One of the things news anchors like to do is to shuffle papers a lot. It tends to look good on camera.
Maybe they think viewers that see paper shuffling will think the anchors are important and that their copy is official, well, anchornese.
Anchornese has many tentacles; just like an octopus.
One is the aforementioned paper-shuffling; but there's significant others. Among them, straight out of undergrad, Anchornese college, from the home office in Fresno, CA:
*Saying "thanks" to the field reporter after their story. "Thanks Bob for that report." The thanks fetish is not only provided to the field reporter, but the sports guy, the weather lady, the other anchor and generally every living entity in the studio, the news room, the rest room. Thanks to you too.
*Anchors that don't know much about sports or generally give a damn but who show faux excitement when hometown team makes it into the playoffs or wins the World Series or a Superbowl. This type of behavior is now in force here in San Francisco with the Giants. How many news readers who wouldn't know Buster Posey from Buster Brown utter out, "Go Giants--woo, woo!" (Smack 'em for me.)
*Anchors that show deeply concerned face when reading story involving a tragedy; say, a kidnapping, murder or an accident. It's against the law, apparently, to merely read the story straight and simply provide the account, the news! Sure, a natural disaster, an earthquake, a deeply awful event, incident allows for the concerned face card. Nobody expects nor desires a straight read of, 9-11, for example. But a story about the spread of Dutch Elm disease shouldn't bring out watery eyes.
*The use of a pen. Required tool in opening day at Anchornese. How many times does one see an anchor hold that pen...with authority!..as if the pen were to add emphasis, which theoretically it should, only because said anchor overdoes the pen effect, thereby taking away the emphasis, got it? The pen is fine. Taking notes, underlining copy, etc., I got it, but when it takes over the screen, we got issues, honey. Bill O'Reilly is a master at this, ("You're about to enter the no-spin zone!") Pen-central for Billo but he makes a ton of cash, he's allowed.
*Giggling. Look, like everyone else on the planet, I laugh, chortle, even chort every now and then. It's human nature. But when Janey on WWXY-TV has to laugh at every cutesy dog story or the dentist that accidentally swallowed the tooth, it rankles the hell out of me. Either don't run the story, (even as filler), or make it mandatory waterboarding by the news director if sweety pie is a 3-giggle every five minutes-abuser.
*The anchor that blurts out "we need the rain." Real big here in the Bay Area, where we get drought stories every five minutes if it doesn't rain in a week. As if saying, "we need the rain" will actually mean it's gonna rain, or more to the point, who the hell is it for you to say we need the rain? Screw you, lady! I like sun. I like blue sky and warm weather. You want rain, then move to Seattle. Farmers need rain. So does my therapist who wears dark and dreary clothes. Very depressing, just like rain. And think about it: if we really needed rain that badly, we live near an ocean; I'm sure the science people can build us a plant to get some salt out of the ocean water and rain on us forever. Got it?
Have a nice day.
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