson and Williams on Fox, Roberts on ABC, and Norris on Chris Matthews) is that we get a further glimpse into the sensibilities and "character" of these characters.

Here is Michele Norris playing comedian on The Chris Matthews Show yesterday (on the clip slide forward until the counter is down to about 3 minutes, 50 seconds). After showing the video clip of the shoes being thrown at Bush, Matthews says laughingly, "Michele, this is the real world out here; this isn't even a side show; this is a carnival of 2008. What was the Chutzpah prize?"

To which all Me, all Shell answers:
"I gotta go with the flying shoes. I mean, someone who would throw a pair of Oxfords - Oxfords, it doesn't even look like he bothered to untie those shoes - at a sitting President, with the President of his own country standing next to him was [cackling and comments] that takes part of his anatomy [more laughter]..."
Yeah man, that is some funny, funny stuff. I mean a guy who "covered the U.S. bombing of Baghdad's Sadr City area earlier this year and had been 'emotionally influenced' by the destruction he'd seen" is just rich for ridicule. What Chutzpah, what a nut case! You'd think like maybe a million of his countrymen had been killed in the war or 4 million displaced - har,har...

And Oxfords! hee, hee, and not even untied! No wonder no one at NPR heard Muntazer al-Zaidi cry out "Killer of Iraqis, killer of children!" (McClatchy again) as he was being tackled and beaten after throwing the shoes at Bush.

And really, who cares if this heroic journalist (and not just a hero to Arabs, thank you very much) has been tortured - it's just so darn hilarious...


Porter Melmoth said...

Why, I never knew that MeeShill of the smoky bedroom voice even HAD a sense of humor. I guess Tweety brings out the best in his guests.

Western journalists have never had much intention of understanding Arab culture in their dealings with the Iraq mess. Only the briefest references have been made to the direness of a shoe-beating. Indeed, al-Zaidi's courageous act stands as a potent symbol, a commentary in language worthy of its target. Bush's facial expression, and his coke-addict's slippery dodging of the projectiles, executed as if he had just avoided a towel-snapping in a locker room, encouraged the western media to exploit the seriousness of the commentary and to trivialize it. As in: primitive Arab throw shoes at mighty leader; bad, bad primitive Arab! (Condescending chucking follows).

And MeeShill? Man, she is just so cool, so totally cool and sophisticated and grown-up. And her NPR prestige precedes her wherever she goes.

dig!mink!tuzzy!hunny! said...

As Chrissy the Flightsuit Fetishist (among other admirable laudations) and his Sunday coffee-table kletcsch-a-palooza conflicts with McLaughlin airtime, I routinely had to skip - but not without first peeping in on which puppets are in the chairs THIS week. MeeeeeFirst Norris?! Ewwww! David "why is this twerp still on TV, in print, etc." Brooks??! Even BIGGER EWWWWW!!!

b!p!f!b! said...

PS: And no wonder Shilly was oh-so-amazed (albeit feigningly) by this action. When all that would be required would be a couple well-placed, unvarnished, unrelenting questions in a display of some semblance to journalistic integrity; something even her neutered male colleagues (Reeves, Zwerdling, etc. certainly excluded) are lacking.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Doesn't Nationalist Propaganda Repeated pay these folks enough to keep them from moon-lighting?

They use their 'cred' (such as it is) from Public Radio to make money in the private 'market.'

Hard to make a case that they're basically honest information brokers, innit?

Anonymous said...

Meeeeshell is an idiot.

...but she does get paid over $200K a year to pedal her idiocy on National Propaganda radio.

So she ain't no fool.

But those who donate to NPR are.

I still think Anne Garrels would be perfect to interview the shoe thrower given her expertise interviewing torture victims.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't Nationalist Propaganda Repeated pay these folks enough to keep them from moon-lighting?"

I suspect that they moonlight to get "face time", which they can't get on radio, of course.

I know it sounds sexist, but the NPR women seem to crave the face time most (Norris, Liasson, Roberts, etc)

Anonymous said...

Apparently, others have also found Meeshell's pronunciation of her name note- (and ridicule-) worthy

I'm with JW (in the Reason comments)

" I thought it was just me who was driven nuts by this over-educated, psuedo-intellectual clam bake of a J-school reject's ruination of her own name"

My sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

What are you doing watching Chris Matthew's Show? Not enough self-flagellation from watching NPR week after week?


Why are all NPR hosts so odd, phony and treacly? Whenever they interview a real person, as Inskeep did this morning (hat tip, Inskeep: Scott Simon wants his laugh back), they just seem weird and artificial. Michele Norris talks like she's in a TV ad confiding to a friend over coffee the comfort and ease of her personal hygiene product.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Michele Norris talks like she's in a TV ad confiding to a friend over coffee the comfort and ease of her personal hygiene product.

You got it exactly! Bravo! "Massengil Norris..."

Anonymous said...

I've never seen Norris before, but after lookin at her picture in this post, I think I now understand why she went into radio.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand that she's on the radio at all, she has such an affected voice and needs a windscreen on her mike (or to take the cough drop out of her mouth).

That would be bearable, other announcers have bad verbal skills, but that she constantly injects herself in stories drives me bats.

She name drops, makes excuses for her children to fawn over her on the air, and acts like the music interviews are for her own personal ego stroking. I gave up listening on Sunday mornings when she came along.

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Anonymous said...

"Why are all NPR hosts so odd, phony and treacly? Whenever they interview a real person...they just seem weird and artificial. Michele Norris talks like she's in a TV ad confiding to a friend over coffee the comfort and ease of her personal hygiene product."

To whomever wrote that, I say "Thank you!" I couldn't have said it better myself. I absolutely cannot stand Michele Norris' manner of speaking. It sounds so affected, so overly-friendly, so...I wish I had the right word for it.

I have a similar aversion to Scott Simon's. Sometimes his sincerity strikes me as affected.

Anonymous said...

Michele Norris' voice sounds like an angry person's imitation of a calm person.

Anonymous said...

On at least two occasions I've heard Scott Simon attempt to elicit painful emotions from someone he is interviewing. I absolutely despise that. You can tell when one of these moments is coming because he prefaces his question with something like, "I hope this isn't being too personal, but..." or "I hope you won't mind if I ask..." And then after he has elicited the painful response he was looking for, he softens his voice to a barely audible whisper to make some tenderly sympathetic sound or remark, as if he were comforting a child. I hate that. Simon, stop inflicting pain on people. I don't know what you get out of it, but stop it. If you want to play psychotherapist, do it with your own family.