Saturday, September 5, 2009


From Brian Williams' Sept. 4 Daily Nightly blog:

"I just talked to a friend at the Jersey Shore (is it okay to admit I wish I was there, right now?) who asked, 'Is there any news today at all?' I assured him there was--and that we would cover it tonight."

Brian can't be serious. If there was actual news on Friday, why did he waste more than half his broadcast on irrelevant material? Ann Curry's story on childbirth in Pakistan wasn't news. In fact, it seemed more like a "Dateline" story. Oh wait a second--that's exactly what it was. And gee, what a surprise--Curry's piece was immediately followed by a promo for Sunday's "Dateline", where a longer version of her story will air. As usual, Nightly News is promoting other NBC shows instead of reporting the news.

And then there was the "Making A Difference" story about golf tournaments that raise scholarship money for people who lost a family member in the military. This wasn't news. It was just another red-white-and-blue tinged story meant to shamelessly pander to the viewers' sense of patriotism. I'm surprised that Roger O'Neil wasn't waving a flag and singing "God Bless America" during his report (close enough--American flags were shown in eight different shots). Give me a break. A responsible newscast doesn't refer to military casualties as "fallen heroes". But then again, any relationship between Nightly News and a responsible newscast is strictly coincidental.

And of course there was the "news story" about planes that carry advertising banners at the Jersey Shore. This is news? This story was a joke. But at least NBC managed to pay some bills by clearly showing a banner ad for State Farm Insurance. How much did State Farm pay for the exposure?

These three "news stories" took up more than half of Friday's broadcast. Brian and his producers should be ashamed of themselves. There was not a single story from Europe, Africa, South America or Eastern Asia. But at least now I know all about banner ads at the Jersey Shore. Great job, guys. Meanwhile, Brian should be careful. If he told his friend that NBC would be covering news on Friday, his nose might grow like Pinocchio. And then he'd have to get another nose job.

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