With the horror and trauma unfolding in our midst it may seem too trivial or crass to venture some media criticism. But allow me this. Huge events often bring new reporters or commentators to the fore. In this case, I think it’s an anchor: CNN’s Aaron Brown.
Brown’s not a new face. He’s been around for a couple decades and mainly at ABC as far as I know. He recently got hired by CNN and he was the first person on the air for the network within minutes of the original WTC attack.
(This may make it seem like I’m sort of Aaron Brown watcher. But actually I just got this info from this page. When I saw him on Tuesday morning I only had the vaguest sense of ever having seen the guy before.)
In any case, he’s just really, really good. In his TV manner he has an ingenuousness that feels, well … quite genuine and elicits or explicates new information that more stuffy or programmed questioners and anchors would never arrive at. He’s got this way of thinking aloud on air which, for me at least, really works.
In short, he rocks.
Many highbrow news commentators cultivate a rep for insight, wisdom and perspective but actually put out a product you might call ‘insightfulism’ – not insight, but a stylized way of talking about the obvious so that it seems penetrating, a way of packaging decent points with oblique language so that they seem like grand pronouncements.
Come to think of it, I think Brown’s got one of these characters as a new colleague. But let’s not go there.
The point is that CNN made a dynamite pick when they hired Brown.