I’m a little hung up on the invitation to a screening of Iran: The Most Dangerous Nation, a Discovery film from Ted Koppel. Koppel’s got a white dress shirt on, with his collar open, his sleeves rolled up, and his jacket presumably wallowing in the Lost & Found box back at Nightline. Ted’s casual vibe conveys that he worked hard on the film (perhaps he arm-wrestled President Ahmadinejad for the right to interview him), and that he’s not a suit anymore—he’s a regular Joe, toiling away on basic cable. Ted looks like he should be wearing a baseball hat atop that famous coif.
What's jarring in that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the veteran newsman without a suit on. But what’s more striking is that the invite states that “business attire” is required for the screening at Johns Hopkins. Of course, “business attire” is open to interpretation. But if I showed up with my collar open and my sleeves rolled up, sans jacket and/or tie, they’d probably stop me at the door. There’s business attire, and then there’s business casual.
So how come Ted gets away with the business casual?
By Michael Malone