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Emily Rooney does her best Rosie O'Donnell impersonation

OK, OK, I got sucked in and actually watched "Greater Boston" and its expose on Balloon Boy.

Rooney started out by asking her guests, two lawyers, "Part of this, don't you think, is we all want REVENGE."

One of those lawyers writes for the Daily Beast, which Rooney apparently thinks is more legitimate than Gawker.

"We're all angry," Rooney said.

But the best part was when Em started complaining about Balloon Boy's mother. She complained about the "fake inarticulate Asian thing going on," and then did her best impersonation of a woman with a fake inarticulate Asian thing going on - I can't even recreate it here, it was sort of like a second or two of a cat that's just had a rock dropped on its tail.

Is Rooney trying out for a seat on The View?

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I thought she was right on. But what has she got against Gawker? Is she suggesting that they had a part in the hoax? Seemed out of left field.

Whit

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No major elections nearby or anything.

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And she declared herself unhappy that the debate seemed to be too heavy on issues she doesn't care about, like some weird thing called "FiOS," rather than "emotional" stuff like trash pickup.

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Does this mean that you've also watched Rosie O'Donnell?

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But her Chinese "joke" was widely reported.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFWq0LHh9eI

She's no Suzanne Wang or Margaret Cho, that's for sure.

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You don't think that dreadful Heene woman plays up the Asian accent thing and the broken-English for the operator? For the camera? You haven't heard the tapes I guess.

I guess Rooney was trying to convey how slimy and revolting and cringe inducing it is to listen to and it came off a little weird. But totally accurate.

Whit

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Colorado crackpots pranked the national media and local law enforcement, and now they're in hot water. A few months ago some lady ate her own baby. Meanwhile,we're all still getting reamed by the big banks, who help themselves to our tax money and proceeded to award themselves bonuses for a job well done while raising everyone's credit card rates and foreclosing on homes with unprecedented ferocity.
I'm afraid I don't have much outrage left over for the silly stuff. Seems like Emily really took this incident personally for some reason.

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Yes, the wife definitely plays it up, actually Rooney's not bad at it.

Remember, Mr & Mrs met in acting school.

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I guess she could do community TV, but I think her sole qualification is her name and father. Beyond that, she doesn't seem to have much going on besides playing the token conservative from time to time.

Why anybody gave her a show or a job is anybody's guess. I have yet to see her produce anything of journalistic merit that a high school media class couldn't cook up on community cable.

Yeah, balloon boy is a hoax. You figured it out, and the broken English yoko trick, too. Who cares? Not like she's a Colorado tax payer or anything - or got delayed coming out of Giant Merangue Pie Airport.

Meanwhile, you think she could find a story or two in Boston given the title of the show. Like, what's happening to neighborhoods or cities and towns with extensive forclosure problems? How it got that way? How the schools are cutting everything but MCAS prep subjects due to budget cuts, why some communities with low taxes won't do 2.5 overrides, and what that means for the future of our citizenry. Why and how the curriculum frameworks for social studies intentionally screw out Indian and Chinese history despite their formidible influence on present and future world culture, etc. Even Mr. Dream Treehouse would be a better story than this.

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Emily Rooney was news director at Boston's ABC affiliate before becoming executive director of World News Tonight -- briefly, back in the 90's. I was working for ABC at the time (it was Capital Cities/ABC back then -- I worked in the distribution arm of the the corporation, not directly in news) and the word on the street was that she was fired because she tangled with Peter Jennings, and not because she wasn't qualified for her job.

I do agree, though, that this story missed the mark in a number of ways. I have the feeling that Rooney is ticked off because she, and the rest of the Beat the Press panel, seemed to have bought the whole story as of Friday's broadcast, and might be feeling the need to wipe some egg off their faces.

Further disclosure in case any is needed: I haven't worked for ABC since 1994 and I'm currently working as a social worker. I have nothing to do with Rooney, television or news production or distribution whatsoever. I've met Rooney twice, once at ABC and once as a guest on her show in 2003. I have a cat.

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I just don't see her translating that extensive experience when she's the one to do the actual reporting and on-camera work. She comes off as wooden and unfocused and desperate to protect some status quo that may never have existed. She also seems tightly scripted rather than probing.

Perhaps she makes a better director and executive than she does an on-camera journalist. That I could understand. In any case, one would expect a show with the title "Greater Boston" to be about ... Boston? Or at least Massachusetts?

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She is much better than you give her credit for and they do a lot of stories that no one else even touches.

To go off on a tangent is producer's prerogative, I guess.

I watch her every night!

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...then why'd she come back from New York so quickly? No ones goes from local to NYC and right back again that fast unless something ain't right with either abilities or personality or both.

I have my own suspicions about what that might be, and have heard personal testimony about what it's like to work on that show, but the publicly expressed violent revenge fantasy ought to tell one something: If this is how she "cleans up" for TV, how must she be in person, when the cameras aren't rolling?

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Why and how the curriculum frameworks for social studies intentionally screw out Indian and Chinese history despite their formidible influence on present and future world culture,

That would have been at the top of my list.

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The point being that there are more important stories than Colorado Balloon Boy that may impact the future ability of Boston and Massachusetts to compete in a global economy and to retain population and influence.

Or will that have to wait until we lose a couple more reps, and be reduced to whining about how unfair that is.

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I definitely agree that the Balloon Boy story is not locally relevant. It came up originally -- I suppose -- b/c Beat the Press comments on press coverage, and lots of local media covered the story. And since she had said once that she didn't think it was a hoax, she probably felt that GB had to get back to the story again in some fashion. I don't know - maybe this week's Beat the Press will critique how GB handled this. In my (really non-expert) opinion, since the story came up in the context of commentary on the media, GB didn't have any obligation to go back and make some correction. So I'm going with her being ticked off because she was duped. In my observation, GB generally does stick to, if not City of Boston issues, at least to, well, Greater Boston issues. Which is why I watch fairly regularly.

I think what you're getting at, SwirlyGrrl, is that there's some tension here as to whether GB is essentially a news broacast or a talk show. I'm not sure how much original reporting they actual do, or how much they purport to do, or what place, if any, the host's opinions or commentary have. I think the standard, or at least the viewer's expectations, are different depending on how you define the show. It's like the difference between being a reporter and a columnist. And now that you mention it, I'm not really sure which GB is trying to be.

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Swirly, you obviously never watch the show and you know nothing about Emily Rooney. This does not seem to qualify you to make any comment about the quality of the show.

The Friday show is the round-up of media coverage from the past week. On Friday, whether you love it or not, the media was very much focused on Balloon Boy. The panel talked about the coverage and it was mentioned,in passing, that most of the panel did not think it a hoax.

I think all the sour-graping about Greater Boston by people who wish they had their own TV show instead of a handfull of blog comments is pathetic.

Whit

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