Why do newswomen talk like that?

It’s quiet over here so I decided to flip on the tv. It opened to CNN and a report on shrimp and treadmills.

After about 45 seconds, I had to turn the thing off. I have no idea who the reporter was, but she was doing that “loud woman reporter sing-song” thing, the broadening of words and Louisville Slugger overemphasis of certain words and syllables that comes off like a half-bellowed-half-swallowed hectoring.

Why do female broadcasters — both on radio and on tv — feel the need to do that? It’s not how they normally speak, and they don’t do it in interviews, but something about that center-of-attention turn at the mic just seems to bring this out in some, and it’s an ugly, off-putting sound. On the radio, there is one female reporter who sounds like she’s talking while trying to swallow back vomit. It makes me reach for the mute button or just change the channel. I’m not trying to pick on women — and clearly they don’t all do this — but I wish the ones who do would stop it. Or that their producers would do a hint-hint, “less is more…”

Is it just me? You know the tone I’m describing, right? I can’t find the report I’m talking about, yet. I wanted to demonstrate this bizarre, corkscrewed phrasing by showing one of the wonderful, pitch-perfect parodies that Laraine Newman used to do on SNL, but, sadly, they are nowhere to be found online. The closest I can get to it (and it is a weak comparison) comes via Family Guy and their “Asian reporter, Tricia Takanawa”:

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About Elizabeth Scalia