Saturday, April 19, 2008

Slow week at CNN?

This is why they get the big bucks:
CNN personality Richard Quest was busted in Central Park early yesterday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.
Quest, 46, was arrested at around 3:40 a.m. after a cop spotted him and another man inside the park near 64th Street, a police source said. . . .
Quest was initially busted for loitering, the source said. Aside from the oddly configured rope, the search also turned up a sex toy inside of his boot, and a small bag of methamphetamine in his left jacket pocket. . . .
Quest's lawyer, Alan Abramson, had a much more innocuous version of events.
"Mr. Quest didn't realize that the park had a curfew," Abramson said. He was simply "returning to his hotel with friends."
Returning to his hotel with friends . . . and a dildo and some meth and a rope around his scrotum.

According to his CNN bio, Quest is from England, has a law degree from Leeds University and once worked for the BBC:
Quest is firmly established as an expert on business travel issues and currently works as a CNN anchor and correspondent. His regular programs include ‘CNN Business Traveller’, as well as his own hour-long feature program, ‘Quest’. . . . Quest attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, every year, and in this, as with every case, he lends an incredible wealth of modern business knowledge to the coverage, coupled with his inimitable reporting style.
So, Quest is "an expert on business travel issues," but doesn't know that Central Park has a curfew?

There's more. The New York Post reports:
He was reportedly once offered a position for the English-language version of the controversial Al Jazeera network, but said he turned it down because being gay and Jewish, he didn't think it would be a good fit.
And his CNN bio reports:
He anchored CNN’s coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II, live from Rome.
So CNN chose a gay Jewish man to anchor the Pope's funeral? Does that make any sense at all? You would think somebody at CNN's headquarters would say, "Hey, wait a minute, don't we have . . . oh, I don't know, maybe a Catholic who could anchor this broadcast?"

Seriously, I'm not being bigoted here. It just seems to me that, given who John Paul II was and as a basic programming consideration, you'd want somebody anchoring the Pope's funeral broadcast who was knowledgeable and respectful about the religion whose faithful followers would be tuned in by the millions.

Aren't such considerations involved in why CNN uses Iran-born Christiane Amanpour for all its major coverage of Islam and the Middle East?

Assigning Richard Quest to anchor the Pope's funeral is like assigning Ann Coulter to cover Yasser Arafat's funeral -- and I don't think there's any danger of Ann being arrested in Central Park at 3 a.m. with a dildo in her boot.

(Via Memeorandum.)

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