Friday, February 25, 2005

Getting My Goat

I watch the Today show every morning as I'm getting ready for work. I really do enjoy Katie, Matt, Al and Ann but this week I'm a little bothered by some of their shenanigans.

First of all, I understand that the Today show isn't news. They are part of the entertainment division. And that's what it is when I view/listen in the morning - entertainment with the actual newsbreaks serving as commercials. So I really shouldn't expect that this be hard-hitting journalism.

Case in point:

They ran a little series this week on trading places. I don't even know what they called it - it was so important that they didn't even highlight it on the website - but basically members of 'America's First Family' all tried their hand at a different occupation for a day. Now, I really didn't expect them to tackle anything tough or truly meaningful. I mean, I wouldn't want an inexperienced person providing health care or processing my business loan or repairing the wiring in my home.

So I give Matt Lauer props for going to work with members of the Department of Sanitation. He got down and dirty hauling trash. And this after last week's week-long series on germs. Apparently Matt is a real germ-o-phobe so his hitching a ride on the back of a garbage truck and slinging dog shit and avoiding 'disco rice' (maggots) was truly a test of his character.

Ann did something with a stunt plane pilot and Al tried his hand at dealing blackjack. Big whoop. But this morning's clip with Katie really got my goat.

I actually liked Katie Couric but now I'm beginning to think not so much. I don't dislike her, I'm just losing a little bit of respect for her because, well, she's going Hollywood. The designer clothes, the jet-setting trips, the appearances in movies and sitcoms - she's going Hollywood baby. So this morning she tried to pick something real and down to earth. She went to a goat farm to see what it was all about.

Had she gone to a regular goat farm I wouldn't have been bothered. But no - she had to go to a designer goat farm! That's right - the goat farm she chose to visit was Coach Farm. Coach Farm is the retirement dream for Miles Cahn and his wife, Lillian, founders of the Coach Handbag Co. (or Coach Leatherware; not exactly sure what the full original name of the company was). They sold the company to Sara Lee in 1985 and retired to the Coach Farm in Pine Plains, about two hours north of New York City.

And that was where Katie chose to go milk the goats. You could tell that the staff didn't think much of her. She was trying to chit-chat with one of the workers, a woman who I don't think spoke much English, and the woman just sort of ignored her. But Katie giggled and tee-heed her way through the bit. No doubt about it - Coach Farm makes great cheese and it's a fascinating story in and of itself. Miles and Lillian Cahn, who are 84 and 82 years old respectively, genuinely love their little farm. But somehow I think it was cheapened by Katie's visit.

I've got a whole other rant on how I was duped by their series on autism, but that will have to wait for another post.

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