WOLF BLITZER’S PHRASING DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

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Have you ever really listened to Wolf Blitzer and how he speaks? To me, he sounds slightly frantic. Plus…it is oftentimes hard to follow his conversation and line of questioning.

WHY?  I contribute this to his breathing and pausing … in all the wrong places.

WHERE SHOULD YOU BREATHE AND PAUSE?   Where the punctuation lies within a sentence. Or, in the TV world…when setting up the meaningful information.

Because he is not breathing at the end of each phrase, he is forced to take a quick breath, mid-sentence, which makes him sound slightly frantic and out-of-control.

This also disrupts the logic or flow of the sentence, thus causing confusion with the audience, or having them work harder to follow the question.

Here is an example I took from a recent interview with Reince Priebus, the Chairperson of the Republican National Convention.

(When you don’t see the punctuation, that means his sentences were colliding; there was no pause to separate the content.)

“You’ve seen our new poll numbers Secretary Clinton (breath) saw this convention bounce uh after both conventions The CNN/RNC poll (breath) shows that the number of voters who believe Secretary Clinton’s (gulp) policies (breath) will move the country in the right direction That actually jumped from 43 percent before to 48 percent now The number of voters (breath) who said the same about Trump’s policies actually went down from 40 percent before the conventions to 38 percent now Did the Republican (breath) Convention achieve what was needed?”

Here are my suggestions on how to improve his pacing/phrasing.

“You’ve seen our new poll numbers. (PAUSE) Secretary Clinton saw this convention bounce after both conventions. (PAUSE) The CNN/RNC poll shows that (catch breath) the number of voters who believe Secretary Clinton’s policies (catch breath) will move the country in the right direction… (PAUSE) Those numbers actually jumped from 43 percent before (catch breath) to 48 percent now. (PAUSE) The number of voters (hesitate) who said the same about Trump’s policies, (catch breath) actually went down (catch breath) from 40 percent before the convention, (catch breath) to 38 percent now. (PAUSE) Did the Republican Convention achieve what was needed?

Here’s the link to the interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7jw8t7VGDo

17 thoughts on “WOLF BLITZER’S PHRASING DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

    1. Not only that, sometimes his weird phrasing is contagious. The interviewees start doing it too. Maybe out of sympathy.

  1. I have noticed this as well, and it really detracts from the content. And I have noticed some other commentators picking up this bad habit too.

  2. As a broadcaster (retired), the Blitzer model drives me crazy. I was also an English major and took additional writing and journalism courses. To hear this man butcher the language, admittedly some of it is because he lives in America, is so unsettling. I wonder why he is kept on because when he speaks what he is saying can be so easily misunderstood. When the world lives in tenuous times, many people could jump to false conclusions based on a badly timed pause uttered by Mr. Blitzer. At his age he is too old to start over again but both he and his bosses should be very careful where this anchor takes a breathe. Follow the punctuation, please.

  3. Don’t over think it. He has respiratory problems. His cadence is typical of someone with obstructive lung disease. Was he a heavy smoker at some point? Of course, the fact that people talk about it actually increases his value to the brand.

  4. It’s been driving me crazy for a long time. I don’t remember him doing that when he was a much younger reporter.

  5. It drives me nuts as well period even comes to the point where he stops in the middle of persons name. I’m almost to the point where I can’t watch him anymore.
    I find myself listening to the way he said something rather than to actually what he’s saying. Needs to go a breathing coach.

  6. This has been driving me crazy for years. It’s perhaps the main reason why I despise the fact that he’s an anchor, though I finally hit the point when I thought I should search if he has any pulmonary disease. This is what brought me to this website. I figured I couldn’t be the only one.

  7. I too thought there was something wrong with his breathing or his lungs. Glad to know I’m not the only one. I wonder if CNN has tried to have him learn a better news delivery with proper phrasing based on punctuation. Currently, it’s very distracting to the viewer, and I find myself focusing on his delivery instead of what he’s saying.

    1. President Trump is also someone who’s speech patterns cause me unrest. Sometimes he almost gets more than four words out at a time. Many times when he gets a complete sentence verbalized he let’s his voice fall off to become unintelligible. Don’t get me started on his hand gestures! Making the OK sign when he’s just into a sentence, waving both hands back and forth while attempting to make a point. To me, these gestures are distracting and take away from the point he is trying to make. Stand still, Donald!

  8. I get crazy watching him. I start to focus on his breathing so much I don’t even hear what he is saying. I feel like he speaks until he runs out of breath and then breathes and continues. Just glad to know it isn’t me.

  9. I agree about his speech patterns, it’s hard to concentrate on what he is saying. I also cringe every time he says “uh”. I’ve counted 30 uhs in a less than 2 minute story. It’s not what I would expect of a so-called professional.

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