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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, March 04, 2005

Introducing Susie Gharib

I have a way of "finding" people. By this, I don't mean I am a search-and-rescuer, or indeed, ply a trade during acts of God of any kind. I just like finding people: unique, interesting, little-known people.

Sometimes they are people like you or me, unknown but to intimates. Sometimes they are on the cusp of being famous but not just yet.

What do I do with this knowledge?

Well, more often than not, I keep it to myself almost like a secret, since the more a popular a thing or person becomes, the more you know about it. And as my father once said about fast-food, "anything cooked for 100 isn't food anymore", so too with people -- anyone who is known by millions, well, just isn't your special secret anymore.

That used to be the case with Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

By this I don't mean she was not known; on the contrary, I'm sure she knew thousands of people as Provost of Stanford University, as an NSA staffer to the first President Bush, and then there are the hundreds of people she must've known before her professional life began.

She was no secret, this Condoleeza Rice.

But she was on my radar of "little heralded but interesting people" since the early 1990s, when she popped up in an article I read about her -- this black American woman who trained as a classical pianist, spoke 4 languages including Russian, and once thought she might be good enough to be a figure-skater.

Alas, she was then tapped as head NSA advisor to the second President Bush, and worse of all, she is now the US Secretary of State. Billions now know her not just by first name, but indeed, by the one-word nickname, "Condi". Ack.

But there is something perverse in me that just needs to share these little known people, because it's not fair keeping treasures to myself. Where's the fun in that, after all?

So I'd like to introduce to you Susie Gharib, New York co-anchor of the Nightly Business Report, a flagship programme on American PBS stations now going on 25 years.

Looking elegant as usual

25 years, I hear you say. How can she be a secret? Well, let's put it this way...

When you think of famous women journalists, you have your own litany of responses going on in your heads right now -- more if you are cosmopolitan like me. And I will bet you anything Susie Gharib wasn't even in the Top 10...or Top 50...maybe not even in the Top 100 of those responses. To me, that's a damn shame.

How can more people not know this paragon of the arch expression, who treats all stories no matter how dry (and let's face it, business news is just that), with the same decorous amusement? Who playfully banters with her guests in a way akin to flirtation, but never once loses the professionalism of the journalist which is her métier? Who is feminine and yet steely, in a way not often found in her generational sisterhood?

All of this, whilst that phony society lick-spittle, Barbara Walters, reigns as Diva Supreme at ABC. What a topsy-turvy world!

No, the Lebanese-origined*, Case Western educated Susie Gharib deserves to be better known, and if the reliquinshing my of "secret" will do that for her, then that's a sacrifice I am prepared to make.

But if she wins another Gracie Award, I want my 10%.

*That's what I get for trusting my links too implicitly. According to another site, in .pdf which can't be hyperlinked, Susie Gharib is the daughter of Iranians not Lebanese, and obviously, she isn't an Arab either (not sure why then, the Arab American Institute recognise her as one of their own). Interestingly, she is the daughter of a noted medical doctor, and her eldest sister is an internist in Boston! And like Condi Rice, Susie Gharib is a figure-skater...what are the chances? Especially since I can't stand figure-skating.


  • And a big "DITTO" for Paul Kangas, who is the Miami co-anchor for NBR, and who I sometimes see in his old clunker of a car, shopping at Publix.

    His traditional sign-off "For Susie Gharib, I'm Paul Kangas, wishing you the best of good buys" is on par with Kronkite's...so why is it no one knows him??!


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Mar 04, 06:39:00 pm GMT-5  

  • The Iranians claim her. And the Arabs claim her. Something's not on here. Oh well. As David St Hubbens of Spinal Tap put it (in a different context, of course), "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

    Dale Andersen

    By Blogger Playwrighter, at Sat Mar 05, 04:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • My first thought was that her dad was Iranian, and her mother, Lebanese -- therefore, both sets of people would be correct.

    But from what I could see, she's 100% Iranian. Hmm. Not that it matters one whit, but it would be interesting if some people are confusing "Muslim" with "Arab"...

    Which brings me to another Spinal Tap quote quite apposite to the situation:

    Ian Faith: "I really think you're just making much too big a thing out of it."

    Derek Smalls: "Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea."


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Mar 05, 06:56:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Oh...and by the way, thank you thank you thank you for dissing Barbara Walters. I recall back in the late 60's/early 70's when ABC made her AMERICA'S FIRST FEMALE ANCHOR and I thought to myself, "there are 50 better anchorladies working at local stations. What up with this?" And she has proven me right. She is pathetic. No! Worse than pathetic. She is a rectum. And a poor excuse for a rectum at that. So really really bad is she that, if you had a choice between watching a rerun of her interview with Monica Lewinsky and a shark attack, you'd take the shark attack.

    Dale Andersen

    By Blogger Playwrighter, at Sat Mar 05, 06:56:00 pm GMT-5  

  • "Barb/ara"s are not high on my list, Dale.

    Almost everyone named Barbara I have met or know of is personally antipathic to me (which is why I revere the South Park creators with their equal loathing of Barbra Streisand. Ick, I have to go shower now).

    No offence to anyone whose mother is called Barbara though, although I'd probably not like your mum.

    And BTW, for the record, I have watched The View on a few occasions, and I still don't see how those 4 women are "different". It's the same VIEWPOINT (hello) just from 4 different Clairol haircolours.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Mar 05, 07:04:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Site I could not help but include in in my roll.

    By Blogger Shirazi, at Tue Mar 08, 03:45:00 am GMT-5  

  • Thanks for discovering Susie Gherib. For my taste, she is the most sexy, good looking, charming and professional middle aged woman on TV.

    She so hot. Thanks for the notes on ancestry. Her middle east connection explains the dark skin. I did not know. I've been to her parts of the world and I never saw any women so good looking as she in her age group.

    Thanks again.

    By Blogger Thomas, at Thu Sep 24, 07:29:00 pm GMT-4  

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