Saturday, November 7, 2009

Show Notes--Week Of Nov. 1

1) During Sunday's Nightly News story about the congressional race in upstate New York's 23rd district, we were shown some footage of former Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, who had withdrawn from the race. Because the footage was not recent, the producers appropriately labeled it as "file" footage. On Tuesday's Nightly News, the exact same footage of Scozzafava was shown, but there was no "file" label attached to it. Why?

2) On Thursday's Nightly News story about the House health care bill, Kelly O'Donnell informed us that the bill would, "...create government-backed insurance called a public option." But the accompanying on-screen graphic read, "Create Government 'Public Opinion'." Is anyone paying attention?

3) On Tuesday's story about the H1N1 virus (which Nightly News is still calling Swine Flu), a calendar page from this past August showed Aug. 30 and 31 falling on a Friday and Saturday, respectively. In fact, those days fell on a Sunday and Monday.

4) On Tuesday's broadcast, Tom Costello reported on harmful BPA levels in plastic bottles and canned food liners. Costello told us that the chemical was present in "brand name foods from vegetable soup to tuna fish, green beans to corn and chili." But the accompanying graphic showed only generic cans labeled "chili", "vegetable soup", "green beans" and "tuna". Where are the name brands? Meanwhile, ABC's World News reported the same story on the same night. The ABC story showed canned goods from Del Monte, Progresso, Campbell's, Hormel, Hunt's, Bush's and Chef Boyardee. Clearly, Nightly News refrained from showing brand names as a favor to the many food companies that advertise on NBC shows. Just this past week, Nightly News ran commercials for Bush's Beans (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), Progresso canned soups (Monday, Thursday and Friday), and Swanson chicken broth (Monday, Thursday and Friday). This is yet another appalling example of how the Nightly News producers adjust the content of news stories to please the sponsors.

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