An Open Letter To Ron Burgundy, You Rat!

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by Jon Friedman
December 15, 2013 9:28 PM
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Dear Ron,

You rat!

So, you're back, eh? How do I know this? I am alive. I see you everywhere. On every website known to mankind. On every television channel and show, too. Kudos. 

Do I have a problem with you? You're darned tootin' I do. Here you go again, diminishing the world of journalism, a noble profession, for a few yuks and many millions of dollars. 

So what if my brethren obsesses about President Obama's selfie at the funeral of one of the greatest men in history instead of concentrating on Nelson Mandela's legacy? Or is obsessed by showing car chases every night on the evening news? Or thinks a baby playing the tuba on YouTube counts as breaking news? 

Is that any reason to turn my profession of journalism into a piƱata? (OK, so it is, then -- never let the facts get in the way of a good, self-promoting diatribe).

So what if journalists hype every mundane act to ridiculous proportions? So what if we constantly make glaring factual errors? So what if our copy-editting standards have gone to pot? So what if even 60 Minutes, the best news show areund, has to issue a public apology for a blooper?

Exactly. So what? So we miss a few here and there, now and then, by and large? Does that mean you have to ridicule the prestigious position of anchorman with your antics? I know you're a pop culture sensation (and I, alas, am not). I know you're rich and famous and powerful. And, alas, I'm not -- though, don't get me wrong, Ron, I'm doing OK. I'm just not in the Burgundy stratosphere. Then again, who is -- besides the notorious interpreter at the Mandela funeral service?

Anchor people often may look silly and say dumb things and act like they're willing to do anything to goose their television ratings. But that's only a part of who they are. Most of them are very serious journalists who put the news first in all situations.

(Hell no, I don't really believe that -- but it sounded pretty good, right?)

I wish you well, Ron, I really do. I think it's great that you have brought so much enjoyment to people's lives. I just wish you hadn't targeted such a well respected and no-frills industry as the TV news universe. 

You're working it and cutting through the media clutter in a brilliant way. I should have been so smart and fortunate in 2012 when Penguin published my book, "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." See, Ron! Two can play at the self-promotion game. Take that, Burgundy!

I guess I can summarize much of my feelings about this world by relating a conversation I had with a well known Wall Street pundit many years ago. He was about to go on a Very Important talk show and discuss the stock market. "Ah," I said, "are you taking the part of the bull or the bear?" He shot back gleefully: "I don't know yet. They haven't told me."

Oy vey. Do I hear the rumblings of Anchorman 3?



  

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