If watching TV truly kills brain cells, I committed a neural holocaust during the presidential primary and election. If I wasn’t obsessively refreshing FiveThirtyEight for the latest state forecasts, I was glued to MSNBC or CNN’s television coverage of all things political. During my brief affair with David Gergen, Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow, I also became a great fan of Candy Crowley, CNN’s award-winning senior political correspondent. Crowley, 60, virtually lived out of a suitcase while covering Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House and then both conventions, every debate and other stops along the campaign trail. Her commentary and coverage was consistently smart, thorough and as unbiased as a journalist can hope to be. And I’m not her only admirer — there’s even a Facebook group devoted to her by the name, “Candy Crowley is quite possibly the smartest, most articulate woman ever.”
CNN tapped many smart and competent women in their election coverage, but the hoary Crowley stood out to me not only for her decades of experience, but also for her sassy style and the fact that she rocked it as the station’s lone plus-size pundit. So, imagine my surprise when anchor Heidi Collins this morning introduced the gaunt-faced, hollow-eyed, much thinner and older looking correspondent as the same indomitable Candy Crowley. The photo on the left is from February of last year and the image on the right is from this election night clip (fast forward to minute 1:52) from last week.
The internet buzz is speculating that Crowley had weight loss surgery, but neither Crowley or CNN have addressed the issue much less confirmed it — and they shouldn’t have to. Crowley’s profile photo from this 2003 story shows her as significantly thinner and in an undated interview with Rachael Ray, she indicated that she eats a healthy vegetarian! diet, so perhaps the fuller-figured Crowley we saw last fall was but a temporary result of her nomadic lifestyle while covering the election. In any case, I hope that Crowley’s weight loss has been achieved healthily and and that it wasn’t undertaken out of professional pressure to conform to those draconian standards usually thrust on women in the national spotlight. There are enough hungry women on television without adding Crowley to that list.