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Fighting for Air: In the Trenches With Television News

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Fighting for Air: In the Trenches With Television News

Current Status:
In Season
Liz Trotta
Television, Women's Studies, Pop Culture

We gave it a B

For reporters and executives in network news, the mid-life memoir is fast becoming a routine career move: After you lose your job, how better to stay in the public eye than by writing a book filled with self-serving cynicism about the news biz? In these overfished waters, the most readers can hope for is a good raconteur, and former NBC and CBS reporter Liz Trotta proves to be just that. She first showed up on network TV in the ’60s, when being a ”girl reporter” meant acting like one of the boys while being told to dye your hair and do in-depth pieces on Lynda Bird Johnson’s wedding dress. Trotta trudged through her share of fluff, but she also reported some major stories. After she did some fast work on the Chappaquiddick scandal, a news executive yelled at her for wearing pants on-camera. Eventually she won a place on the front lines of journalism with tours of duty in Saigon and Tehran. While Fighting for Air: In the Trenches With Television News can sound self-important, there’s no denying that she gives good anecdote, pinning everyone from an underhanded John Chancellor (who may not want to put this on his summer reading list) to Sean Connery, who told her she had a ”perfectly wicked mouth”. He was right: How can you dislike a journalist who compares newscasters to patients in the movie Coma? B