"Marry Don Lemon? What are you talking about?!"
And with my hands folded, shaking my head which suffices as the perfect canvas for that "Really, I mean really?" look, I pray for these viewers (and who knows a few of you reading this) who have had the rare opportunity to watch a craftsman of his trade and not even know it.
Sigh. What can I say?
And yes, I KNOW that he is gay. And still, it doesn't even m-att-er!
You know back in the day when my youthful naivete and stupidity would grant me the legitimacy of confessing, "I'm in love with a man nearly twice my age," I could then better understand people's oblivious reaction.
But now wiser (but not that much older because I will be forever 16) I really do now understand what is attractive about a man. It is not his looks- though Don has not failed in that department at all, or his 'standing' or even his sexual prowess.
It is in fact what I alluded to at the beginning of this article: his dedication and commitment to his craft- journalism.
As I have indicated before on 'Petra Marie...Inspired Be', I have had an unwavering reverence for journalism since the age of four, likening myself to a zealot of this religion. And so, when a faithful steward (please note in preface to the following analogy, I am not calling myself a sheep) like myself stumbles across a shepherd worthy of being followed, the only thing left to do is to give up my life for the cloth/craft and prove my discipleship through marriage to the 'Saviour'.
Fine, my forays into journalism have been print, but the fundamental tenets of good journalism still apply to all media of the media.
And that brings me to the reason why I wrote this article. It was not to declare my mad devotion to Don Lemon, but rather to highlight my favourite journalists of all time. These few have demonstrated, particularly in the area of interviewing, but certainly not limited to, a command of journalism that inspired me to want delve deep into this profession.
So here goes:
- Don Lemon: Few in broadcast have his natural confidence and empathy that makes him undeniably personable. And I say this even though he disobeys one of the most fundamental tenets of journalism- always be impersonal; his ability to speak honestly using his painful past, sexual preference and race offers the viewers and often times his interviewees a balanced perspective, which is the fundamental tenet of journalism. He does it so effortlessly and eloquently that you KNOW it is sincere.
- Larry King: Right on Mr. Lemon's tail is the 'Don' of broadcast journalism, Larry King. And why you may argue that the Larry King Show is and was not journalism, I would tell you that you are being to myopic in your view. Human Interest journalism is by no means the bastard child of journalism. In fact in today's world where social equity is so important, mastering the art of human interest is crucial for a journalist. And no one mastered it better than Larry King- and for this reason. Sure, he interviewed some pretty inspiring people and some not so, in the form of rapists and murderers and bigots and the whole spectrum of scumbags. But this is the crux of the matter, you wouldn't have known it when he was interviewing them because he ALWAYS showed everyone, from Presidents to Pimps the same respect. And in so doing that made the interviewee sincere because defenses came tumbling down. And he continues to do it today, with much success.
- Last but by no means least, our very own Bajan born, Cindy Rouse. She epitomised the very same virtues that the aforementioned possessed, but unlike these two stalwarts, she did not have producers and a team to 'make' her. She made herself. I know, I know I know. She was a Disc Jockey. And? I am yet to listen to a more eloquent, well planned and always perfectly researched and executed interviewer than Cindy on Radio, Barbados or anywhere else. Nothing more can be said on that.
So why not that much representation from the media of print journalism or from Barbados? Well you will have to stay tuned for another installment of Petra Marie...Inspired Be when I give you my take on the 'State of the Fourth Estate in Barbados'.