Posted at 10:45 AM Jun 05, 2009
By Geoff George
Welcome to Our Girl Friday, a new segment highlighting news of women in the ... well, the news. Sometimes it's the ladies behind the articles and broadcasts who really deserve to be written about, and we at HD are here to recognize.
Today's story comes straight outta LA, a response to a column by James Rainey, who uses the relationship between KTLA news anchor Lu Parker and Mayor Villaraigosa to jump solely on Parker's case for a) complicating her journalistic ethics by dating the mayor at the same time, and b) complicating her journalistic ethics by modeling and acting at the same time. The casual douchebaggery of referring to Ms. Parker as a "pretty young news babe" aside, Rainey's argument reads as the sort of thing it's easy to have an opinion about when you're writing on deadline.
This would be fair argument if Parker's anchor duties involved more than reading from the teleprompter, a fact that KTLA points out. Her actual reporting seems to come in the field, with the interviewing of celebrities and the like."Even if Parker didn't cover politics per se, she could still encounter any number of stories -- school reform, the performance of the police department, expansion of the airport -- in which Villaraigosa has a stake."
Rainey sees a larger problem, though, which arose when he went to check out Parker's website and found her modeling pictures. He envisioned "a growing media trend that might be less obvious to the general audience -- the way some journalists aren't content to be just journalists." Rainey writes further:
A former Miss USA winner still models sometimes when she's not at her regular job ... yeah, that's so totally weird and detrimental. This realization coming from a state whose governor used his own lines from The Terminator to grab votes. Wait, a minute, though. Mr. Rainey, are you saying you ARE content to be just a journalist? Are you saying you ARE the serious news professional? Need I remind you that you just called Parker a "pretty young news babe"?
"Doesn't it seem odd to anyone else that the same person can furrow her brow in the role of serious newswoman -- chasing fires through the hills, announcing election night tallies and bemoaning gang violence -- and then preen her way through a modeling video?"
Incidentally, I checked out Parker's site myself, and along with some photos is a rotating list of films and TV shows she's been in. Do we really need to begrudge the woman a guest spot on Bones between nightly readings of the news?