Last week, in a not terribly outdated issue of the New Yorker, I happened to read a remarkable essay by Charles Van Doren about his role in the 1950s quiz show scandals. While learning about Van Doren’s personal history was fascinating, more fascinating was this bit I found mid-way through the piece. In it, he talks about being a contributor to NBC’s Today Show in the late ’50s:
. . . before long Dave [Garroway, the first host of the show] gave me a daily five-minute spot at the top of the hour in which to report on cultural and literary events; I read a great poem or two every Friday morning and talked about its author.
Flash forward half a century. Here is the type of cultural and literary coverage the Today Show is doing these days. And thank goodness. Because nothing will prepare Americans for their new place in the world like being able to say “beach volleyball” in Chinese.
Posted by C-Monster.