Huge Servings of Stupid Royal Baby Coverage

Victoria Arbiter on CNN (screengrab by HuffPost)Last week, news of the anticipation of the royal baby eclipsed much other news in the U.S., but it gave no indication of the level of stupid that was to come with the kid’s actual birth.

But in a tough field, where news outlets competed to provide torrents of inane coverage of an event that stopped being front-page news sometime around the enlightenment, CNN appears to have won the sweepstakes.

CNN put itself over the top when its correspondent Victoria Arbiter congratulated mom Kate Middleton, calling her “brilliant“–not for giving birth, but for producing a male heir the first time out.¬† “This is how brilliant a royal Kate is,” Arbiter effused. “There are women throughout British royal family history who have panicked over not being able to deliver a boy and here we are. Kate did it–first time.” The princess will apparently keep her head.

Amidst CNN‘s torrential coverage there was also a segment about childbirth in the UK, featuring medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen interviewing a British woman who was actually in labor, as well as a promo for a documentary¬†special, “Will and Kate Plus One.”

Elsewhere, MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews (Hardball, 7/23/13) receives honorable mention for complaining that coverage of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s latest online sexual weirdness was blotting out more important stories–including the birth of the queen of England’s great-grandchild: “This guy’s going to be the big story of the night, not Trayvon Martin, not the princess having a baby, but this stuff!”

Among the saturation coverage of the royal birth, one outlet provided relief: The Guardian‘s online site features a “Republican” button (as opposed to the default “Royalist” option) which hides all royal baby coverage from the reader.

But that’s in the UK–no such luck with U.S. outlets.


About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.