Saturday, January 16, 2010

7.0 = 10.0 For Nightly News?

As I watched Brian Williams and Ann Curry reporting from Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Friday's Nightly News, I couldn't help but think that these two are the absolute best in the business at exploiting the misery and suffering of others for the sake of a few ratings points. Undoubtedly, Brian and everyone else at Nightly News is hoping that the 7.0 earthquake will translate to a 10.0 Nielsen rating (or higher) for the week, and perhaps a Peabody Award or two. And it was unbelievably tacky (and tactless) to hear Brian end his broadcast by bragging that for the third time in five years, NBC News was at the site of a natural disaster before the first responders (the other two times were the Banda Aceh tsunami in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005). Apparently, Brian is under the impression that they give out Peabody Awards for promptness.

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