The Anchorwoman's Golden Shower, or, Beyond the Savitch Curtain

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Some say Jessica Savitch was important because she was a pioneer in the male-dominated profession of reading newzak off a teleprompter; others say she provided an important cautionary tale of glamour, drugs, and doomed ambition. I say the famous NBC anchorwoman rooled because she was Atlantic City High School's greatest graduate.

Savitch's moment of glory, the legendary stoned broadcast from 1983, was suppressed by NBC but has emerged at last, and after more than two decades of expectation it can't help being a letdown. She doesn't look any more screwed up than Katherine Harris in her Senate announcement interview with the ever-sober Alan Colmes. I wouldn't even have noticed anything if I hadn't been looking for it, but then I have pretty low expectations about how much logic, information, and coherence you can expect from a one-minute newsbreak. For a Philly-area luminary who could really deliver the goods on live television, you've still got to go with R. Budd Dwyer.

Jessica Savitch may be gone, but her legacy lives on. Jack Shafer takes a tour of blonde TV newsbots, whose ranks and highlights have increased exponentially since the eighties, as demonstrated by the periodic table of blondness. Be forewarned: If you could cross Mr. Blackwell with Joan and Melissa Rivers, the result wouldn't be as bitchy and biting as Shafer is here.

NEXT: Bush Regime Collapsing

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  1. Golden Shower? Huh?

  2. Great header. She looks stoned in the picture at the site where those guys claim to know she does chicks, cocaine, and Warren Beatty.

  3. As an Aryan, I find Slate’s piece to be patently offensive.

  4. When it comes to Philly local news legends, the list begins and ends with John Facenda.

    We owe Jessica a great debt for at least making the evening news easy on the eyes. Chances are I am either going to bored or infuriated by what they are saying regardless of who is reading it. Given that fact, I would rather be bored or infuriated looking at Campbell Brown than John Chencellor anyday.

  5. Here’s a theory much more boring than the coke-in-the-’80s thing: She’s about as zonked and discombobulated as someone adjusting to an antidepressant. In 1983, there was still a big enough stigma attached to that she would likely have concealed it from pretty much everyone, NBC included. And going off it abruptly — or continuing through a difficult adjustment period — could certainly diminish one’s driving skills.

  6. I’ve seen that Bud Dwyer tape, and it’s the most disgusting thing ever. I had no idea there was that much blood in the human body.

  7. Again I ask — “Golden Showers”? Huh?

  8. Aw, never mind. She wasn’t evn driving

  9. The entire headline is a porn pun, BDW.

  10. Todd,

    Thanks for making my motherFUCKING day. I’d never have clicked on that link if you hadn’t mentioned it. Jesus. That is QUITE a bit of blood…

  11. “For a Philly-area luminary who could really deliver the goods on live television, you’ve still got to go with R. Budd Dwyer.”

    Hey man, nice shot.

  12. Oh, and speaking of golden showers, here’s a true story from my short stint working in the teevee nooze biz.

    Our weatherman was a dork. And our lead anchor was a big fan of sneaking double-entendr?s on air.

    One evening Weather Guy is going on about how dry it is, but that he expects us to get some rain and that the moisture would be “Worth it’s wait in gold.”

    He wraps up and tosses back to Lead Anchor who thanks him for the weather report and wraps it up with “And we’ll be looking forward to those golden showers.”

    He kept a totally straight face until commercial break, when everyone on the floor just busted out laughing.

    Except Weather Guy. He didn’t get it.

  13. What about Jerry Penacoli? He was another one from Philly TV who could deliver the goods. What ever happened to him?

  14. I rewatched that Kathrine Harris video. What is it with her trying to show off her nice perky boobs?

  15. Minor quibble: Bud Dwyer was from western Pa., not the Philly area. I was working at a radio station in Harrisburg when he staged the big exit. Our news guy was ten feet from him when it happened. Poor sumbitch was pale as a ghost when he returned. And I was living in Bucks County, Pa. when Jessica Savitch’s car went into the drink. I’ve been to that restaurant and it’s not hard to see how it happpened.

