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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 06/18/2009

Ann Curry, Hard News Hold Out?

By Liz Kelly

Suddenly NBC second-stringer Ann Curry -- she of the sycophantic Brangelina interviews -- has been cast in the role of a crusading hard newswoman who bravely defies the dumbing down of news by insisting on covering "credible" news like Iran and Darfur rather than give in and start following the Britney beat. Or so Curry, the New York Observer and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof would have us believe.

Curry says she would never stoop to cover a story of, say, a topless Britney Spears caught shoplifting (a hypothetical) and blames average Americans for our insatiable appetite for tabloid journalism. From the Observer's coverage of a conference attended by Curry on how Twitter is affecting the news biz (linked above):

"The reason I have to fight every time to do these stories is because the truth is that it's hard to get the majority of Americans or even a significant number of Americans in NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS's world, to care," she told the crowd, who had, probably for the first time during the all-day conference lifted their heads from their laptops to listen. "I think journalism is a battle and I feel the scars and I see the blood on my sword on a daily basis for fights for foreign coverage to be more present in our broadcasting."

A stance which prompted the Times's Kristof to proclaim Curry an "amazingly good" journalist.

But she -- and Kristof -- seem to be conveniently omitting the fact that Curry is the same woman who has lobbed softballs at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for years and most recently asked an uncomfortable Pitt at Cannes what it was like being a sex symbol. That was right after she grabbed his face (fast forward to 5:16):

To be fair, Curry has covered her fair share of hard news and just got back from Iran where she taped an hour-long NBC news special, but she's also been a long-time enthusiastic purveyor of tabloid-level fare:

-- While conducting an interview about "A Mighty Heart," Curry tells Pitt partner Angelina Jolie that she (Angelina) lives in a "crazy" world, then makes her cry by talking about Jolie's recently deceased mother.

-- Curry interviews Octo-mom Nadya Suleman.

-- Curry puts herself on the line by fencing with an Olympic fencer.

Which is all to say: Get over yourself Ann Curry.

By Liz Kelly  | June 18, 2009; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  TV  
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Comments

Anne Curry is the third most annoying reporter after 1) Diane Sawyer and 2) her sidekick Robin. I swear, Anee Curry must practice her "sympatheic face" in the mirror everynight before she goes to bed.

Posted by: skitch00 | June 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I still like Ann Curry. One can't be serious all of the time. And as far as the split-second, touch Brad's face, I say no big deal. He's not a god who can't be touched. Besides, they are friends which is why she often gets scoops with him and Angelina.

Posted by: hodie | June 18, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to female morning news show types, you have to admit, Ann Curry is more relevant than whoever is keeping Harry Smith company over at CBS these days.

The one I feel most sorry for is Hoda Katb. The last time I saw here, she was doing something utterly brainless with Kathie Lee Gifford (who just looked confused). WTF?!? I thought she was a journalist, not a "personality".

Posted by: northgs | June 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Many years ago, before Katie left, Ann seemed to do more "serious" news stories. Sure she had an awful wardrobe, but she seemed to be a real reporter vs. entertainment reporter. Some of the stuff I've seen her do recently though, is just awful. She needs to be a foreign correspondent if she wants to be taken seriously.

Posted by: jelo97 | June 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

She's awful! Just look at how often she flubs her lines or that faux-intensity she loves to display. My lasting image of her is when she scolded Benazir Bhutto for risking the lives of her bodyguards by daring to protest the Musharraf government. Yes Anne, you're really putting it on the line. Too bad Bhutto was murdered shortly after! You really showed her.

Posted by: purr301 | June 18, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ann, you are hardly fighting the good fight if you do the fluff pieces too. A truly hard stand would be to refuse to do the fluff pieces. It's wimpy to do the fluff pieces as long as you get the real news pieces too.

Oh and doing a piece because you are "friends" with the subject, not good journalism.

In other words, your journalistic integrity meter is reading zero right now dearie.

Posted by: epjd | June 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ann, you are hardly fighting the good fight if you do the fluff pieces too. A truly hard stand would be to refuse to do the fluff pieces. It's wimpy to do the fluff pieces as long as you get the real news pieces too.

Oh and doing a piece because you are "friends" with the subject, not good journalism.

In other words, your journalistic integrity meter is reading zero right now dearie.

Posted by: epjd | June 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Fencing with an olympic fencer is not hard reporting? Have you tried it?

Recommend we hang Ann Curry from Tower Bridge in London upside down in a water tank.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Why can't a journalist do both?? It is not a conflict of interest if she does a hardline story and then later does a fun, human interest story. Most of us are intelligent enough to know the difference between the two.
Liz, I also find it ironic that you would be the one to bring this up.

Posted by: hodie | June 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I watched Ann Curry's special on her trip to Iran, and thought it was good.

If you find some of her other report topics objectionable, please bear in mind that on-air reporters don't always get a choice in what they're assigned to cover. No matter how distasteful they find a story, they have to act as though they believe in the value of reporting it (unless they're interested in having a brief and remarkably unsuccessful career).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"I feel the scars and I see the blood on my sword on a daily basis" -- well get over you, Donna Quixote. Is she kidding?

"Hard News Hold Out?" "Amazingly Good Journalist?" Um, no. This reminds me too much of Barbara Walters -- we thought she was all that too once, then she started "The View" and categorized her illicit assignations in her autobiography.

Give me Christiane Amanpour any day -- you wouldn't catch her giggling over Brad Pitt or whining with Whoopi.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 18, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Why is Liz so upset at watching Ann Curry favor with Brad Pitt? You expect to get hard news from a morning show?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 18, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Sas
You expect to get hard news from a morning show?

