Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Weak In Review

In case anyone missed Nightly News this week, here's a recap:

On Sunday, there was a two-and-a-half minute story about "Britain's Got Talent" contestant Susan Boyle. The story included a clip of Jay Leno impersonating Boyle, as well as a brief interview with her hairdresser. Who says Nightly News doesn't dig deep to find the important stories?

On Wednesday, there was Tom Brokaw's seemingly endless four-and-a-half minute saga about the Maryland crab industry. For a while, I thought I was watching "Masterpiece Theater". When you take away the commercials, this story accounted for an incredible 20% of the entire broadcast. It might have been helpful if the producers had included an intermission. Now, Tom Brokaw is an iconic figure in network news. He is perhaps the best anchor of his generation. But this story was ridiculous. It had zero news value. If this is the best Tom can do these days, maybe he should stay in retirement. That same night, Chris Jansing presented a report about earthquakes. She told us that California may get a really big earthquake and that very few people are prepared for one. There--I just said in five seconds what it took Jansing two-minutes-and-twenty-five seconds to say. But at least she managed to include a gratuitous ten-second clip of Carson Daly in her story.

On Thursday, we saw a two-minute-and-twenty-second story about the controversial subject of high school students who like to hug each other. Chris Jansing even got some students to demonstrate the different types of hugs. Maybe NBC should have attached a "Breaking News" tag to this story.

On Friday, we got a thirty-second "news story" about Jay Leno's last show, with a pointed reminder about his new show that will be starting in September at 10 PM (9 central). Check your local listings. Then we were treated to another two-minute-and-fifteen-second story about Susan Boyle. Apparently, she's unraveling a bit due to all the pressure and media scrutiny surrounding her. And Stephanie Gosk even gave us a solemn update on Boyle's odds of winning, according to London bookies. This is at least the fifth story Nightly News has done on Boyle in the past six weeks. (In the same time period, Nightly News has not presented a single story about the conflict in Sri Lanka.) And also on Friday, we were given three reminders about Brian Williams' upcoming special "Inside The Obama White House".

Does anybody remember when Nightly News actually presented news, instead of garbage, filler and self-promotion?

No comments:

Post a Comment