The Great Divide is loud and clear on the news interview shows and the contrast of opinion are stunning. Now the pandemic has all the pundits working from improvised home set-ups. This must be tough for their housemates. “Hey, sweetheart! George Stephanopoulos says turn off the dishwasher!”
Finally, there is something all the media pundits have in common… bookcases. The video savvy know that this is a good choice of backdrop that is easy to light for the camera. It is also a peek at the book titles and knick-knacks that can provide a deeper look into the personality behind the talking head.
For example, an entire shelf dedicated to Warner Brothers bobble heads in the background might inform more than the ninety-seconds of talk-time. Christiane Amanpour has a sixties-looking peace symbol behind her.
Why were so many of the shelves behind President Obama empty? We’re they intended for all those guns he didn’t succeed at taking away?
Favored pundits seem even more sane when we can spot some of the same items on their shelf as our own. Some squint-able book titles might destroy a pundit’s credibility.
Shelves can speak volumes as well as hold them. Many go for plain white but Judy Woodruff blends right into her cherry stained background.
Shelf-spotting can be a new pandemic-coping hobby when Yathzee becomes tiring.
The bigger question is: are they still wearing their pyjama bottoms and slippers?
They’re probably virtual backgrounds.
What books would you put on your shelves knowing the nation would be looking and judging you by what you’ve read?
Would anyone put a Sam Harris book on the shelf if they knew they were going to be on one of these TV segments?
I’d probably put out “The Red Book” by Carl Jung and “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. I like authors named Carl.