12:45 pm Jun. 21, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
The news broke late yesterday afternoon that Ann Curry might be leaving the "Today" show and her co-host Matt Lauer.
Brian Stelter of The New York Times broke the story; he's presently at work on a book about morning TV. Stelter, via his sources, characterized her exit thusly: "Her journalistic interests sometimes clash with morning television realities."
Some more from his item:
Several weeks ago, network officials and Ms. Curry began to discuss a different job for her, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations, who insisted on anonymity because the matter was confidential. Those discussions have continued and are expected to be completed before NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics begins in late July.
Ms. Curry, who has not had a television agent for years, has hired a well-known lawyer, Robert B. Barnett, to represent her in the negotiations, according to these people. It is unclear whether she has explicitly agreed to any arrangement that NBC has offered her in lieu of “Today.” But several people who know Ms. Curry say that she has been struggling with the idea of leaving the show for some time.
A follow-up item from Stelter reports that NBC, out of concern that Curry might not have shown up for work Thursday, developed a contingency plan for this morning's edition of "Today."
So who's really holding the cards here?
The show briefly lost its long-held lead over "Good Morning America" recently just about a year into Curry's tenure as has co-host, so ratings could very well be a factor in either case.
And now for the requisite Huffington Post slideshow of "Who Could Replace Her." - J.P.
In today's New York Times there's a profile of downtown performer Justin Vivian Bond, who for some two decades has been an underground live performance star in various guises, most famously in the character of alcohol-deranged, aged diva Kiki DuRane in the cabaret duo Kiki and Herb.
Notable about the profile: The Times refers to Bond in subsequent references strictly as "Bond," without its own style guide's usual use of Mr., Mrs. or Ms. (for which an exception is made, I think, only for sports stories, and, if I'm not further mistaken, the long-deceased); and in not a single instance of the nearly-1,000-word piece does the writer Michael Schulman use a single personal pronoun (he, she; his, hers.)
The reason it's remarkable is not just the George Perec-style highwire act (congratulations are due to Schulman and his editors for this near-lipogrammatic feat) but something Schulman addresses right at the top of the profile:
In an online announcement last year, Bond adopted the prefix “Mx.” as a gender-neutral alternative to “Mr.” or “Ms.” And instead of “he” or “she,” the apropos pronoun would be “v.”
About a year ago, New York magazine's Carl Swanson got a tongue-lashing for a long profile he wrote that eschewed Bond's suggested prefixes and pronouns in favor of just Bond (unlike the Times, New York doesn't use prefixes in the first place) and, rather more controversial, repeated use of the male personal pronoun throughout. Ironically, the article was called The Story of 'V,' and itself addressed the pronoun question, without explaining precisely how New York had decided what to do with it:
One of the difficulties of writing about Bond’s reality flux is very basic: the pronoun. His friends mostly refer to him as “he,” though many go back and forth depending on the context or the fraughtness of their relationship (the musician Rufus Wainwright notably seems to use “he” just to irk Bond). For the record, he would prefer to not be referred to as he or she but rather the faux-noun v, which references “Vivian,” the new middle name he gave himself early this year.
The Times, it seems, is willing to bend its style guide to avoid all the "he said, she said," but not quite to bring itself inline with Bond's novel usage.
To my mind it's all quite elegantly done, and perhaps more interestingly, even just this level of accession to transgender story subjects would have been unimaginable two decades ago. Though whether Bond will find it sufficient I can't say.
And it's a surprise, in retrospect, that the often fusty Times copy desk was willing to go with its style guide where New York had feared (or perhaps simply decided not) to tread. - T.M.
In other news...
Layoffs at Rolling Stone. [Poynter]
Legendary film critic and auteur-theory auteur Andrew Sarris, has died; he was 83. [The New York Times]
The success and controversy of "Fox & Friends." [The New York Times]
The American Prospect has raised enough funds to keep it afloat. [The Huffington Post]
Stony Brook University is planning an international reporting center in Marie Colvin's memory. [A.P.]
Darren Rovell is leaving CNBC and heading back to ESPN. [Talking Biz News]