Aaron Brown Redux
Best at-mike patter by on-air talent at Thank God We're Working TV Press
Tour 2008 goes to Aaron Brown, former CNN anchor/whipping post who is the new
host of PBS's "Wide Angle" and who was introduced at a "Wide Angle"
cocktail reception by WNET's VP of national programs, Stephen Segaller.
But Segaller first reads rave review e-mails the station had received about
the addition of Brown to the show.
"Getting my mother the computer and teaching her about e-mail has paid
off," Brown tells the gathering of TV critics and reporters, who are
sitting around, eating cheese and crackers, drinking wine and beer, taking
Brown just got back from Jordan and Syria and is some kind of seriously
jet-lagged."I am so totally brain dead," he jokes. "You all should have been with me
at 3:30 this morning when I woke up because I was really good -- funny and
I bought cappuccinos for everybody."
Brown tells the critics about the piece he's working on for "Wide Angle,"
about Iraqi refugees and what is the United States' responsibility in re
Iraqis who cannot go home "because they're dead if they go home."
"It was great to go out and make television again that way, to be out
there talking to people and reporting. The truth is, I liked anchoring
shows and also got tired of anchoring shows -- perhaps they got tired of me
anchoring shows before I did," jokes Brown, who famously got shown the door
by CNN, in favor of Cable News "It" Boy Anderson Cooper. "Maybe the single worst thing I do is mingle at a cocktail party," Brown says of the cocktail party/news conference.
"With that said, thank you all for coming because this would have been
really embarrassing if no one had showed up. When you do television, you
have this great kind of mythical belief that people are sitting at home
taking notes. They're sitting -- they're fully dressed, sober and paying
attention and taking notes. I finally found a place where they are, so
that's pretty damn cool too."
This is in marked contrast to Brown's appearance at the press tour in
January of 2002 to talk to TV critics when he joined CNN. He and CNN's
other new hire then, Paula Zahn, made quite an impression on critics that day,
when they sniffed at many of the questions and at their news competition.
When USA Today's critic reminded Brown CNN had done its share of shark-attack and car-chase stories, for instance, Brown asked what paper he was from.
"That's the paper with all the color pictures, right?" Brown said when the
critic gave his affiliation. In fairness, Brown's sniffiness that day couldn't hold a candle to Zahn's.
Anyway, the new Aaron Brown went over much, much better.
Posted by: He helped create the Tweeties & Olberboys of Cable news | August 15, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse
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