Saturday, September 26, 2009

Brian Williams Loves Your City!

From Brian Williams's Sept. 24 Daily Nightly blog: "I can't help but feel sad here in Pittsburgh, mostly because I love Pittsburgh. This is such a vibrant, proud, compact, loyal, strong and beautiful modern city...."

What a joke. Brian would offer these same generic words of praise for any city from which he happened to be anchoring. Brian's job is to pander to as wide an audience as possible in order to attract as many viewers as possible. Here are a few other recent examples of Brian's pandering:

> "And good evening from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the great American cities...." (9/24 Nightly News)
> "One of the most startlingly beautiful cities in the world...." (Speaking about Sydney, 9/23 Nightly News)
> "The city of Chicago has never looked better. Day or night it is simply breathtaking." (From Brian's 9/21 blog)
> "Tom Brokaw on Highway 50. His next stop by the way is the great American town of Emporia, Kansas." (9/9 Nightly News)
> "There's a great place to be--The scene tonight on the Navy Pier in Chicago--70 degrees going down to 55 tonight, 77 tomorrow afternoon." (9/4 Nightly News. This was a complete non sequitur--there was no actual story about the Navy Pier, just another excuse to pander.)
> "We thought it might also be because it looks like one of those beautiful Rhode Island beaches on the real Block Island." (8/4 Nightly News, after reporting that a rock on Mars was named "Block Island" by NASA)
> "The Great Lakes are spectacular." (7/17 Nightly News)
> "If your summer plans include the great city of Chicago...." followed by, "Luckily, Chicago is also beautiful when viewed from the sidewalk." (7/1 Nightly News, before and after a story about a glass-bottomed viewing area in the then-Sears Tower)

Chicago seems to be a particular beneficiary of Brian's fawning praise. I assume that the NBC News research department has informed Brian and his producers that viewership in the Chicago area has fallen off and thus is in need of some extra special pandering.

Also from Brian's Sept. 24 Daily Nightly blog: "I noticed the young woman in the TSA line in front of me. She was wearing flip-flops but had a pair of combat boots in her carry-on tote bag. As she placed her laptop in the plastic bin, I noticed the bumper sticker she had affixed to the lid. It read, 'ANARCHY.' And I thought: How brilliant...she's a protest commuter! She's able, conceivably, to wake up in New York, fly to Pittsburgh, protest against the G-20, and be home in time for Leno! It’s almost the same thing I'm doing -- except for the protest part -- and it struck me that we're both flying to Pittsburgh to utilize the First Amendment. What a country."

Here's another joke: Brian going on and on about the First Amendment. We all know that dissent and alternate points of view are not tolerated on Brian's broadcast. Nightly News only airs stories that support their specific point of view, which can best be described as flag-waving eagle-soaring jingoistic rah-rah pseudo-patriotism. Any newscast that uses phrases like "wounded warriors" and "fallen heroes" cannot be taken seriously as a reliable source of news. And by the way, if Brian believes so strongly in freedom of speech, why do his editors refuse to print so many comments submitted to his blog? I would estimate that 30% of the comments I submit to his blog are not printed. Brian is a hypocrite. But at least he managed to get in yet another plug for Leno. And that's what really matters. Well done, Brian.

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