UPDATE: THIS WEEK’S GLOBAL VIEW GETS MORE GLOBAL… At the start of the Labor Day weekend broadcast, Christiane Amanpour announced that through a deal with BBC, “This Week” will now be seen in 200 countries around the world.
One of the revered bastions of political media is the Sunday morning news shows — NBC’s Meet The Press, CBS’s Face The Nation, and ABC’s This Week. A new host debuted on This Week, and with that move an interesting change took place that hints at a future sea change in media news reporting.
It’s not that ABC replaced former host George Stephanopoulos with a woman — it’s that new host Christiane Amanpour is a woman with global perspective who brings that view to her reporting. An Iranian woman, born in London and raised partly in Tehran, Amanpour was well-known for many years as an international correspondent for CNN — delivering live newscasts from war zones and crisis hot spots around the world.
There were a few times during the show where her global viewpoint overrode the expected format. Some critics were not happy that she included a satellite interview with Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid (who is a Taliban expert) on a panel with the series “regulars” about the war in Afghanistan, but they really were not pleased when she later asked him about how the troubled U.S. economy was perceived abroad and whether people in Pakistan are concerned about the possible impact our economy would have on their aid and the war efforts. Some critics savaged that move — as if she had broken the rule of sticking to viewpoints only from the American left or right and had the audacity to ask someone from another country about matters that concern America. Perhaps the most jolting global remark she made came during the “in memoriam” segment when, after showing the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, she paid tribute to “all of those who died in war” — having the audacity to speak as if war was a tragedy for all humanity, not just for America.
It’s a lot to take in, dealing with the world from a global perspective different from our own. Not everyone is ready for a sea change. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.