When Stars Fall: Aaron Brown / NewsNight Ends
Thursday, 3 November 2005
At a loss for good words…
A typical day here at The Observatory closes with notetaking, stats and the intermittent company of some combination of Larry King, Aaron Brown, The Daily Show, South Park and The Simpsons. What these folks share in common with me are a love of words. What they don’t share with me is their talent.
It seems rare for Jon Stewart not to mention metaphors, or Larry King not to detect subtleties of the spoken word. Words make up the focal point of their shows, framed by a few soundbytes and images. As a whole, these shows I watch are an intellectual pacifier to the screaming childish insanity of our immature world. The soothing nature of Aaron Brown’s voice, along with his reason, became a father’s real-life bedtime story to me – at times as horrific, at times as hilarious. At all times an island of reason in a sea of perplexity.
I read today that Aaron Brown will no longer be hosting NewsNight. No more weather in Chicago. No more “Tomorrow’s Headlines Today!” Most mournfully, no more of Aaron’s great appreciation of words, language and society. It is our exposure to such eloquence that ensures the well being and vitality of our language. Those who convey afoot with the grace of Fred Astaire and give us something to strive for ourselves. Unfortunately, the media always falls to the common denominator. One does not need to look up to find the denominator.
This is not to say that Aaron Brown’s replacement – Anderson Cooper – is without merit. Only that the package is being sold over the product, speaking volumes of the target audience. The visual metaphor of the staid, mature presence of Aaron behind a desk of authority and discipline was cleared to make room for the unruly open-mindedness of youth on a flashy dance floor. The trend is that news is nearing entertainment these days, with “shock and awe” footage being interrupted with commercial breaks featuring soda and popcorn.
I will miss Aaron’s hour of my day. I will miss him. I fear that he will not show up within The Observatory’s range ever again. But tonight I write in appreciation of him, and his appreciation of words, during this, his hour. Tonight, there are a few less stars in the metaphor sky.
I wish you the best, Aaron. Good luck, and thanks for the words.