Former host of The Insider, Pat O’Brien, is writing his autobiography. The nasally-voiced, bookish talking head made headlines a few years ago for creepily propositioning a young female colleague (caught on tape, on her answering machine) and later for a workplace email in which he claimed Insider co-host Lara Spencer made viewers “want to vomit”. So the man’s no saint. He has sobered up and is trying to fly right.
So-called Celebrity journalism sickens me and in this anecdote from the New York Post, O’Brien encapsulates everything that’s wrong with it.
“Instead of interviewing, for example, Reneé Zellweger on her movie, the show instructed me to ask her if she’s ever been depressed. Then she’ll say no, and the show goes on and says, ‘Was Reneé Zellweger depressed?’ Of course the answer is no. They would demand at the end of the day that I ask a guest]about anorexia, depression, suicide . . . to get that headline.”
It’s sick, isn’t it? And it’s still on the air because millions of people watch it. So…who’s sicker?