Should Abc Have Brought Back Dick Clark?


Dick Clark returned to the New Year's Eve festivities Sunday night, just over a year after suffering a stroke. It was, the Washington Post's media critic Tom Shales said, "a gesture likely to strike some observers as courageous and others as morbid." Indeed, TV critics seemed divided into each camp. In an article entitled "Twilight of a Year and an Old Teenager," Virginia Heffernan wrote in today's (Monday) New York Times: "Mr. Clark seemed, in short, old. He missed words and, seated at a desk, kept atypically still. Sometimes his impaired speech seemed comical; mostly it was touching. The adolescence of America's Oldest Living Teenager -- Mr. Clark's hyper, chipper, fun-loving persona - had, in his 76th year, finally abandoned him. In its place was another, more ambiguous holiday figure: the couchbound relative who, maudlin and exhausted, weeps at how lucky he is to be around his family one more year." ABC News reported Sunday that a promotional photograph of Clark with co-hosts Ryan Seacrest and Hilary Duff distributed by ABC had been digitally altered with an image of Clark from before his stroke inserted into the frame. But Joe Gandelman, who presides over a blog called themoderatevoice.com, commented, "Realistically, ABC wasn't going to gain a ton of rating points by putting Clark on. Clark's appearance was a testament to the never-say-die human spirit. He was going to be on no matter what this year. And it's a testament to ABC's willingness to air, ever-so-briefly, a fellow human being's act of personal courage and grit and let a bit of reality intrude on New Year's Eve."




01/02/2006


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