Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who Stole The News?

The final two-thirds of Thursday's Nightly News didn't actually contain any news at all. We saw a two-and-a-half-minute tribute to Merlin Olsen, followed by a two-minute-and-fifty-second story about Navy Seals. We then saw eighty seconds combined on the weather, the wealthiest counties in America, and where President Obama donated his Nobel Prize money. After that, it was 45 seconds on Brian Williams and his Afghan orphans. The broadcast concluded with a two-minute-and-twenty-five-second "Making A Difference" story about Los Angeles high school students who volunteer at homeless shelters. There was not a shred of news in any of those stories. But of course, the Merlin Olsen story contained more than thirty seconds of clips from "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy" (both of which aired on NBC), as well as an interview with Melissa Gilbert. Obviously, the whole purpose of the story was to exploit Olsen's death in order to earn some money for NBC Universal by selling "Little House" and "Father Murphy" DVDs. The Navy Seals story (the second in two days) was another rah-rah flag-waving we-love-the-military tale from the red-white-and-blue patriots at Nightly News. The Afghan orphans story was just an excuse for Brian Williams to tell us how wonderful he is (again). And the "Making A Difference" story was about...well, I'm not really sure what that was supposed to be about. Meanwhile, it had been four days since hundreds of Christians were massacred by Muslims near Jos, Nigeria, but Nightly News didn't feel that was worth mentioning. But at least we know all about Merlin Olsen and the Navy Seals. Thank you, Nightly News producers for giving us all these wonderful stories! But in the future, it might be nice if you covered some actual news.

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