Seems to me there has been much ado about John Roberts sans necktie, so I thought it time for ATC to take a closer look. A few quick Google searches showed me that John Roberts is not a virgin at this tieless thing. Andy Rooney, that lovable curmudgeon, did a piece on 60 Minutes back in April of 2005 about John Roberts going tieless, while substitute anchoring the CBS Evening News.
Rooney closed his report with:
"I'll be honest. I wear a necktie mostly because I've always worn a necktie, and I've always worn one because most of the other guys wear them. This isn't a good reason to wear a necktie, so maybe John Roberts is right. But maybe he's wrong, too. There are some standards we live by that don't come naturally to us. We curb our animal desires. We say "Good morning" and "Have a nice day" to strangers. We eat with knives and forks instead of with our fingers. For a lot of men, wearing a necktie is one of those relatively unimportant social conventions that contribute to a civilized day at the office. " To see the entire segment follow the link.
I couldn't agree with Mr. Rooney more, I want my newsmen to look like newsmen. Sure there are moments when it might be appropriate to lose the tie. Like when you're reporting from a firing range:
or an MTV concert:
But when you're in that anchor chair you need to look like an anchor, not a nightclub bouncer. For goodness sake even the Chippendale Dancers know you wear a tie to work.
So why did he do it? A mid-life crisis...that might be too obvious. I'm going with more of an attention grabber theory. Read what Roberts said on the subject of not wearing his tie:
I first did it 4 years ago for one segment during the summer on the CBS Evening News. It actually made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I also did it once last year on American Morning. It just felt right to do it the last couple of days. I felt like 'going rogue' a little bit and mixing things up. Will I do it every day? Probably not — it will most likely depend on the flow of news and how I feel. I'm amazed at the reaction that it has provoked. The majority of people who have e-mailed love it — many men find it liberating and are following my lead. Some people don't like it at all, but as it's a morning show, I think there's a lot of latitude to change things up a bit.
Did he really say men find it liberating to go tieless? Well so is going naked, but spare me the visual. And just when did we start to trust men to make their own wardrobe decisions? Oh there are a blessed few who are capable of dressing themselves, but they are few...... and far between. How often have you seen a woman with a pocket protector or sporting a bola tie? I rest my case.... most men should not be making fashion decisions.
I will not put words in Kiran Chetry's mouth, but from this clip I don't think she's a fan of the tieless movement either. The brief clip is with a young reporter who was properly dressed for a national television appearance, as Kiran noted.
And I've got one more video that shows John Roberts has been promoting this tieless trend for many, many years. ;)
PS: A huge shout-out to Cyn for the embeds.