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Home > Blog > Larry, Please Go
Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:32 PM
Larry, Please Go
Kevin Salwen on Culture

In TVLand, when the host is weak and the ratings are slipping, it's a bad combination. CNN is finding itself in that very box these days with the fellow who might be my single least favorite TV host: Larry King. I've always wondered what people saw in him; I view him as a truly unprepared interviewer who gets great guests because he asks softball after softball. The day after I'm indicted, I'm going on Larry's show. (And if you want to know what movies not to see, look for the ones where Larry is quoted in the newspaper ad.)

But I've felt like a voice in the wilderness, as I've listened for years to others praise his sources and guests. And my friends at CNN have laughed about his whopping ratings. Now, a great piece on King in today's Wall Street Journal discloses that ratings are plummeting even as Larry has gone more celeb, more sensational.

Dare I say it: Maybe quality sells better than schlock.


6 comments

Phil Wolff - 3/19/2006 3:13:06 PM
King earned his chops as a a thoughtful and prepared radio talk show host. He had guests and conversations that you now find on The News Hour and Charlie Rose. He was a D.C. insider for many years. His producers followed the ratings, and you know celeb tawdriness outperforms analysis of the world's woes (aka news) more consistently. Worthwhile mag should be asking: Does Larry miss the respect he had 20 years' ago? His vigorous inquiry into the way the world works, abundant variations in human nature, and newsmakers.
Harold - 3/16/2006 1:23:03 PM
(Dearest WW reader. Sorry, my grammar was a bit off. I rushed my post. And my vanity is such that I must re-post. Yours, LLVH.)

Kev' old man, you've got it massively buggered up. Schlock sells and sells and sells. That is at the very crux of King's success. Perhaps you need to do a bit more non 'organic' shopping, and see the heaps of excrement that your countrymen take part in and consider quality.

I think Larry's success can be attributed to one thing: old people. I was amazed when visiting my parents when they were in hospital to find almost every old person watched Larry King. It lead me to conclude that this is based simply on envy. There they were, worthy contributors to society laid low by some unforeseen illness, and there on the screen in front of them is television's walking-cry-for-euthanasia yammering along. It must seem a crime to them that Larry keeps chugging along with four heart attacks under his belt. (Perhaps there is no God.)

I firmly believe his success and ratings are derived from an unreported geriatric deathwatch undertaken by America's aged citizenry. To you denziens of the AARP class: perhaps cardiac arrest #5 or wife #6 will do him in. Stay tuned.

Being shocked or surprised is no way to react. I believe we should hold Uncle Larry up as an American success story. A demonstration to today's middlingly talented youth that stupidity, mediocrity, unpreparedness, adultery and poor judgement, should not be counted as barriers to success.

And Kev', it's nice to see you've got plans for an inditment. Any dates we should all look to?

Living La Vida (Bloody Terrified) Harold!
Harold - 3/16/2006 1:19:47 PM
(Dearest WW reader. Sorry, my grammar was a bit off. I rushed my post. And my vanity is such that I must re-post. Yours, LLVH.)

Kev' old man, you've got it massively buggered up. Schlock sells and sells and sells. That is at the very crux of King's success. Perhaps you need to do a bit more non 'organic' shopping, and see the heaps of excrement that your countrymen take part in and consider quality.

I think Larry's success can be attributed to one thing: old people. I was amazed when visiting my parents when they were in hospital to find almost every old person watched Larry King. It lead me to conclude that this is based simply on envy. There they were, worthy contributors to society laid low by some unforeseen illness, and there on the screen in front of them is television's walking-cry-for-euthanasia yammering along. It must seem a crime to them that Larry keeps chugging along with four heart attacks under his belt. (Perhaps there is no God.)

I firmly believe his success and ratings are derived from an unreported geriatric deathwatch undertaken by America's aged citizenry. To you denziens of the AARP class: perhaps cardiac arrest #5 or wife #6 will do him in.

Being shocked or surprised is no way to react. I believe we should hold Uncle Larry up as an American success story. A demonstration to today's middlingly talented youth that stupidity, mediocrity, unpreparedness, adultery and poor judgement, should not be counted as barriers to success.

And Kev', it's nice to see you've got plans for an inditment. Any dates we should all look to?

Living La Vida (Bloody Terrified) Harold!
Harold - 3/16/2006 1:16:20 PM
(Dearest WW reader. Sorry, my grammar was a bit off. I rushed my post. And my vanity is such that I must re-post. Yours, LLVH.)

Kev' old man, you've got it massively buggered up. Schlock sells and sells and sells. That is at the very crux of King's success. Perhaps you need to do a bit more non 'organic' shopping, and see the heaps of excrement that your countrymen take part in and consider quality.

I think Larry's success can be attributed to one thing: old people. I was amazed when visiting my parents when they were in hospital to find almost every old person watched Larry King. It lead me to conclude that this is based simply on envy. There they were, worthy contributors to society laid low by some unforeseen illness, and there on the screen in front of them is television's walking-cry-for-euthanasia yammering along. It must seem a crime to them that Larry keeps chugging along with four heart attacks under his belt. (Perhaps there is no God.)

I firmly believe his success and ratings are derived from an unreported geriatric deathwatch undertaken by America's aged citizenry. To you denziens of the AARP class: perhaps cardiac arrest #5 or wife #6 will do him in.

Being shocked or surprised is no way to react. I believe we should hold Uncle Larry up as an American success story. A demonstration to today's middlingly talented youth that stupidity, mediocrity, unpreparedness, adultery and poor judgement, should not be counted as barriers to success.

And Kev', it's nice to see you've got plans for an inditment. Any dates we should all look to?

Living La Vida (Bloody Terrified) Harold!
Harold - 3/16/2006 1:15:53 PM
(Dearest WW reader. Sorry, my grammar was a bit off. I rushed my post. And my vanity is such that I must re-post. Yours, LLVH.)

Kev' old man, you've got it massively buggered up. Schlock sells and sells and sells. That is at the very crux of King's success. Perhaps you need to do a bit more non 'organic' shopping, and see the heaps of excrement that your countrymen take part in and consider quality.

I think Larry's success can be attributed to one thing: old people. I was amazed when visiting my parents when they were in hospital to find almost every old person watched Larry King. It lead me to conclude that this is based simply on envy. There they were, worthy contributors to society laid low by some unforeseen illness, and there on the screen in front of them is television's walking-cry-for-euthanasia yammering along. It must seem a crime to them that Larry keeps chugging along with four heart attacks under his belt. (Perhaps there is no God.)

I firmly believe his success and ratings are derived from an unreported geriatric deathwatch undertaken by America's aged citizenry. To you denziens of the AARP class: perhaps cardiac arrest #5 or wife #6 will do him in.

Being shocked or surprised is no way to react. I believe we should hold Uncle Larry up as an American success story. A demonstration to today's middlingly talented youth that stupidity, mediocrity, unpreparedness, adultery and poor judgement, should not be counted as barriers to success.

And Kev', it's nice to see you've got plans for an inditment. Any dates we should all look to?

Living La Vida (Bloody Terrified) Harold!
Eliza - 3/15/2006 11:27:43 PM
I'm relieved to hear that someone else is not impressed by King, because I've spent the last several years thinking I'm missing something. How you can throw out such consistently lame questions and still be considered a journalist, or a good interviewer (at the very least), I don't understand.

But it's not just King. There's a lot of bad work being done in cable news, a lot of mediocre 'journalists' getting their own shows (can we say 'Rita Cosby'?), a lot of hype over a core group of stories, and lot of other desperately-need-to-be-heard stories never getting airtime.

Where is all the good journalism?

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