Stop Yelling at Me

Oct 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

A Very Special Episode of The Insider

“Rachael Ray” is the last straw. The last of many straws.

At 10 a.m. every weekday in New York (check local listings), the syndicated freshman gets off her too-precious-for-words elevator and starts shouting at her studio audience and her TV audience. The veins (or is it arteries?) in her neck stand out like the varicose uglies in the supermarket tabloid photos focused on the bare legs of movie stars otherwise regarded as sex symbols.

For The Insider, who lives happily in what some people regard as the noise capital of the new world, an hour of Ms. Ray talking is harder on the ears than a heavy metal concert, and not just because Ms. Ray is kind of hard to dance to.

But Ms. Ray is not the only TV offender. She is, at least for the moment, the most unremitting and egregious offender of maximum daily decibels, but she is sooooo not alone.

“The View,” once one of The Insider’s very favorite shows, was always loud. But the addition of Rosie O’Donnell, who seems to have lost her inside voice, has everyone on the show sounding as if they’re trying to be heard in the next cosmos-and not just during the “Hot Topics,” which frankly ain’t so hot now that Ms. O’Donnell dominates the choice of subjects and all dialogue. More current events (serious or not) and less cutey-patootie kid stories, please, please, please.

“Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” (a Johnny-come-lately to that name) shout out all their celebrity stories and repetitive teases (which no longer can be distinguished from each other). Each show has become a cacophonous jumble. And don’t even get The Insider (without quotes) started on the day-after-day plugs (shouted, of course) for studio stablemate “Rachael Ray.” Oh, my gravy, as Ms. Ray screeches.

Also on The Insider’s long list of loud-mouths are yell-o-mats ranging from CNBC’s “Mad Money” man James Cramer, the extended “McLaughlin Group” and MSNBC’s McLaughlin-influenced Chris Matthews, Court TV-Headline News harridan Nancy Grace and Fox News hector Bill O’Reilly, who shout down their guests. As The Insider has said for years, if she wanted to be yelled at, she would have stayed married.

But enough about our personal peeves. It’s time to let you, gentle reader, nominate your own aural offenders by e-mailing them to mgreppi@tvweek.com. Together we can post a comprehensive list and see if we can shame them into toning down not the rhetoric but the volume.

We’ll call our quality-of-TV-life movement Stop Hurting Us Sore Hearers!, which sounds much more effective when reduced to the acronym SHUSH!

The only TV personality The Insider will fight to exempt from this list of targets is Regis Philbin. He doesn’t shout. He barks. And we love him for that.