Much thumped in March for a harsh critique of ABC's choice of Christiane Amanpour as This Week host, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales will get tongues buzzing again Monday as he panned her first episode of the old Brinkley show.
He argued that Jake Tapper had "grown quickly and comfortably" into the Sunday spot: "the adept and likable Tapper stood a good chance of steering This Week into the kind of dominance that Meet the Press has so long enjoyed. And it didn't require any globe-trotting Fancy-Pants to do it." Shales even wondered if Amanpour thought we should mourn the Taliban fighters:
Perhaps in keeping with the newly globalized program, the commendable "In Memoriam" segment ended with a tribute not to American men and women who died in combat during the preceding week but rather, said Amanpour in her narration, in remembrance of "all of those who died in war" in that period. Did she mean to suggest that our mourning extend to members of the Taliban?
Brent Baker also noticed Amanpour's United Nations phrasing that put the U.S. deaths as an afterthought to the thought of the whole world's war dead, with no moral distinctions made: “We remember all of those who died in war this week. And the Pentagon released the names of eleven U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan.”
Sophisticates inside the networks think it's unfair for Americans to hold Amanpour's snooty British accent and international focus against her. But if she suggests that American war dead shouldn't be seen by Americans as more dear to us, since that's shallow nationalism, then why do they still call this the American Broadcasting Company?
Amanpour the Above-It-All Internationalist seems like she's echoing ABC chief David Westin, who infamously couldn't decide if the Pentagon was an acceptable target for terrorist attacks.