Saturday, January 30, 2010

So Little Time

In his Jan. 27 Daily Nightly blog, Brian Williams apologized for not having enough time in his broadcast to offer a proper obituary for Sen. Charles Mathias, and other departed newsmakers: "Because our air time is limited, because we have to find space for such stories alongside a slate of coverage from Haiti, a new NBC poll and a preview of the State of the Union speech, there were details about Senator Mathias I had to leave out."

Brian, it's totally understandable that you don't have enough time to properly eulogize those who have passed away. After all, Nightly News has to present its usual slate of stories about skateboarding bulldogs, popular youtube videos, little girls who throw back foul balls at Phillies games, birthday messages to Springsteen, blind and deaf dachshunds, the Second City comedy troupe, teenage jazz singers, military challenge coins, pink dolphins, McDonald's new gourmet coffees, Susan Boyle, White House party crashers, inspirational Olympic tales, children who like to hug each other and how painful it is to dance in high heeled shoes. Then there is the large chunk of time that Nightly News must devote to "news" stories about movies, celebrities, regular NBC sponsors and NBC Universal TV shows. We completely understand your frustration at not being fully able to discuss Sen. Mathias's life and accomplishments. At least you managed to use a correct photo of Sen. Mathias, which is more than can be said for your obituary of James Brady.

Another Brian Williams quote: "In our newsroom, it’s well known that I write the obituaries."

I think there's a Barry Manilow song in there somewhere.

"I think it’s safe to claim that of the three network evening broadcasts in our time slot, we air the most obituaries."

Which means you air the least amount of actual news.

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