Of Barz and Cars

Sep 11, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Now that Mike Barz is not tethered to weather duties on “Good Morning America,” viewers are telling him where to go. Literally.

Within 24 hours of “GMA” announcing that Mr. Barz would be hitting the road for “Mike’s Adventures in America,” the ABC Morning show had received more than 300 e-mails from viewers who knew someplace or someone they think Mr. Barz should visit.

At deadline, it seemed likely he would pop up-top down in a rented white Mustang convertible, weather permitting-in Maryland later this week. For what or whom, The Insider can’t tell, because Jessica Guff, the senior broadcast producer who oversees the second hour of “GMA,” wouldn’t say.

Ms. Guff says Mr. Barz came to “GMA” in June 2005 from Chicago’s WGN-TV to be “our roving American reporter.”

Then Tony Perkins headed back to Washington, D.C., and Mr. Barz was, despite lack of proper background, pressed into weather service.

With the arrival of smilin’ Sam Champion after Labor Day, Mr. Barz is able to hit the road.

Ms. Guff says the plan is to work up to several “hits” a month with Mr. Barz. “He’s game for anything.”

The “GMA” producer says Mr. Barz will not be talking to a camera riding shotgun while he drives.

She might be humoring The Insider, who admittedly needs humoring all too often these days- you would too if you had to shoehorn 14 years of stuff accumulated in one apartment into a smaller apartment or-sob!-trash bins.

However, The Insider will defend her pet-peevity about TV personalities who take their eyes off the road while they’re driving, so they can play to viewers.

Haven’t they seen all the TV stories about DWD (Driving While Distracted) that have been illustrated with shots of ordinary boobs drinking coffee or eating or putting on makeup or reading a newspaper behind the wheel?

They are road hazards and hot-dogs. They are resorting to nonproductive, phony-baloney visual tricks that add no substance to their segments. It’s all so dishearteningly unnecessary. Do we not all know what a person looks like behind the wheel?

The offenders shall remain nameless here, but you know who you are: the weekend network morning show anchors, the network morning show consumer reporters, for pity’s sake, for starters. But The Insider was transported to Apoplectic City when she saw a cable news reporter filling us in on her hard-hitting investigative story while driving to the next stop on her story-which had nothing whatsoever to with driving.

Yes, you know who you are and now you know The Insider is watching. Always watching.

It’s nice to know Mr. Barz won’t be adding to The Insider’s IQ (irritation quotient).