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Diane Sawyer, anchor

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  December 21, 2009 07:14 PM

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Tonight, Diane Sawyer made her debut as the full-time anchor of "ABC World News." After much ado about her departure from "Good Morning America" on Dec. 11, she slipped into her new role quietly. And graciously, too: At the end of the newscast, she acknowledged her predecessor, saying: "For you Charlie Gibson, I hope you had a good day and a great night."

But I have to admit, I'm not much of a Sawyer person. For me, the overall effect of her debut was a little surreal. She doesn't have the mien of a traditional news anchor, which isn't a bad thing. But then she seemed to be constantly editorializing with her face and her posture. She had a worried expression playing around her eyes and too much drama in her voice for my taste.

Indeed, it was odd tonight when she sat with the icy Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and asked him, "Have you been testing a neutron initiator?" My first thought -- and forgive me, Sawyer fans -- was of a babysitter talking to her young charges about their misbehavior. The question was fine, and it ultimately elicited strong answers from the interviewee; but the style was off. What can I say? One person's sincere is another person's artificial. My preference is for Katie Couric on CBS, although she doesn't do much for me either.

What did you think? Did you like her better than Couric? Brian Williams?

 

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