Last week, Vice News Tonight debuted itself as the evening news program for cool kids that cool kids didn’t really know they needed.
A distillation of a day in Vice News in anchor-less, panoptic blinding white, the show sweeps through international disputes and domestic politics, culture clashes and the latest music in the hopes of keeping you informed. It’s the evening version of a newspaper and coffee, intended to be digested as a light lift, perhaps to be consumed with a glass of wine or joint. It very cleanly side-scrolls along like an extended Internet show made for TV. It’s pretty cool! I’ve watched a little more than half of the episodes that have aired since last Monday and it’s a good catch-all for news, even for the very plugged in. If you missed anything in the day, Vice News Tonight picks it up and shows it to you so you can stress about it as you sleep.
The one thing that also makes the show so unique is its roster of cool correspondents. They range from subdued and newsy to over-the-top Vice, almost comical in their fitting into the Brooklyn hip, serious-but-not-but-gravely-serious style of the new media brand. Many are distracting but most suck you in, drawing you into their world because of their compassion for the stories and subjects.
To honor this new news anchor style, let’s explore the personalities, ranking them from the least-Vice-but-most-news-anchor to the most-Vice-and-least-news-anchor. There’s a lot of great talent but also a lot of distracting talent that seem to capture more of Vice’s vibe than that of a news capturer.
Here are the most Vice reporters on Vice News Tonight (that I’ve seen so far).
NOTE: Correspondents/Reporters not included are reporters who I either: 1.) Do not remember seeing on the show; 2.) Have not appeared on the show; or 3.) I’ve missed their episode. Thus, they were not included.
10. Arielle Duhaime-Ross
Duhaime-Ross has a calming and cool demeanor that matchers her calming, cool take on her role: breaking down environmental and climate news, a very challenging position in any news environment. Yet, Duhaime-Ross’ ambiguity in both gender and sexuality allows viewers to slide in and assume her identity as someone learning. When she visited climate scientists heating forests to see what would happen to trees, you felt so much smarter because Duhaime-Ross wasn’t in the way: you got the news. Similarly, her breakdowns feel appropriately smart yet casual, making her the least Vice reporter on the show.
9. Antonia Hylton
Similar to Duhaime-Ross, Hylton has a compassion and cool that sets her apart. Her work covering prison reform and the potential solutions for the criminal justice system felt very real, lightened by her presence. It’s easy to see her in a more buttoned up role doing investigative reporting for someone like MSNBC but, because she’s bringing the news to you in jeans and a t-shirt, she slides right into Vice as an outsider covering big topics in a casual fashion.
8. Evan McMorris-Santoro
McMorris-Santoro covers politics and doesn’t quite seem like he fits in here as he simultaneously seems both polished yet outside the system. That makes him kind of perfect then? For example: when he covered a Trump rally, his scene was produced around a line, awkwardly standing next to the supporters, talking about them, instead of to them. That seems very reporterly yet distant, making it a tense Vice cool.
7. Mary HK Choi
Full disclosure: Mary is a friend and it’s absolutely tickling to watch her own the show. To that, she covers culture and brings her own brand of hip to newscasting. Taking on tasks like breaking down “Oldchella” in a way that balances information and catchy lines, she feels like a happy medium between reporting and editorial, which is the root of Vice’s POV. Also: her septum piercing heightens the Vice feel quite a bit.
6. Roberto Ferdman
Ferdman has a face that says, “Hey, I’m serious about serious things but—Hey.—let me buy you a beer and still be serious about it but less-so than I would normally be, OK?” He’s a serious newscaster but somewhat approachable, the type of guy you meet at a party who is cute and quiet and observational but then interrupts things to add some really heavy stat that kind of bums you out. You then talk about politics, ask him where he went to school, find out he went to a stuffy pseudo-Ivy (or actual Ivy), feel bad about yourself, and then don’t want to talk to him anymore despite his already asking you if you want another drink. Sigh.
5. Seb Walker
With a lazing English accent and curious ethnicity, a theme uniting Vice’s international correspondents, Walker has a cute-maybe-gay vibe about him that offers a Vice edge considering he’s mostly covering Middle Eastern conflict. You watch, stressed, that someone is going attack him because they “think” he is of a different sexual persuasion. Vice: they know tension!
4. Isobel Yeung
Yeung and Walker are cut from the same exact cloth of accents and ethnicity, a of quality that draws you into their stories but stands out in your mind the entire time because you’re trying to place their personal who, what, and where. Yeung intensified this with her story in Georgia that inspired some viewer drama. (This is a personal thing since I am from Georgia—the state—and the location in Georgia—the country—looked remarkably like where I’m from, in Georgia, thus spiraling me into a Vice hole of confusion.)
3. Elle Reeve
Reeve is a technology correspondent and, while she isn’t the iconic Vice woman pictured above, her striking resemblance paired with somewhat ironic reporting on alt-right loving Gab makes it impossible to separate the Vice-ness from the person.
2. Michael Moniyhan
If you were to imagine a Vice reporter, Moniyhan is who you would imagine. He has an “I don’t know what I’m doing!!” demeanor and a brow furrow so strong you could rest an entire week of shows on top of it. His segments cover American political obscura—from trying to get Glenn Beck to vote Clinton (and failing) to covering Lee Harvey Oswald’s birthday—and represent his point of view of America being great but weird. Such is Vice. Such is Vice…
1. Patrick Carney
No, the Black Keys musician is not a reporter. But, on last night’s show, he did a segment where he listened to Lady Gaga’s new song and told a story about how he once met Hulk Hogan, thought he was “a nice guy,” and paralleled guitars to penises. That is the most Vice thing you can imagine happening on a television show.