Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On the Jan. 5 Nightly News, Brian Williams showed a clip of John Chancellor from 1976 pledging not to air stories about Amy Carter unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Brian then said that's "pretty much the way we all feel about the Obama daughters." Well, that didn't last long. Monday's Nightly News story titled "Excellent Adventure" (as in "Bill & Ted's" or "Sasha & Malia's") was all about--the Obama daughters. This is from Ann Curry's introduction: "The Obamas haven't exactly been loading up the station wagon, but for Sasha and Malia, it's been an opportunity to see the beauty of this country nevertheless." Then we see a clip of Sasha and Malia in an ice cream store. There they are whitewater rafting. And at Yellowstone watching Old Faithful erupt. And at the Grand Canyon. Now they're disembarking from Marine 1. And entering Air Force 1. We see still photos of the girls in Paris, Moscow, London and Ghana. We're told that their next stop is Martha's Vineyard. So what exactly is the "compelling reason" for NBC to show the Obama girls on their summer vacation? Obviously, there isn't one. It was just a gratuitous story about the presidential daughters--the same presidential daughters that Brian pledged not to cover without good reason. The "good reason" was that Brian and the Nightly News producers know that Sasha and Malia equal good ratings. I guess Brian figured that seven months later, no one would remember his pledge. Well, obviously pledges go out the window when good ratings are at stake. Anyway, what's a little lie between friends, right Brian?