Christiane Amanpour and “This Week”

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This really is a bizarre rant by Tom Shales today against the choice of Christiane Amanpour to take over hosting duties on ABC’s This Week. If Shales doesn’t like Amanpour, that’s fine. It’s a free country. But a harsh attack (“it was a bad choice…considering how many others deserve it more than she does”) requires a strong argument, and Shales’ boils down to this:

  • Amanpour is a foreign affairs specialist, not someone who does “domestic politics and inside-the-Beltway palaver.”
  • Some supporters of Israel think she isn’t deferential enough toward Israel.
  • Conservatives think she’s liberally biased.
  • ABC News insiders are unhappy that an outsider got the This Week job.

There’s not much meat here. Insiders are always unhappy when an outsider gets a plum job. There are ideologues with an axe to grind against everyone. And perhaps This Week could do with a little more substance and a little less “inside-the-Beltway palaver”?

(And not to put this too finely, but it’s not really as hard as Shales might think to bone up on domestic politics. It’s not that complicated.)

Anyway, strange stuff. I don’t know if I would have picked Amanpour either, but if I were arguing against it I’d at least try to come up with some colorable criticisms. This is just junior high school stuff.

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