Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hang Onto Your Ego

Brian's ego is unbelievable. Night after night, the news is all about Brian Williams. This past week, we were treated to not one, but two stories (Sunday and Monday) about this year's Kennedy Center honors. Why? Because Bruce Springsteen was one of the honorees and Brian attended the ceremony. It was only because of Brian's fanaticism for Springsteen that he put this story on the air. Do you think Nightly News would have given this story the time of day if the honorees were "only" Dave Brubeck, Mel Brooks, Robert De Niro and Grace Bumbry? Of course not. And that's shameful. On Wednesday, for the second time in less than a week, Nightly News ran a story about a Medal of Honor winner who was told to take down his American flag by the local homeowners' association. Again, this story was given air time only because of Brian's infatuation with Medal of Honor winners. And after Thursday's report about the snowstorm in upstate New York (imagine that--snow in upstate New York in December! They should have slapped a "breaking news" tag on that one), Brian felt compelled for some reason to comment on the sirens that were heard in the background during the story: "From the sound of things behind you there it sounds like the East Aurora Volunteer Fire Department now has to go out and fight a fire in this weather..." Huh? That non sequitur had absolutely nothing to do with the story--it was just Brian showing off his obsession with firefighters. And during the intro to Friday's story about the Robin Hood Foundation, Brian just had to inform us that, "Those of us who are members of the board pay the cost to run the organization so that every last penny they raise goes to those who really need it." I sure hope he didn't hurt his shoulder patting himself on the back. And during the report, poor Rehema Ellis was forced to say, "Generous board members [meaning Brian, of course] pay all administrative costs." Wow--Brian Williams supports the Robin Hood Foundation, the Horizons program, the Afghan orphans...and he's so modest about it, too. Obviously, a network news anchor who earns an 8-figure salary is supposed to be supporting charities. Unfortunately, Brian's need to boast about his philanthropic endeavors is egotistic and inappropriate. I never hear Jim Lehrer bragging about his charitable contributions. Maybe Nightly News should start running a crawl across the bottom of the screen listing all the charities Brian supports. The first thing they teach in undergrad broadcast journalism 101 is that a news broadcast should always be about the news, never about the anchor. Oh yeah--I forgot. Brian never went to college.

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