Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mistakes? NBC?

This is from Brian Williams's Daily Nightly blog for July 22: "Mistakes are awful in our business -- whether it’s NBC News, US News or The New York Times -- we try mightily to avoid them, and try to cop to them when we discover them. As long as there's a human element in journalism, mistakes will happen. So it was with that in mind that we noticed the mother of all corrections in this morning's New York Times -- and of all things, it had to do with their coverage of the death of a man who was a stickler for detail: Walter Cronkite....So -- with the 'glass houses' rule fully in effect -- we will proceed with our broadcast in hopes that we get it all right. If not, we'll run a correction!"

What a joke. Brian Williams wouldn't run a correction even if he reported that the moon was made of green cheese. Last Nov. 6, Brian earnestly reported that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent. That story turns out to have been a hoax. But Brian never issued a retraction, much less an apology. And when it was revealed that NBC's paid military analysts were also accepting money from companies whose products and strategies the analysts were endorsing on the air, Brian never issued an apology.

And as long as we're on the subject, how about an apology for the current state of Nightly News? How about an apology for the ridiculous non-news pieces that clog up the broadcast each night? And when is Brian going to apologize for turning the broadcast into his personal megaphone to promote Medal of Honor winners, firefighters, American cars and his newest pet project, the Horizons program? And how about an apology for using valuable news time to run favorable stories about Nightly News sponsors like United Airlines, General Mills or McDonald's. I won't hold my breath waiting for those apologies. But I'm sure it won't be long before Brian again sticks it to the New York Times for making errors. Funny thing--I didn't notice Brian catching the Times errors until they themselves ran the correction.

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