Mull over this.

Monday, November 7th, 2005

CNN, in what seems to be an approach straight out of the old parse-the-tea-leaves-at-the-Kremlin days, announced the departure of Aaron Brown by not announcing it…they issued a release describing Anderson Cooper’s new schedule and Wolf Blitzer’s new schedule and if you put all of that through the parse-o-matic and divide the number of anchor chairs by the number of available anchors, well, you’d find one name missing.

And so Aaron Brown, smart guy anchor, fellow college dropout and world champion muller, moves on. I lift my ABC World News Now coffee tea and soup mug in his general direction (doubly ironic, since his replacement, the guy CNN has placed its bets on, is of course, also an alumnus of the wacky ABC late night news show.)

I’ll admit it, I want smart people reporting the news. I want people with depth who aren’t afraid to use that depth when putting complex subjects into context. My pride in being associated with CNN (way back at the dawn of time) is way diminished with each broadcast of The Situation Room (Keith Olbermann: “Wolf, we get it, you own a lot of TVs.”), along with the accumulated vapidity of Paula, Kyra, and Daryn and the turgid Lou Dobbs. Nowadays, when CNN carries a brief hour or so of CNN International, it’s as close as I can get to the network of old: a 24 hour news channel dedicated to news of the world.

Aaron brought his intelligence to work, along with (occasionally) some other emotional baggage. In the modern era where television newspeople of substance are becoming a threatened species, his writing skills and on-air processing of complexity were most welcome.

Some other voices:
Harry Shearer: ‘The most trusted Name in what, again?’

Don Imus: “Which means there will be, very soon, ‘The Aaron Brown Report’ here on MSNBC [he’s kidding], because the MO for MSNBC is [that] anybody at either Fox or CNN who can’t get it done, they hire ‘em here, thinking I don’t know what… A television insider recently described MSNBC as ‘an elephants’ graveyard.'”

And there’s an online petition, but, y’know, why bother?