Echo Chamber of Secrets: 30 Media Muggles and their Harry Potter Counterparts
Barbara Walters: Professor Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall can be maternal, but she’s also tough as nails — just like Barbara Walters. Although compared to keeping the boisterous ladies of The View in order, managing dozens of adolescent wizards seems easy. We’d guess that if J.K. Rowling ever got around to it, McGonagall’s secret history might be just as interesting as Audition.
Brian Williams: Gilderoy Lockhart
Dashing, handsome, adventurous, filled with tales of valor from his intrepid adventures abroad – BriWi seems a natural counterpart for Gilderoy Lockhart. Don’t hate him because he’s beautiful.
The funnymen of cable news and the funnymen of Hogwarts serve as comic relief, but they also speak truth to power when the serious-minded are too timid to do so, whether that power is named “Dolores Umbridge” or “Dick Cheney.” Extra-nerdy parallel: both Stephen Colbert and George Weasley have damaged right ears.
Nick Denton: Severus Snape
Is he evil? Is he good? What does he have up his sleeve? Why is he secretly one of our favorite characters, despite his dubious intentions? New media mogul Denton sure cleans up a lot better than Snape, but he is no less compelling, beckoning us to the dark side while still showing glimmers of goodness. The only one on our list who is actually compared in real life to an Evil Overlord, we’re still not quite convinced that he’s all the way to the dark side yet.
Maureen Dowd: Rita Skeeter
The blogosphere likes to rag on MoDo, but like RitSkeet, she’s hugely influential, with a style that is distinctly her own (when it’s not, er, distinctly other people’s). Like Rita’s, her column is a must-read, if only to complain about it later. Also, Armandon Dippet: Master or Moron totally sounds like a Maureen Dowd column title.
Chris Wallace: Sirius Black
Sirius Black, the last heir of the pure-blooded Black family, bucked early on both his family elitism and its inclination for the Dark Arts. Wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban, he is later redeemed, taking up his role as Harry’s godfather and providing critical guidance and support, despite his family’s allegiance to He Who Shall Not Be Named. Fox New’s Chris Wallace, son of 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace, who hosts Fox News Sunday, sometimes feels like the only non-partisan voice in a network that has never had any qualms about taking sides. We think that one works well. Siriusly!
Andy Rooney: Cornelius Fudge
Stubborn, opinionated, set in his ways – yep, Andy Rooney could play Cornelius Fudge, former Minister of Magic and reliable thorn in Dumbledore’s side. Given to puffed-up speechifying and self-important bustling, both are relics from a bygone era. Also, both are just a wee bit curmudgeonly. Alas, if only Fudge had stayed behind his own walnut desk instead of interfering at Hogwarts, things might have turned out differently. (Except that J.K. Rowling had all the books planned from the start. Never mind.)
Erin Burnett: Ginny Weasley
Like Ginny Weasley, Erin Burnett is the quiet kid sister who suddenly blossomed. She’s gone from young eager up-and-comer at CNBC to a pan-NBC phenomenon, joshing in the morning like a kid sister on Morning Joe and holding her own on The Today Show. Sigh. They grow up so quickly.
Tom Brokaw: Albus Dumbledore
We have many wise elders in this business, but we’re going to go with Tom Brokaw for Dumbledore. A trusted voice behind the anchor desk, he remains an active presence – questing for truth (in the form of field reports); looking at and learning from history (thanks to his book and TV special about the ’60s) and trying to teach squabbling schoolchildren the truly important lessons. They each offer a calming, reassuring presence – and their proteges have gone on to great things.
Moe Tkacik: Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood is a dreamy girl, with a gentle, sort of spaced-out manner and a way of saying many words about things before all of the sudden saying a really, really smart thing. We bet if she ditched the wrackspurts, popped an Adderall and turned on CNBC, her writing would be a lot like Moe Tkackik’s. Never underestimate a Ravenclaw chick.
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