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ABC News: Will the Village Idiot Return?

By jimbruce 30 September 2008 33

Its been a long time, but for the last few weeks we’ve seen a return to professionalism on the ABC television news.

Can you believe it: news being about news, weather being about weather, without patronising attempts at humour, self obsession, vegetable obsession, whatever.

You know what I’m talking about: Mark Carmody,  Mr Fosts and Frogs, presently at the moment at risk of percipitiation. He of the flower fetish and the demeaning, patronising putdowns of everyone’s favourite female newsreader (though I liked her better with a foot in the door at A Current Affair).

No more running for the remote at 7.26 each week night, no more squirming with embarrassment at the vegetable of the day (and his flowery corsage), no more (worst of all) nervous titter from Virginia as she valiantly tries to salvage self-respect from the nightly shambles.

What a relief it has been to have news and weather being about news and weather once again. How much professionalism has the entire half regained now that it is free of unscripted inanity. How much sense it makes to have the news reader read the news.

But presently, at the moment, a risk of percipitation threatens this new found respectability. What if they let him back in the  country? WHAT IF THEY LET HIM BACK ON THE AIR!

Pray, tell me it isn’t so. And let us remember, gimmickery is no substitute for competence.

What’s Your opinion?

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33 Responses to
ABC News: Will the Village Idiot Return?
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Holden Caulfield 9:08 am 03 Nov 08

ABC News: Will the Village Idiot Return?

According to the Canberra Times: Yes!

frontrow 5:00 pm 13 Oct 08

I saw the headline and thought something must have happened to Ross Solly. No such luck.

Gobbo 4:02 pm 13 Oct 08

tom-tom said :


Agreed. None better.

Holden Caulfield 3:25 pm 13 Oct 08

So, in Carmody, we have the spin, but no image?

Skidbladnir 3:12 pm 13 Oct 08

To his credit, that helicopter traffic report guy did drag Anthony Callea out of the closet live on air to millions of people.

I don’t think Mark Carmody will ever achieve something to rival that one.

pelican 3:07 pm 13 Oct 08

Because even the weather these days has to have a gimmick if it is not an eccentric flower wearer it is an overly bronzed blonded male shouting at us through the TV or [the traffic guy] shouting at us from a helicopter.

In our modern times image and spin take precedence over knowledge even the meteorological variety.

BerraBoy68 7:44 am 03 Oct 08

I’m with nicolae – watching Carmody is like knowing you are about to see a nasty car accident – you know you don’t want to watch it but you just can’t turn your head away. JBs comment about Carmody one day wearing a flower bigger then his head just added to the ‘must tune in tonight to check’ factor’.

In any event, good or bad he’s more entertaining than the other presenters. Also, is it just me or in days gone past weren’t the weathermen on TV actual meteorologists and not just ‘pretty faces’?

I-filed 11:11 pm 02 Oct 08

Mark Carmody would be awful for longer than five minutes – but he’s nice for just the duration of the weather. What’s painful is Virginia’s inability to relax and engage in a little repartee. In any case, Carmody had clearly had intensive coaching as he improved a heap. I hope he comes back.

ant 10:56 pm 02 Oct 08

Tim Bailey is a very grumpy face when the camera is not on him. When he dies, his skin can be used to bind books. Lots of them.

sepi 7:56 pm 02 Oct 08

It has actually been pretty funny watching Virginia read the weather this week. They run the visuals really slowly, I guess to allow time for Mark to chat about flowers or something, so she has ended up having to read the temperatures really really slooooowly.

Bring back Mark!

(and yes – someone needs to do something about Tim Bailley)

Aurelius 4:20 pm 01 Oct 08

If he could read an autocue correctly, and maintained it for 40 years, apparently we’d be lowering flags for him. :p

jimbruce 4:17 pm 01 Oct 08

Interesting set of responses to my rant.

No one seems willing to defend Carmody’s competence, social skills, or ability to read an autocue.

No one has objected to the basic premise: that his unprofessionalism – whether you like him, hate him or merely shudder and ignore him – casts a pall over the entire half hour news broadcast.

No one has disagreed that the news readers do a perfectly fine job of reading the weather.

Those who enjoy his presence seem to do so largely because he IS a blithering train wreck, not in spite of it. Carmody is ‘uniquely Canberran’ in the same way as sheep dip ads on prime time tv or the public service ‘off-the-rack suit and backpack’ fashion sense is ‘uniquely Canberran’.

I can understand those who see the entire routine as some kind of existential comedy routine, a sort of Chance the gardener returned to his pumpkin patch, or who draw entertainment from Haussinger’s nervous tittering as Carmody embarrasses her yet again on air. (I notice the male newsreaders tend to give him short shrift.)

Dammit, Aunty, if you’re stuck with Carmody for a five year contract, why not dump him him from the news (you know you want to) and exile him a gardening spot on Stateline? No one watches that anyway. The seventeen people who watch Carmody for his botanic buffoonery can follow him there, and the rest of us can relax and start taking the ABC news and weather seriously again, with only occassional nervous twitches as 7.26 comes around.

Back to the fosts and frogs…


Aurelius 4:10 pm 01 Oct 08

Spitfire’s right.
Anyone who complains about Mark Carmody should be tied to a chair and made to watch endless weather reports from Tim Bailey. That guy’s gotta realise some time soon he’s not 14 and still a grommit down the surf club.

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