Spelling Bee…to the Death! There Can Be Only One.

I wouldn’t do very well on television, especially news programs. There’s a required politeness that rubs me the wrong way, along with an overemphasis on presentation over substance. Too many journalists smile and giggle, as they utter complete nonsense, under the socially-mandated protective umbrella of innocent banter. Tempers are not supposed to escalate, and indignation is best left unstated when the camera is hot.

I would have torn Chris Cuomo a new one if I was included in this broadcast.

The 2014 National Spelling Bee ended in a tie by two competitors impressively exhausting the list of difficult words accumulated for the contestants. The two contestants made it to the end of a long, difficult list, and according to the rules, when the list runs out, the competition is over. Two champions were crowned in worthy competition, the epitome of an ethical, honorable sports contest.

Apparently, this is unacceptable to competitive-minded Americans, bred in a corporate-winning environment, where there has to be one person who dominates everybody else (the one percent vs. the 99 percent comes to mind…). The two winners, Sriram Hathwar, 14, and Ansam Sujoe, 13, appeared on CNN’s New Day, and Chris Cuomo asked the following question of the pair:

…Between the two of you, you’re going to have to figure out a way to decide who’s better. Is there any kind of other competition that you’re thinking of, like where you kinda meet in an alley or at some predetermined pizzeria and you just have it out, just for your own sake? Mano a mano, at some point.

Oh, how stinking clever. Maybe it’s lost on Cuomo, but in America’s most gladiatorial sport, the NFL, regular season games can end in a tie! Believe it or not, the three anchors, after some uncomfortable fidgeting from Cuomo’s teammates, sat seriously, with their robotic, smarmy interview faces, waiting for an answer from the spelling bee contestants. To the children’s credit, the question was deflected by Hathwar, maturely and sensibly:

Well, I think that we’re both pretty satisfied with our performances yesterday, so I don’t think that’s quite necessary…

I have an idea. Why not have the pair create a news team and take over Chris Cuomo’s chair on the CNN news program for a week? It shouldn’t take very long for two children to prove they are better journalists than Chris Cuomo…by a long shot.

{Thanks to John Oliver for bringing this to my attention. If you could broadcast seven days a week, then I would eagerly consume every word you have to say. Brilliant!

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Scott C. Guffey
P.O. Box 53
Michigan City, IN 46360

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