CBS Host Norah O'Donnell Weirdly Doesn't Seem to Use a Computer


In a series published by The Atlantic that’s basically catnip for media nerds called “What I Read”, media bigwigs periodically talk about, as the title indicates, what they read everyday. This phrase is used loosely; they can also talk about what they watch and listen to, because it’s just a first-person essay about their media diet on a daily basis, the kind of stuff people like me get hot and bothered about but an average Internet lover is probably yawns halfway through. This week’s column is a particularly noteworthy one, not because of its subject, the host of CBS’s This Morning Norah O’Donnell, but because of what she reveals about herself. Which is to say that it appears that at no point during the day does she look at a computer.

Has she discovered The Secret? Let’s walk through O’Donnell’s day:

– She wakes up in the morning and checks her email.

Unlike the plebs, O’Donnell has a team of people who send her stuff she should be reading to start the day, which she looks at on her Blackberry.

– Then she checks Twitter.

Assume this is also on her Blackberry.

– She relies on actual hard copies of newspapers:

“While I’m getting prepped for the show, I make my way through 6 different newspapers: The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Daily News, and USA Today. I like to read the hard copies because there are graphics and charts that are often useful. You’ll notice that a lot of my newspapers have writing and highlighting all over them – I refer to them during our broadcast, and also frequently flag headlines to include in our daily ‘Papers’ segments.”

– A producer reads O’Donnell breaking news stories into her ears.

And wire stories are given to her on paper. Paper is a material that is made from trees.

– The only mention of computer time is time spent checking her email:

“When we finish with updates for the West Coast and affiliate teases, I normally go back to my office and look through many of the papers again for stories that might deserve follow-up for the next day. I’ll also make calls, listen to voicemails and make yet another futile attempt to empty my Inbox.”

This could also be done on her Blackberry. Unclear.

– The other reading she does is “for pleasure.”

She also enjoys magazines and children’s books (the latter she reads with her kids).

– Finally, she watches the CBS Evening News and checks her iPhone before bed.

There you have it: O’Donnell manages to spend a day without spending a significant amount of time (or any at all) at an actual computer. She doesn’t troll the Internet. She doesn’t have a secret Reddit profile. She doesn’t find herself down a rabbit hole reading the comments on Perez Hilton.

She also wakes up at the latest at 3:30 am, thus prompting a follow-up question: What time does she go to sleep?! Sometime after the CBS Evening News, which is over at 7 pm EST. The plot thickens. The mystery continues. We can only be patient and wait to see if the answer will be revealed.

Norah O’Donnell: What I Read [The Atlantic]

Image via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

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