April 04, 2004

Week of Loathing (Day the

Week of Loathing (Day the First): Charlie Rose

In future posts, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” shall make it clear as day that we have many bones to pick with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). It’s not that we abhor public funding for the arts; on the contrary, we think it’s a splendid idea. But we can’t seem to understand how public funding of John Tesh is valuable, unless, say, he were paid to be mercilessly flogged with copies of his own CDs. We at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” would gladly pay extra tax money for that.

But John Tesh concerts and kindred exercises in middlebrowalia don’t get our dander up quite as much as Charlie Rose, the meretricious panjandrum who hosts his own nightly talk show on PBS. As a result, we, the crack staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased to inaugurate the First Annual Week of Loathing (April 4th-10th, 2004) with a thorough drubbing of this insanely irritating character.

What, you may be asking yourself, makes Charlie Rose so repellent? Well, dear reader, there is hardly enough time in a day to explain. First, the self-important Mr. Rose enjoys offering his viewing audiences guests of an uniquely high caliber: Michael Ignatieff, Richard Perle, John Updike, Ed Harris, et al. Sure, Mr. Rose’s show proffers the same kind of noxious liberal tilt omnipresent at PBS: Debates on the liberation of Iraq, for instance, are cast as The World vs. David Brooks. But this is not the kind of irritant we are driving at.

So, you say, Mr. Rose has a fairly interesting array of guests; what’s so offensive about that? Just wait: We haven’t gotten to the horrid part. After booking this intellectually hefty array of speakers, Mr. Rose churns out the world’s worst interviews with them.

How so, you ask? (You are awfully full of rhetorical questions today, aren’t you?) Well, Mr. Rose appears to be blissfully unaware that he is merely the interviewer; he does not realize that his job is to ask a few clever questions and shut up. Instead, Mr. Rose is under the unfortunate—and sublimely irritating—presumption that he has the same intellectual standing as his interviewees.

Thus the viewer of Mr. Rose’s program must suffer through the torturous attention-grabbing techniques of its host. Long-winded questions, incessant interruptions, systematic missings-of-the-point—such is the arsenal that Mr. Rose carries with him for every interview. In his deluded little mind, Mr. Rose must be thinking: “My audience doesn’t want to hear what Henry Kissinger has to say about statecraft; it wants my learned opinion. The public doesn’t want to hear Saul Bellow’s take on the Jewish-American novel; it craves my thoughts.”

To which we, the crack staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: No, Mr. Rose, we never want your insipid opinion—on anything. You make us wish that you will be replaced by Pete Rose. At least he has some integrity.

Posted at April 4, 2004 04:41 PM | TrackBack