QUICK QUESTION: Which News Anchors Do You Like AS PEOPLE?

By Price Peterson

Jul 05, 2012

These days most news broadcasts (especially those on cable) have prioritized making the viewer angry over actually informing anybody in an accurate way. That's just how cable news works now! So long as the viewer is angry, ratings will remain high. Personally whenever I watch the news, it's with a million grains of salt (lately I've taken to just burying my head in a wheelbarrow of salt), but I can at least recognize the downright likeable people delivering the politically skewed exaggerations that roll off their teleprompters. That's right, I like a lot of these anchors AS PEOPLE. And based on the recent wave of press over Anderson Cooper's coming out—not to mention HBO's new watercooler drama about a news room (can't remember the title)—it's clear that many of you do too.

So, without devolving into a rant-based screaming match about bias and fascism and socialism and the downfall of America, can we just talk about which anchors we like AS PEOPLE? Seriously, let's make this a nice conversation: Which news anchor would you want to be friends with in real life? Here are my picks:

CNN's Anderson Cooper

You're probably like, "OBVIOUSLY you would pick Anderson Cooper, Price." Touché, reader. But the thing is, I liked Anderson Cooper before I knew anything about him. In high school we had this closed-circuit TV system in homeroom that played a lame news-for-teens show called Channel 1 News and a much younger Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling, and Serena Altschul were all anchors! Those were formative years for me so I've loved following their careers since. For his part, Anderson Cooper's carved out this weird niche of hard news and touchy-feely talk-show hosting, but his often inscrutable personality has lent itself really well to speculation and then appreciation for what we've detected between the lines. He's definitely kept my attention.

Fox News' Shepard Smith

A lot of Fox News played in my house growing up and I was always baffled by Shepard Smith. Who was this sassy Tennessee Williams character with the Disney eyes sharing wry inside jokes with his fellow anchors? He seemed really interesting to me! But then I saw this clip and became a fan for life:

NBC's Brian Williams

I think when I first became aware of Brian Williams I chalked him up to being a poor man's Tom Brokaw. But after he took over Brokaw's slot and made the broadcast his own, he's really shown himself to be an understated and occasionally subversive deliverer of frequently ridiculous headlines. And in his various media rounds (whenever he's promoting whatever he promotes) he's an ace interview, often leaving talk show audiences in stitches. Maybe it's an expectations thing where you would never expect someone like Brian Williams to be hilarious, but it doesn't matter, he definitely is.

HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell

Do you feel like getting yelled at today? What about from a lady with hairdo that could only be described as "an avant-garde sculptural piece which serves as a comment on society's brutality"? Guys, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell is something I constantly stop on while channel-surfing and it never lets me down. Jane Velez-Mitchell is MAD. She may never overcome the comparison to fellow livid HLN host Nancy Grace, but that underdog status makes me like her even more.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

I don't know, Rachel Maddow seems like the cousin you'd gravitate to during your annual family Christmas party. While everyone's hugging and complimenting each other's sweaters and asking pointed questions about each other's jobs and/or love life, we'd be standing in the corner trading sarcastic quips about Prometheus or whatever. You know? Obviously she's pretty articulate, but what I like most about Rachel Maddow is she has a knowing, self-aware sense of humor. That definitely goes a long way with me.

Fox News' Bill Hemmer

I mean, just look at him! Not only is he wholesomely handsome, Bill Hemmer's got that aw-shucks personality that's hard to dislike. He's like your older brother's laid-back jock friend who might've taken five years to finish high school, but he still got to speak at graduation and the whole town showed up to support him. He's likeable, is what I'm saying.

HLN's Nancy Grace

LOLOL. I don't know how much of Nancy Grace's persona is an Andy Kaufman-esque hoax (Question: has Nancy Grace ever appeared in the same room as Judy Tenuta?), but I don't care. Be my best friend, Nancy Grace?

YOUR TURN! Which news anchors do YOU like as people?

Polite reminder: Please let's keep this upbeat and not hateful. Thanks! —Management

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  • FallSapphire Aug 14, 2012

    Your bar is low. Surprised you didnt include other members of the playground bully brigade who substitute low-blow, low -brow ad hominem attacks for intellect and insight that doesnt reach the lowest form of wit bar. I wonder about the contribution to American development Krauthamer and the wit-wannabes critcs of fellow Americans : Fred Barnes, any Doocy, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly etc, what do they bring to the table?

  • FallSapphire Aug 14, 2012

    Anderson Cooper-- has gotten insufferably less journalistic since Haiti-- no to the Nancy Grace rip-off. Too few true journalists left. Just Shep and Brian on your list.

    As a child, I found Eric Severeid's comments unbearable. As to the Fox folk and those 'reporters' defecting to Fox, dear Lord. I miss Keith O

  • ama78 Jul 13, 2012

    my roomate's aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...NuttyRich.com

  • TheMirayShow Jul 10, 2012

    You're top three were my top three! Lol. I've never actully watched anyone other than Anderson Cooper, Shep Smith or Brian Williams, who was on the list.

    But I do live in Toronto and we have our bunch of loveable news people, but even if I named them, you guys wouldn't know them, so I won't :P

  • phonzee101 Jul 10, 2012

    Brian Williams, Kent Brockman from the Simpsons, & of course Stephen Colbert.

  • BarbaraOsiens Jul 09, 2012

    My boy Anderson Coop, I love his approach and his attitude. Love , Love , Love

  • blaine101 Jul 09, 2012

    Jennifer Griffin, Fox's war correspondent, who is like a personal hero. Understated, smart & fearless. I remember her on some rooftop in Israel with Shepherd Smith while the bombs were dropping and Shepherd was freaking out, and Jennifer never batted an eye. She showed the same grace & courage when she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.

    Christiane Amanpour, too, although I would really have to watch myself talking to her: you're not allowed to pronounce Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan in the hard "a" american accent, it makes her crazy.

  • osdawaya16 Jul 09, 2012

    I typically refuse to watch any news channel whatsoever (including local news), so I don't have much opinion on this subject. However, when I'm visiting my Grandparents, all they ever have on their TV is Fox News (and it's nearly impossible to get them to change the channel). Love the channel or hate it (and I know most hate it), the weekend morning show is pretty entertaining. I'd have to say I like most of those people, if for no reason other than their interactions with each other. Beyond that, I have nothing to add.

  • Mysterv Jul 08, 2012

    My turn...

    I really enjoy Suzanne Malveaux on CNN. She is extremely smart, balanced in her reporting and a beautiful lady to top it off.

    I also like Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network - he has a sneaky funny personality.

    Megyn Kelly on FOX has a nice balance of seriousness and fun in her interactions with guests.

    What I don't like? - The View. How did they get so many unlikeable people on a couch?

  • FallSapphire Aug 14, 2012

    Strange and eclectic assortment. Malveaux and Kelly wow! Cavuto for the humor effect?

  • blaine101 Jul 09, 2012

    Re; The View totally agreed! Like a bunch of hens all cackling over each other to get in their point. And it's always too funny to me when Barbara Walters flashes them all the death glare & they all immediately apologize to let her get in a long-winded speech. I like The Talk much better, they all seem to really like each other, they respect each other's points of view & there's a lot more humor.

  • safibwana Jul 08, 2012

    Now for all the cartoonists, which news anchors do you like AS DOGS?

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