Monday, July 15, 2013

Russell Brand is a Better Interviewer Than Mika Brzezinski

Mika & Joe:  No sexism here!
A few weeks ago, June 17th to be exact, Russell Brand appeared as a guest on "Morning Joe".  I happened to catch it live and watched, in fascination, as he took down every one of the smug talking heads around the table.  I admired his spot-on critique and delighted in his impromptu delivery and comebacks to the quickly baffled group.  He actually had them at a loss for words.   I backed up the show so my husband could see it.

The segment is now a barn burner video in the annals of what is wrong with talk show hosts.

Having watched "Morning Joe" for several years,  there are aspects to it I enjoy, primarily Willy Geist, Mike Barnicle, Chuck Todd and regular guest Jon Meacham.  To put it another way, I enjoy it when Joe and Mika are absent from the round table of positing pols, mea culpa celebs and omniscient talking heads.   Joe Scarborough is tough to take.  He's a blowhard who talks over most guests, even those with whom he's in agreement.  I did soften a bit towards him when he took up the cause for gun control and blasted the NRA, but he is informed.  I just don't often agree with his side.

Mika Brzezinski, on the other hand, is a complete fail in the anchor department.  The daughter of  the highly intellectual and sought after former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, she appears and acts like a bubble head whose most repeated expressions include eye rolling and staring at the audience as if to say "WTF?"

She has a news anchor background and, with her made-for-Fox News looks (obscenely platinum blonde, heavy studio make up, tailored tight dresses and gams always on display) plus a desirable genetic heritage, the MSNBC producers must have thought they hit the jackpot.

They did not.

Don't get me wrong.  I'd display my glorious gams too, but not on my news show and especially not in the publicity shots of me and my co-host in & around NYC "on the job".  This overly sexual representation of her is at odds with a serious interviewer, news person, etc.

Her major obsessions revolve around running (as in marathons) and an abhorrence of fast food and
Twinkies.  She was, at one time, a binge eater.  She was, apparently, also the quiet one at the table in a family of intellectuals.  I can understand her need to compensate now she has her own forum.  What I do not understand is her condescension to all things "pop culture" as she says in the video.  Time and again I have heard her say she's never seen this or that movie despite she's hosting a star of the movie in question.  Same with books, etc.

Russell Brand followed up his experience with an Op-Ed in The Guardian.
Writing in The Guardian that TV hosts are often "perfectly amiable" when you talk to them off-camera, Brand opines that "when the red light goes on they immediately transform into shark-eyed Stepford berks talking in a cadence you encounter nowhere else but TV-land—a meter that implies simultaneously carefree whimsy and stifled hysteria. There is usually a detachment from the content."  E!online

I find her intellectually lazy and wonder about the talented women who aren't, who would willingly fill her shoes and do a terrific job.

Along the same lines,  The Atlantic article about  Jenny McCarthy's crackpot campaign to stop
nationwide vaccinations of children, says the TV show,  The View will hire her as a new host.  What exactly are her credentials other than the Playboy bunny who made her name on Howard Stern's radio how talking dirty with the bad boy, as a sometime assistant host of numerous shows incl Rockin' New Year's Eve, paramour of Jim Carrey's and a woman who knows how to keep her name in the public eye for all the wrong reasons?

 Oh. Right.  The twins.

The always understated Jenny McCarthy

This just in:  According to The Daily Mail, she's been hired.  Ahhh, more mediocrity.



bill lisleman said...

thanks for posting that. I probably would have not seen it since we dropped cable and I seldom watched Morning Joe. Those talking heads are just that. Is it not all about the dumbing down of our culture? The only serious interviews I've found are done by Charlie Rose. I wonder if Charlie has talked with Russell.

Bill Stankus said...

What's fascinating about this post is ... I haven't a clue who any of the people are that you've written about (excluding Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski).

It might help if I watched TV or poured money down the rat hole called cable. Nah, my TV is locked on to old movies and YouTube.

California Girl said...

The Bills who comment cable! Wish I had the wherewithall to forgo Tv. I do not. I love the news when I can find it (PBS, NPR) and my soap styled series at night.

California Girl said...

Firzt time I read your comment, I thought you included Carter & Brezinzki in the people with whom you're unfamiliar. Glad I waited a few beats and came back. Nobody else matters although Jkn Meacham is former editor of Newsweek & a wonderful historian. He's also a Liberal in the best sense of the word.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Thanks so much for posting CG I haven't seen this before. So good! Seriously how do you conduct an interview with someone and talk about him in the third person while he's actually sitting there, no wonder Russell got fed up. I think he's very clever with words..loved the 'what seems to be the trouble love! hahaha!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I wonder how Barbara Walters felt about making the announcement that Jenny McCarthy was coming to the show. I wonder whether the network thought Barbara would give some kind of gravitas or credibility to the announcement. Please. (Not that Barbara has a lot of gravitas herself these days, but she certainly was a force in her time.) Now I'm off to watch the Brand clip.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh my word. Mika had a total meltdown. Maybe this will be the end of her stint on MSNBC.

California Girl said...

Glad you enjoyed this. Russell Brand is no poster boy for good behaviour but he's spot on in this instance.

California Girl said...

She's STILL referencing this one month later. She's her own worst enemy.

California Girl said...

Barbara Walters was the model who broke the mold. Perhaps we held her in too high esteem when she opted for the beautiful people interviews & big bucks. Somehow, I cannot see Walter Cronkite doing the same.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I absolutely loved that interview. Russell Brand is so much more intelligent and quick witted than people give him credit for.

I also love how they all treat him like he's "insane," even though he makes a lot more sense than any of them do.

California Girl said...

Beer Boys: I like it so much I've watched it numerous times...a rarity.


by Cole Scott