Have you seen Diane Sawyer anchoring the ABC news? She took over for the retiring Charlie Gibson on December 21. The next day was her own sixty-fourth birthday. (She had been doing “Good Morning America.”) On the nightly broadcast, Sawyer is wearing blazers without a shirt, blouse, tube top, camisole, or sweater. A distracting triangle of bare bodice plunges right to the bottom of the screen. There’s no trace of cleavage. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of Diane.
Maybe this is fashionable. But it just seems weird for a news anchor at a mainstream network. I think it all goes back to Elizabeth Vargas. When she succeeded the late Peter Jennings, ABC’s ratings capsized. Charlie Gibson was summoned to right the ship, and it worked. Someone in the press called him an “old shoe,” but he has a nice friendly way about him and the program was very good.
Vargas is attractive, but she was always primly costumed. I guess the nightly news show’s producers must have learned some sort of lesson and decided Sawyer must dress daringly in order to please the audience. Maybe they figured something needed to be done to offset her tediously empathetic way of delivering the news. “Why do we need an anchor who has to ‘feel’ every story?” asks one viewer who commented on the show’s site. And another writes, “Why is Diane Sawyer so sad? The drooping eye, the tilted head, the down inflection all make me want to cry when she reads the news. Is the world that bad?”
To have won the anchor job, Sawyer must have a lot of clout at ABC. She just didn’t seem like a natural choice. I’m guessing the ratings will plunge farther even than her neckline. In which case, maybe they’ll require her to take off the blazer and do the show topless.