Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bait Und Switch

At around the 12-minute mark of Monday's broadcast, just before the first commercial break, Brian Williams read a brief promo for an upcoming story about California's ongoing budget crisis. The promo clip showed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaning over a desk in a classroom, apparently checking on the work of a student. But when the story aired a few minutes later, Gov. Schwarzenegger was nowhere to be found. He wasn't featured anywhere in the story. This type of bait-and-switch reporting is one of the worst forms of yellow journalism. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most recognizable figures not just in politics, but in all of popular culture. Brian and the NBC producers intentionally used Schwarzenegger as bait to lure the viewers in (and keep them from switching channels), even though they never had any intention of including him in the story. That's a clear example of bait-and-switch. Shame on Brian and the producers. The viewers deserve better.

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