Mr. Smith, let it be known, does not like verbs. Whenever he finds one, he crinkles his brow in disgust like a man who has discovered a dribble of food on his tie. He taps furiously at his keyboard, moves the cursor to the offending word and deletes it, or else adds “ing,” turning the verb into a participle and his script into the strange shorthand that passes for English these days on cable news:
“Amazon.com celebrating a birthday! The Internet company 10 years old.”
“Texas! A school bus and two other vehicles colliding in Dallas. The bus rolling over on its side.”
“Outrage in the Middle East! A vow of revenge after an assassination and reportedly threatening the United States. Tonight — how real the threat?”
What a bizarre question. Have you never watched Fox News?
In fact, what a bizarre article. Is that really the state of news media analysis these days? Imaginary accounts of the way someone writes their lines, followed by some fictional headlines that they might have written?
Mr. Smith is all about speed. He typically blasts through 80 or so items of news during his hourlong broadcast, which, with its zooming cameras, swooshing sound effects and Mr. Smith’s jokey, frat-boy delivery, acquired while he was a student at Ole Miss, resembles a broadcast of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” more closely than it does “NBC Nightly News.” He seldom does interviews on his program, fearful that slow-talking guests might gum up the works, and dispatches from correspondents are always ad-libbed, for freshness. During commercials, Mr. Smith obsessively scours news sites on his laptop, looking for any breaking nugget.
So basically, he’s the Blue’s News of cable news media.