New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley spent yesterday working over her remote, watching the crush of coverage — with the exception of CBS, of course — of Gerald Ford‘s death:
In Gerald R. Ford, who was 93 and served less than one full term, television found the avatar of comfortable presidential fadeouts. The deaths of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon were too fraught with the Shakespearean tragedies they lived in office. Ronald Reagan‘s life and two terms were so momentous that the days leading to his funeral, though full and colorful, were also weighed down with mourning and Hollywood pageantry.
Her observations about the coverage are interesting, particularly when Stanley veers from the coverage itself. Like here:
Mr. Ford’s retirement was dignified and decent, but not particularly distinguished: old news clips showed him in the 1980s and 1990s playing golf and attending fund-raisers for Republicans, not raising roofs for the homeless or public awareness about pandemics in Asia and Africa.
So Ford wasn’t Jimmy Carter. We get it. But let’s move on to Stanley’s swipe at Today‘s Ann Curry:
With the exception of those offered by Ann Curry, who on “Today” adopted her usual smarmily maudlin tone, most of the encomiums were by turns affectionate and respectful, but not unduly mournful.