  16. Mediageek,

    Best double-entendr?s I have ever seen involved University of Arkansas football of all things. The headcoach (Houston Nutt) announced his plans to play a freshman quarterback (Casey Dick) in the upcoming game against South Carolina (The Gamecocks). This lead a local paper to have a headline which read, “Nutt Wants Dick in Pocket Against Cocks” The editor should have won a Pulitzer.

  17. Mo,

    Damn Harris does have some perky boobs. I don’t see anything wrong at all with Ms. Harris showing them off. As a matter of fact, I would encourage it.

  18. John,
    T’wasn’t a complaint.

    I remember my freshman year of college our waterpolo team put up a flyer that said:

    Come see hot, wet shaved Beavers* play tonight at the pool!

    * Beaver being our mascot.

  19. Oh and best line from the Harris interview, “I want to show the people who is the conservative progressive and who … has the most liberal voting record.” (emphasis added)

    WTF is a conservative progressive?

    Tim, did you switch the Dwyer link to the Wikipedia article? Not that I particularly want to see the snuff film, but I am curious what they’re talking about.

  20. “WTF is a conservative progressive?”

    I think it has something to do with your views on society and government and spending and taxes and the presense of really nice perky breasts..now what were talking about again?

  21. Mo,

    Follow the wiki link and go to the bottom of the page. Click on “Press footage of suicide (warning: graphic content).” You’ll get the full monty there.

  22. The entire headline is a porn pun, BDW.

    Look, I understand porn puns (my name is “Big Dark Willy” for cryin’ out loud) and as a long ago fan of “Patches Pee Site” I also understand what golden showers are. But what I don’t understand is how the term “golden showers” specifically relates to this story. Please advise.

  23. Why has this got you so upset?

  24. Gracias Tim.

  25. Why has this got you so upset?

    Why not read “Personal Knowledge: towards a post-critical philosophy” by Michael Polanyi and find out for yourself!

  26. Chances are I am either going to bored or infuriated by what they are saying regardless of who is reading it.

    Too bad you missed the glory days of the always drunk Bill Bonds in Detroit. He once challenged Coleman Young to a fight during an interview. An adversarial press indeed.

    Although, I wouldn’t mind seeing Norah O’Donnell and Campbell Brown wrestling to determine who’s the next weekend anchor.

  27. Big Dark Willy is really scary.
    Mommy!

  28. Big Dark Willy is really scary.
    Mommy!

    Given that nearly six hours have passed since the question was first asked, I gotta figure the reason no on can provide an answer is because no one knows.

  29. Big Dark Willy

    I assume it’s a play on this:

    “Her story was told by author Alanna Nash in a 1988 book titled Golden Girl: The Story of Jessica Savitch.”

    But I might be wrong.

  30. Happy Jack,

    That guy sounds awesome. I have it really bad for Campbell Brown, not so much for Nora. I would however definitely chalk up some money for the pay per view Fox MSNBC newsbabe throwdown. Now that would be made for TV entertainment.

  31. Thank you Isaac Bartram. You’re a very nice boy and I bet your mother is proud of your many, many successes.

  32. So now that you’ve got your answer, you can explain: Why did this pretty straightforward pun have you so upset?

  33. Happy Jack, big thumbs up on the Bill Bonds reset. What’s most amazing is that, as far as I know, the pickled son of a bitch is still kicking around on his original liver. I remember watching him as a 10 year old child and recognizing that he was drunk. He had to be a major inspiration for the Ron Burgundy character in Anchorman.
    Also, for what it’s worth, I’m siding with the Katherine Harris has some serious MILF fuckability brigade on this one.

  34. Some of the above posts reminded me of the sportswriter (whose name I wish I could recall) who wrote that his dream matchup for a bowl game would be South Carolina and Oregon State–the Cocks versus the Beavers.

  35. Fox finally got rid of Laurie Dhue, she was just never able to say “Fair and Balanced” with a straight face. I give her alot of credit for that, she couldnt look into the camera and lie to the viewers.

    Paige Hopkins had that problem too for awhile (she would crinkle her nose), but she got over it. I havent seen her for awhile though, I wonder what happened to her?

  36. So now that you’ve got your answer, you can explain: Why did this pretty straightforward pun have you so upset?

    The only way you’ll ever truly know is to read the Polyani book referenced above.

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