Amanda Goodman is a journalist and news anchor for KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa. She was one of two moderators for a debate between two congressional candidates. Here's her glorious answer to a messed-up comment from one viewer.
Let me get right to it…on Saturday, I got an email during the Congressional debate where I was on the panel. Allow me to share this email:
“Amanda, can you ask Ron to ask Pat Murphy and Rod Blum how they plan on making sure we get to keep our social security. Will you also ask Ron to ask Murphy why he is so angry in that ad? Also, Amanda, you look awful tonight. I do not like your hair or that God awful red lipstick you have on. Please go back to your short hair. Thank you.”
Yah. Let that one marinate.
I’m a journalist…not a show piece. I spent the past couple of weeks researching both candidates. I closely examined Mr. Murphy’s career in the Iowa legislature…I looked into Mr. Blum’s business background. I did MY job as a JOURNALIST. I was prepared Saturday night. I was thoroughly prepared. I was a voice for the voters…I tried to ask questions that our viewers wanted the answers to. And to be honest, I think I did a pretty damn good job.
But no. You weren’t listening to that. You weren’t listening to me at all. You were too busy criticizing my hair and “God-awful red lipstick.”
If you wanted Ron to ask the questions…than you should have emailed him directly…he would have been happy to have been “your voice.” But instead, you wanted to use me as your “messenger.”
It made me wonder, if I went on the set one night and just said, “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH” would that person notice? Maybe not. They may be too busy noticing the hair that’s not curled the right way or the way my roots look.
I am a journalist who happens to be on TV. It’s not about the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, the clothes. It’s about holding the powerful accountable…searching for the truth in a pile of BS…keeping our community informed…keeping calm when tragedy strikes…being an advocate for children who are bullied. I’d rather ask a tough, hard-hitting question with my hair in a ponytail and no makeup on my face than be a painted up “news lady” who is all talk and no walk. I don’t have the research “done for me.” I don’t have the questions “handed to me.” I roll my sleeves up and dig right in. It’s what I do. I am a journalist. I’m not a prompter reader. I didn’t work my tail off as a producer, reporter and anchor to be a “talking head.”
Look, I’m not complaining that someone is ONCE AGAIN criticizing my hair. My makeup. My face. That’s all second-nature for me at this point. I am just disappointed that this person wasn’t LISTENING. Wasn’t willing to say, “Hey, she’s got her teeth in them with these questions.”
Maybe, close your eyes when watching the news next time. Then you will HEAR me. Maybe that’s when you will realize that I may be a girl…but I can hold my own.
I like my hair. I like my red lipstick. But I LOVE MY BRAIN!