This is the reason I mainly listen to NPR "Morning Edition" rather than watch TV in the AM. Well, that and being too bleary-eyed to focus on the screen, and needing to move around in order to get ready for work.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

careful td. I got slapped around for praising Christiane Amanpour the other day. Apparently she is a tool.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 18, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

PS think you should stick to Penelope Cruz

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 18, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't favor Curry, but I'd love to stick to Penelope Cruz.

Posted by: kabuki3 | June 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

so if we're discussing anne curry discussing the sort of tabloid vs real news anne curry gets to do - is that real news? would anne want to do the story - or is it an example of a story that would be "hard to get the majority of Americans or even a significant number of Americans in NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS's world, to care" about... i need a drink

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | June 18, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit I both love and hate ann curry. I think she's great when reading off a script, but when left to her own accord... yikes. Regardless, you can't blame her for doing both. The likelihood is that she doesn't get to pick all of her interviews. Besides, I guarantee you all find ways to make your own job enjoyable. Goofing off once in a while or having a light hearted meeting with a coworker doesn't necessarily make you a lightweight. It makes life tolerable.

Posted by: tobasco125 | June 18, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The majority of us lizard island regulars seem to be highly educated and/or very intelligent, serious people yet we meet here daily on a Celebritology blog. Ann Curry is not the only one who needs to get over themselves. No offense to anyone. I think we all need some fluff occasionally in our lives.

Posted by: hodie | June 18, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

For Anne Curry to criticize viewers for succumbing to tabloid journalism shows just how downright delusional and hypocritical she is.

The Today Show has been in the vanguard of dumbing down the popular culture and she has been one of its most energetic participants.

And now she actually sees herself as above it all? Wow, that's rich.

Posted by: trwv | June 18, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ann Curry could do both and no one would say a word. Yes, everyone needs some fluff in their lives. The problem is -- Ann Curry is claiming to be this serious journalists who thinks there should only be hard news stories while doing the fluffiest of fluff pieces. It is her hypocritical stance that is the problem.

BTW, missed the chat. But, Liz, there is a reason I go by my initials. I hate every single diminutive of Elizabeth out there. But, writing it out all the time is hard, especially on post it notes to others. Plus, there are always other Elizabeths around. Don't want to have to write out my difficut last name. So, just the initials works for me.

Posted by: epjd | June 18, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Liz, I knew a gal who called herself Tibby as a nickname for Elizabeth.

Posted by: newengland1 | June 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Curry

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Remember how Elizabeth Hanford Dole cut off an interview when the interviewer called her by her longtime nickname of Liddy?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry - what's this piece about? I've been trying to read it all afternoon but start laughing hysterically every time I get to the phrase, "crusading hard newswoman who bravely defies the dumbing down of news."

Posted by: byoolin1 | June 18, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

BOYCOTT THE WASHINGTON POST.

THEY FIRED DAN FROOMKIN FOR REPORTING ON TORTURE.

AND LOOK - THERE'S THE SAME USUAL CRAP FROM KRAUTHAMMER ON THE FRONT PAGE.

BOYCOTT THE WASHINGTON POST. UNFAIR AND UNBALANCED. DISGUSTING.

Posted by: PacNW | June 19, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I think we get want "we" want in morning TV so-called "journalism." (as well as its manifestations at other times during the broadcast day..).

When I think of people who have a need for hard news, well and objectively reported, the morning TV audience does not pop into my head. Ann Curry is about the right type of personality to convey all the "personality-centric" so-called news purveyed on these shows.

I'm sure she thinks she's doing serious work, and upholding the finest traditions of journalism, when she does her people magazine shtick. So do most of the older demographic that watches her. In a country that consists increasingly of narcissistic navel gazers, Ann is our gal!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | June 19, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

GET OVER YOURSELF, LIZ.

ARE YOU GOING TO STAND BY AND DO NOTHING WHILE THE VERY ORGANIZATION YOU WORK FOR, THE WASHINGTON POST. PURGES EVERYONE EXCEPT THE MOST EXTREME NEOCON HACKS LIKE KRAUTHAMMER?

ARE YOU GOING TO SAY NOTHING ABOUT THE FIRING OF DAN FROOMKIN?

OR IS IT DO AS I SAY, NOT DO AS I DO??????????????

READERS - BOYCOTT THE WASHINGTON POST. IT IS NOTHING BUT A REFUGE FOR WASHED UP NEOCON HACKS.

Posted by: PacNW | June 19, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Why can't a journalist do both?? It is not a conflict of interest if she does a hardline story and then later does a fun, human interest story. Most of us are intelligent enough to know the difference between the two.
Liz, I also find it ironic that you would be the one to bring this up.

Posted by: hodie | June 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Tee hee. Can Liz really give her occupational as a "journalist" with a straight face?

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 19, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I disagee. It's not just neocon hacks.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 19, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I must not be one of the smart lizards, but what is a neocon hack?

Posted by: Osteph | June 19, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Aw man, looks we had a mini-BKD late yesterday. And I missed it.

Neocon Hack would be a great name for a band.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 19, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Who invited Alex Jones to the comments?

Posted by: jelo97 | June 19, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Yuck. Ann Curry is one of the most irritating journalists ever. She speaks WAY too fast, appears very phony in emotional interviews, has a TERRIBLE wardrobe/always looks unkempt, and just plain TRIES TOO HARD.

Whenever she comes on the news, I politely turn to another station until after she's finished.

Posted by: info40 | June 22, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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