I was watching Jay Leno the other night and it really made me realize just how good George Stroumboulopoulos is at his job. Granted, Jay Leno will never be known as a good interviewer, nor does he host the same kind of program, but he couldn’t even keep up with Megan Fox. She says something about how she started modeling when she was fourteen or fifteen, and Leno’s next question is “so when did you start modeling?” Sweet Jesus Leno, what are they paying you for? Can you at least stay present? After that incident, all I notice is how detached every other interviewer is. I used to hate the set of The Hour and how Strombo would always lean towards his guest to the point where when they cut to the guest’s response, the corner of his head would be in the frame. I found it gimmicky, like they were visually saying look at what an effort Strombo is making to connect with his guest, but now it doesn’t seem so irritating, because weird posture or not, at least he’s ENGAGED. He is PAYING ATTENTION and asking RELEVANT QUESTIONS. Granted the testament to his skill is how easy he makes it look, but shouldn’t those two things be the bare minimum for someone who gets paid to interview someone else?
The problem is no one’s allowed to have opinions anymore. The media is just one big circle jerk, the shows need celebrities, and the celebrities need the shows, but they aren’t going to go on the shows if they aren’t going to come out looking good. So no one is allowed to ask anything but the most benign questions, because God forbid someone who is being payed millions of dollars to do something, have to justify why they’re there and someone else is not.
Obviously celebrities/politicians/whatever and the press have conflicting objectives, but that’s just the nature of things. I remember watching an episode of Disband where they school Dean Lickyer (I think) on the media, telling them the success of the interview is based on how many times they can drop their album release date in the span of five minutes. The same thing happens at the White House, the press corps literally has a meeting every morning and defines the key issue of the day, then tries to push that issue as hard as physically possible while avoiding the others. The difference is the news media will pry as hard as they can, while Sarah Taylor just stands there in leggings.
Its a damn shame, because the whole reason I used to watch Much over MTV (US) and television in general, is because I wanted to know other peoples opinions. I liked certain hosts and liked hearing what they had to say, even if I didn’t always agree with them. I mean even if George Stroumboulopoulos wasn’t explicitly bashing Good Charlotte, you knew he had an opinion. Today with music journalism you might as well just subscribe to an RSS feed and be done with it, because everything is just the same sanitized press release.