Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Kate Smith Sings Nightly News
Question: What's the difference between a Roger O'Neil Nightly News story and a promotional ad for the U.S. military? Answer: There is no difference. O'Neil's stories are two-and-a-half minute flag-waving, eagle-soaring, hyper-patriotic misty-eyed tributes to our "brave men and women in uniform". His references to "fallen heroes", "warriors" and "loved ones in uniform" are so over the top that I expect his words to be sung by Kate Smith. O'Neil's goal is not to present a balanced news story, but rather to offer a paean to those in the armed forces. His stories should be accompanied by a banner with the 1-800-USA-ARMY (or NAVY or MARINES or USAF) phone number on the bottom of the screen, since they are practically sponsored by the U.S. military. O'Neil's latest bit of self-indulgence, about an army wife who blogs about her experiences and feelings, was no exception. (His story even aired on March 4, a date that sounds like a military order.) This is not reporting. It's adulation and hero worship. O'Neil should gather up his flags, eagles, liberty torches and fireworks and take them over to FOX News where his shtick belongs.