With graduation a month away, I’m elbow-deep in the dreaded job search. And considering the rapidly-growing list of those given the ax, things ain’t lookin so good. I might just take my Dad’s advice and invent the thing that has yet to be invented but is more needed than our family’s secret latke recipe. But until that genius invention comes to mind, I will continue watching old family videos my Dad so generously converted to DVD. Now instead of enjoying the graceful ice moves of Brian Boitano, which I may or may not be doing right now, I can flip on the projector and see my four-year old self, decked out in an imitation business suit, informing viewers of breaking news reports with Sylvie, my fellow anchor of “The Rainbow News Kids.”
Every good newscaster must find his or her voice. Let’s consider for a moment the hosts of NBC’s “The Today Show.” Meredith Vieira fuses professional journalism with genuine curiosity, while Al Roker provides us with enthusiastic weather updates. A dangerous wintry mix never sounded so appealing. Hoda Kotb prefers to interrupt guests’ responses with camera-aimed poses. And Kathy Lee…well she’s just Kathy Lee.
The voice behind my journalistic prowess had a name: Baby Samantha. One might think, with good reason, that this voice would have child-like hints. Perhaps notes of softness or even timidity. Nope! The “Baby Samantha” voice should belong to a gruff, 40-year old construction worker who is in the middle of a bitter divorce. Clearly it matched my four-year old demeanor to a Tee. A size small Gap Kids tee, of course.
Sylvie was the brains behind the operation. I suppose some things never change. She provided us with constant material intriguing to every invisible audience member. Our segments followed the same general setup and structure. Sylvie would smooth her hair, straighten her lensless glasses, stretch out her arms, sit down, and announce, “Now I’d like to talk about (insert topic here).”
Like any good reporter, she did not shy away from controversial topics. Like religion. “The Rainbow News Kids” approached this subject matter with incredible directness. “Now I’d like to talk about religion. Everyone in your family is either Christian or Jewish.” Cut to the next topic on our color-coded list of discussion points: Things. “Things are everything. Anything you say is a thing!”
What separated “The Rainbow News Kids” from every other news program was our obvious dedication as anchors. Not only did Sylvie and I serve as hosts of the show, we also provided the substance for our commercial breaks. In between news segments, I flaunted my Cabbage Patch Doll collection, encouraging viewers to pick up the phone, dial the number that I failed to give, and buy my used dolls. Sylvie hawked our prized cardboard, measuring-cup-shaped cookbook, as well as several blankets.
Perhaps the reliving of these childhood adventures has solved my job crisis. My roots are in broadcast journalism. I will replace Hoda on NBC and bring truth to the American people. And speaking of people, now I’d like to talk about people…