Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An "F" For NBC

If the entity of Nightly News was a grade-school student, it would get an "F" in spelling. Night after night the viewers are forced to witness a litany of misspelled names, places and words, as well as calendar mistakes, grammatical errors, improper transcriptions, misidentified people and other mistakes. On Saturday's broadcast, a Greek rescue team in Haiti was identified as the "Helenic (sic) Rescue Team". The team's own website identifies it as the "Hellenic Rescue Team". (Last Oct. 7, Nightly News spelled Helen Keller's first name as "Hellen". The producers really should work on their Helen/Hellen situation.) Also on Saturday, we were shown a list of charities that benefitted from the previous night's Hope For Haiti Now Telethon. One of the charities listed was the "World Food Progamme (sic)" which obviously should have been spelled as "Programme". Also, the Red Cross appeared on the list twice. A Meet The Press promo during Saturday's Nightly News identified Valerie Jarrett as a presidential "adviser", while a MTP promo that aired on Friday's Nightly News identified Jarrett as a presidential "advisor". During a story about Mark McGwire on the Jan. 11 broadcast, "steroids" was spelled as "steriods". On Jan. 10, Deputy National Security Advisor (and NSC Chief of Staff) Denis McDonough's first name was spelled as "Dennis". And on the Jan. 6 broadcast, Richard Engel interviewed a man identified as the director of the "Saana (sic) Institute for Arabic Language" (it should have been spelled "Sana'a"). Honestly, these are way too many mistakes for a network news broadcast.

Last March 8, NBC aired a promo during Nightly News that featured Brian Williams saying, "You rely on us to get it right. Every time. This is the tradition of NBC News." If that's the case, why are they making so many mistakes? And if they can't get the small stuff right, how can we trust them with the big stuff?

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