Friday, January 18, 2008

Head Spinning Ann Curry

For some on the scene reporting about this Caldecott and Newbery announcements this week, please dial your computer to Fuse #8's report and Educating Alice. Mother Reader has a nice roundup of links including David Lubar's reflection and vent space for authors whose phones did NOT ring Monday a.m.

All of them Fuse and MR commented on Today Show's Ann-I'm-a-professional-newsreader-Curry's rapid fire monologuistic "interview" with Selznick and Schlitz. Now I am sure Selznick and Schlitz did not have high expectations for their 180 seconds on camera but "Good Gad, Peabody!" Someone get that woman on decaf.

Even the camera man had trouble following Curry's staccato tear through her script, missing a head shot of Laura and barely getting focused on Brian before giving up altogether and retreating for a group shot. I don't expect in depth knowledge from these interviewers. I realize they are supposed to ask the questions of the "great uninformed" but Curry's shock and awe that the winner of the Caldecott Medal had created a book filled with ... illustrations...well that was just too funny.

"Curry: I have to say that I found them [thebooks] surprising in many ways.
[to Brian Selznick] "Your book is filled with illustrations that you did yourself... I mean, these images we're seeing, you did these!"

Poor Brian and Laura could barely interject a single syllable. Not only did Curry, professional newsreader and journalist, repeatedly bungle Laura "Ann" Amy Schlitz's name, oblivious to Selznick's gallant attempt to correct her, but she tags Schlitz as a "school teacher" when she is actually the librarian at her school. Now I am a teacher. My teaching certificate says so but if asked to designate my profession, I am a librarian.

The funniest moment was when Curry mangled Schlitz's name for the umpteenth time and mistook Laura's eye roll for embarrassment over the precious photo in the newspaper. Maybe it really was the picture that caused Laura's action but that is not why I was rolling MY eyes. If I had been Laura I would have been thinking, "how much does this woman make to do this?"

I'm thinking, probably more, alas, than a Newbery author.

As Curry tried to get it all done in three minutes, her words accelerated to the point that I thought her head was going to snap off and go shooting through the roof of the studio. She reminded me of the windup artillery my brothers aimed at me when we were kids which has now morphed into the Flying Alarm Clock.

As she brought the segment to an end, she braked hard on her delivery to gush, "Well, there you go...congratulations..."

I agree with Fuse, next time, give it to Al Roker.


Monica Edinger said...

I actually did NOT post about this because it was too unbelievably stupid. I prefer to memorialize "my" Newbery winner with smart media coverage! Fortunately, Laura stayed at the Algonquin (so the Candlewick folks told me was to happen) and otherwise had a presumably glorious time celebrating in NYC.

Camille said...

Monica, I am thrilled to hear that her stay was fun. She seems like a lovely person and a kindred spirit!

I have been struck by how happy and satisfied everyone seems with the winners this year.

Paige Y. said...

I thought the whole interview was apalling. Did Ms. Curry think that the authors were too stupid to talk about their own books? It makes me sad that this "interview" is the only way most of the public will have learned about these two awards.

Erin said...

That was a hilarious post, although I agree that the interview was horrendous.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

It was painful. I have given up on morning television news shows, and Ann Curry . . . my God, she is insufferably earnest. But I watched that, despite knowing better.

Jules, 7-Imp

Lisa said...

Ooh, best of both worlds: I avoided upset and a bad case of I-had-to-shriek-at-Ann-Curry-AGAIN throat by skipping the actual Today piece. But because this post took me "right there," I now feel qualified to mock it. Cool!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see this "interview" - thank goodness. But I've seen plenty of Ann's guests bombarded by her Gatling gun-fired questions and hyper interruptions. It's too painful to watch, so I usually mute the sound when she comes on. Now Hoda's hair is becoming a pet peeve.