Years ago, my great-aunt Annie Goodman was named Mother of the Year in New Hampshire. She was the mother of 13 children, and despite the family's very limited financial resources, saw to it that 12 of them made it to college and went on to be productive members of society. That's the kind of story that, in the good old days, the CBS Evening News might have featured on Mothers Day.
But times have changed. A lot. So where did the Evening News send its video bouqets during the Mother's Day edition? To the draft-Al-Gore movement, and to growers of eco-friendly roses.
View video here.
First up was a segment focusing on members of DraftGore.com. The reporter excitedly proclaimed that "their website boasts 70,000 signatures on its draft-Gore petition." We were informed that "the L.A. group meets once a month" at an outdoor market. Impressive! My favorite member was the one pictured here, Derek Bevil, looking like a young Gerard Depardieu. CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, after running footage of George H.W. calling Gore "Ozone Man," claimed that there's been "a big change since the days when he was mocked as a boring fanatic." Guess what, Bill? In the eyes of millions of Americans, Al remains a . . . boring fanatic. Enthused Whitaker: "he's so hot, he's cheered on one of the coolest shows on TV." Cut to clip of Al on the Daily Show.
Later, in the place of a traditional Mother's Day segment, we were treated to a piece on earth-friendly rose growing. Host Russ Mitchell introduced the segment: "and of course it's Mothers Day, the day florist live for, with Americans spending $2.3 billion on flowers for the moms in their lives. But with consumers more and more conscious of the environment than ever, the big new color in the floral industry is . . . green." Cut to reporter Anthony Mason who, after showing pretty shots of flowers, somberly informed us that "there's a less romantic side to all this beauty." Cue the CEO of something called "Organic Bouquet" who warned us "whether it's chemicals and how they affect the environment, or how the farm workers are treated, or the ecology of the farms, there's just a whole lot of issues with flowers." What a Mother's Day downer!
Then it was on to footage of an enlightened guy, an Ecuadorian flower grower. "We really believe in doing good for the planet, and doing good for the people who work for us." Mason proudly informed us that the grower's got "more organic and more fair trade certifications than any grower on the continent."
Great. But on Mother's Day, rather than Al Gore and organic farming, couldn't CBS have found some time to celebrate . . . mothers?
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org