Avalanche of boobs

Robert Feder’s column in the Sun-Times this morning featured letters about yesterday’s column. But none of them was on Montel Willams DVD project, Upscale Chicago, or even Felicia Middlebrooks’ contract extension. It was the last item that trigged the outrage — a one sentence mention about WFLD-TV morning show anchor Tamron Hall breast implants.

Here comes the Avalanche of hate mail so fast and furious, that retired goaltender Patrick Roy couldn’t stop it. (Yes, an NHL reference. And he did play for the Colorado Avalanche.)

But, what you expect from a populace that freaks out when Janet Jackson’s exposed breast is on TV for all of one second?

So, what’s the big deal? Of course, Tamron Hall is not well-liked in Chicago media circles, as some feel that she was the one who forced Bob Sirott out of the stations’ morning show several years ago. (Station management has turned over twice since then.)

Then again, a lot of women — African-American women in journalism get scrutinized — more so than anybody else.

Felicia Middlebrooks’ and Diann Burns made contract demands in the past, and more recently, WGN-TV’s Allison Payne and WMAQ-TV Marion Brooks’ bizarre behavior were scrutinized by the print media in this town. All are African-American women.

I read reactions to these issues on local message boards in the past, and most posts were not flattering.

Which makes me wonder — if the women were white, would this elicit the same response? As an African-American myself, it’s natural that I should have these questions, especially in the light of the racist Michael Richards’ tirade caught on tape in a L.A. comedy club.

Then again, Ms. Middlebrooks shouldn’t have sought out the help of the Rev. Jesse Jackson for her previous contract negotiations (what was she thinking?) or Ms. Payne shouldn’t have wrote a check for public television — on the air — on Chicago Tonight (for real, what was she thinking?)

I’ve seen Tamron Hall’s work, and IMHO, she’s one of the worst-talented news personalities in the market. (Then again, so is most of CLTV’s on-air staff. )

Crazy antics by news anchors aren’t limited to race, creed, gender, or color. But in an era where a lot of viewers across the nation are fed up with local news, neither is criticism of the personalities.


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