That sort of techie malapropism drives the young folks cray cray, but it is just my speed for 7 a.m.: Slowwww and steady, a little caffeine with an Aleve chaser. Not all of us can spar with “Morning Joe”; not at this hour. And at least “CBS This Morning” isn’t an empty gabfest. I’ve never understood morning TV’s trend toward the hyperactive, but then again, a brand new day has never caused me the panic and consumer anxiety (Allergies! Cholesterol! Missing toddlers!) that most morning TV, especially the “Today” show, likes to sell.
To that end, “CBS This Morning” could do with a great deal more looseness and departure from format — the freedom to be in last place and to do a show with calm confidence and even some sense of surprise. By the time King took over the 8 o’clock hour for the lighter fare, “CBS This Morning” still looked too much like a garden-variety morning show: Speculative infotainment on the Duchess of Cambridge’s 30th birthday and all that, interrupted by the onslaught of commercial breaks that mar morning shows in the latter half.
“I was up at 2:31 [a.m.]!” King said, marveling at the cruel fate of this job — a cushy prison of crack-o’-dawn cheer. She was talking to singer Melissa Etheridge, who, King noted, had “nothing to promote. You just want to join the conversation.” Which Etheridge did, explaining why celebrities such as Beyonce need entire hospital wings in which to give birth and how pretty Adele’s singing voice is.
Then, after CBS’s “Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies was interviewed, the anchors seemed to run out of things to say. A long piece about Dick Van Dyke was apparently pegged to the fact that, eons ago, he hosted the CBS morning show with Walter Cronkite. It was a disaster, the now 86-year-old Van Dyke recalled.
What’s the message there? That it was ever thus?
“It’s the first day of school,” King said of Monday’s broadcast before the trio signed off. “I hope we get good grades.”
Oh, Gayle. Nobody gets graded on the first day of school. You’re on CBS, girlfriend, in the morning. You’ll get plenty of points for just showing up.
CBS This Morning
(two hours) airs weekdays at 7 a.m. on CBS.