Friday, 13 June 2008

in spiked this week

By Patrick West
In an ugly world, we need ugly newsreaders

The rise of the husky-voiced, coquettish female newsreader mirrors the decline of that ‘masculine’ value: objectivity.

"Much of France is in uproar that its best-known television newsreader, the veteran Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, is to be replaced by the ‘glamorous blonde’ Laurence Ferrari. D’Arvor, 60, has presented Europe’s most-watched news broadcast for the French channel TF1 since 1987, and he is something of an establishment figure in France – an equivalent to Jeremy Paxman or Michael Buerk. D’Arvor is known simply, and affectionately, by the abbreviation ‘PPDA’, much like our own ‘Paxo’.

‘Industrial accident at TF1: PPDA knocked over by a Ferrari’, lamented the left-wing newspaper Liberation. To make a comparison, d’Arvor’s dismissal would be like David Dimbleby or Trevor McDonald being supplanted by the BBC’s ever-vacant Emily Maitlis, or that rather attractive cross-eyed looking one from Newsround, Ellie Crisell. In short, France is having its own panic about ‘dumbing down’, with not a little bit of misogyny thrown in.

But is this misogyny misplaced?..."

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