Does Anyone Actually Watch the Today Show?

We don’t have cable anymore.  When we moved into our house we decided we needed to cut down on unnecessary expenses and cable was the first thing to go.  I don’t really miss it.  I am way more productive throughout the day because I’m not distracted by The Food Network and Project Runway marathons.  The only time I do miss cable is in the morning when I am in the mood for the news and the only thing on is the Today Show.

I use to spend my mornings drinking coffee and flipping back and forth between MSNBC and Fox News.  MSNBC because I like it and Fox News because you should always know what the enemy is up to.  Now when I wake up and want to know what is happening in the world, I am left with no where else to go except  the Today Show.  I don’t watch it often, maybe one or twice a month, but when I do I become mesmerized, like when you catch a stranger picking their nose while driving, and then eating it.  You just can’t look away.  I find myself shaking my head and thinking, did I really just see that?

One of those moments came on Halloween.  The Today Show gang all dressed up like different characters from Star Wars and Al Roker was doing a segment while dressed as Hans Solo.  There were either children or very short adults (I really hope they were adults) dressed as ewoks on stage .  What followed was one of the greatest moments in television history.  Great because of how completely wrong it was.  Take a look for yourself.

WHAT!!!!  That was my reaction when I saw Al Roker being humped on live television by a small adult dressed as an ewok.  And the worst part about it was that it was my beloved Wickett, the ewok I dressed up as for Halloween when I was four years old, that did the humping.  Also keep in mind that this occurred before 9 in the morning.  Humping of any nature is best left till after you have had your breakfast.

But it isn’t only the occasional blooper or segment gone wrong that makes the Today Show so incredibly bad.  It is the entire show, from the uncomfortable couch banter to the poorly timed segments that leave their guests cut off before they could explain the proper way to make a souffle.  Every time I see a guest interrupted in mid sentence to go to commercial,  a table full of holiday gift suggestions left unexplained, I want to pull my hair out.  Not because I care about the “helpful” tips that their poor planning deprived me of, but because it is rude.  You drag these people to your television studio at 4 in the morning,  get them all excited about being on the Today Show (they probably tell everyone they know to get up early to see them), have them wait backstage while they rehearse what they will say over and overagain in their minds, fill them with anticipation of having their big television moment, and then cut them off after a minute and a half of Meredith Viera talking over the answers they so carefully planned out.  It’s just bad manners.

And speaking of Meredith Viera, she is a train wreck like no other.  She for some reason seems to think it is necessary to play the part of a mental defect.   I don’t know if she does this because she thinks it’s funny or that she thinks men like dumb women, but it’s just annoying.  An example of her dumb girl act came one day during a segment with a chef who was teaching Meredith how to make meatballs.  After forming the meat into softball sized wads, the chef told Meredith to “throw” them into the pan of simmering oil.  What did Meredith do?  She literally threw a handful of meat into three inches of scalding hot oil.  When Matt Lauer incredulously asked her what she was thinking, her response was, “well he said to throw it in!”  Hilarious!  I don’t know about you, but third degree burns inflicted on television are my kind of entertainment.

I could not end my Today Show rant without mentioning the crowds of people who flock to stand outside  with their homemade signs and scream while the hosts try to deliver the news.  Who thought of this?  Is there a demographic of people who like to listen to screaming tourists and watch them wave mindlessly in the background while hearing the news?  And who are these people with the signs?  They are always from out-of-town which makes me wonder where the signs came from.  Did they make them at home and then carry them on the plane with them?  Or, even more unbelievably, did they travel to New York and then venture out to a craft store where they purchased poster board and glitter pens and created the signs in their hotel rooms?  And is the opportunity to tell Al Roker that you are from North Carolina and it’s your best friend’s 50th birthday really worth standing in 30 degree weather for hours?  Some things I just will never understand.

Now that’s good journalism!

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4 thoughts on “Does Anyone Actually Watch the Today Show?

  1. No, I never watch the Today Show since I don’t really care for it nor have the time. Oh yeah, I don’t have cable either and haven’t for over 10 years now. Of course, now there’s Hulu, which is convenient. As for those people in the background, I never thought about it so deeply, and you raise some really interesting points: where do those people come from; and what about that show compells them to be in the background with their homemade signs? My Grandpa lives in NY, and I wonder if this would be something he’d consider doing for fun.

    • But now that you do think about it, isn’t it intriguing? I mean, what happens to you in life that you find yourself outside the Today Show window holding a handmade sign and waving at the back of Matt Lauer’s head? It is a bizarre world we live in.

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