Throughout the year-plus of Covid-19, practically anyone who gave us the news was televised from homes, vacation spots and about any place but a studio. They were in what looked like their libraries, home offices, kitchens and living rooms.
It seems the most common view was of reporters and commentators positioned in front of bookcases. Authors tastefully turned their tomes on the shelves with covers facing forward. Others proudly displayed their awards, framed and hanging on the wall behind them. Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and regular guest on PBS NewsHour, has an enlarged framed photo of the late Gwen Ifill’s commemorative postage stamp on a shelf. Political analyst John Heilemann always seemed to be in his neat and tidy kitchen when on NBC News or MSNBC. NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins’ cat made regular appearances in the reporter’s living room telecasts.
Yes, I’m a news junkie, and the winners in my book are those who had vases of flowers in view.
I don’t remember when I noticed that Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour had a vase of flowers on a table to her left. But it’s what got me thinking about TV flowers. Woodruff regularly changed flowers to keep a fresh look.
Some reporters positioned themselves in front of houseplants. They did seem mindful that improper placement of themselves or their plants could give the impression of winged hair or horned heads.
An astute observer could tell if the flowers were faux, too. Things like unnatural colors or flowers out of season.
Most of the fresh flowers looked like they came from florists. They were uniform and usually a single species (and color), such as peonies, hydrangeas or Gerber daisies. None that I saw looked like they’d been fresh-picked from gardens.
And the Winners Are
I didn’t see every televised news program, but among those I did see, these get an award from the Hoosier Gardener.
First place goes to the impeccably dressed Jonathan Capehart, who with David Brooks, are regular commentators on Fridays’ PBS NewsHour.
Capehart of The Washington Post and Brooks of The Times may be intellectual matches but they are no match when it comes to flowers. For one thing, Capehart is consistent. He has a vase of flowers behind his right shoulder and by his left elbow. However, Brooks gets an award for appearing in the most different settings.
Second place goes to Woodruff, who consistently displayed a lovely vase of flowers in the room.
Does this matter? Not really.
But the act of having flowers and plants in the room signifies some understanding of their role in our lives and our moods. It may also reflect an appreciation of the natural things in our lives. Or sometimes, it just looks nice.