Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brian's Interviewing Skills

I guess Brian Williams was absent from journalism school on the day they taught the lesson about how to conduct an interview. Brian's Friday interview with Grand Isle, Louisiana mayor David Camardelle wasn't an interview, it was--well, I'm not sure what it was. In an interview, the interviewer asks specific questions of the subject. The questions should be pointed and precise and meant to elicit specific answers that will allow the viewers to get a better understanding of the situation. Brian's "questions" were so broad that Camardelle's answers gave us little added insight into what was going on in the Gulf. At one point, Camardelle was allowed to ramble on uninterrupted for two minutes and twenty two seconds. That is inexcusable. As an interview, this deserves a D-. If Brian had ever seen an interview by Amy Goodman (on "Democracy Now"), Katty Kay or Matt Frei (on "BBC World News America") or anyone on "The PBS Newshour", he would have a good idea of what an interview should be. Those interviews are incisive and focused--unlike Brian's. This is typical of Brian's style. Don't ruffle feathers--always be Mr. Nice Guy. Appeal to the viewers' emotions instead of providing them with information. To see a prime example of Brian's interviewing skills (or lack thereof), check out his "interview" with Chrysler executive Jim Press from the 11/13/07 Nightly News (if it is still available). Brian asks Press a series of softball questions that allow him to go on and on about what a great product Chrysler is. It was as if Press wrote the questions himself (for all we know, he did). If Brian wants to conduct an interview, he should do a proper one. Giving Camardelle more than three minutes of unregulated Nightly News air time did not do any great service to the viewers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nancy Snyderman Protects NBC Sponsors

Shame on Dr. Nancy Snyderman for protecting Nightly News sponsors. During Tuesday's story about the FDA warning for Proton Pump Inhibitors (like Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec), Snyderman went out of her way to downplay the dangerous side effects of these drugs. She made it sound as if there was no reason for concern, as if the warning would affect only a very small group of people--those over 50 who are on a high prescription dose and have been using the drug for over a year. Just check with your doctor if you get a chance--no big deal. The FDA doesn't issue warnings lightly and this needs to be taken much more seriously than Snyderman indicated. And when Brian asked her about some of the name brands involved, the only one she mentioned was Prilosec. That's not surprising. Over the past two weeks, Prevacid and Nexium have advertised on Nightly News; Prilosec has not. Snyderman made sure to mention only the PPI drug that was not a recent Nightly News sponsor. I expect Brian Williams, Robert Bazell and Tom Costello to bend over backwards to protect Nightly News sponsors. But I don't expect that from Snyderman. As a physician, she acted completely inappropriately.

UPDATE: The day after Snyderman's story on PPIs, Prilosec ran an ad on Nightly News. Obviously, the fact that Snyderman specifically mentioned Prilosec as one of the drugs in the FDA warning caused them to advertise on Nightly News. After all, the way to fight bad publicity is with advertising. So Snyderman's story actually had the effect of adding advertising to Nightly News's coffers. Well done.

By the way, The CBS Evening News ran the PPI story on their May 10 broadcast. So Nightly News waited more than two weeks to run their version of this story. And on Thursday, Nightly News finally reported on the recall of Johnson & Johnson products, a story CBS ran more than three weeks earlier (on May 4). Why is Nightly News waiting so long to air stories about drug recalls? A skeptical person might say they are delaying these reports in order to give their advertisers time to prepare a defense and dispute the accusations. Or perhaps they delay these reports in the hope that the controversies will blow over, in which case they may be able to get away with not reporting the stories at all. Or by putting the stories off for weeks, they become old news that is not as urgent as the current stories that pop up in the news cycle--and current news trumps old news (so again the drug recall stories get buried and therefore not reported). But that's just what a skeptic might say. Good thing I'm not a skeptic.

Senpresentative David Vitter

During Saturday's Nightly News story about the ineffective response to the Gulf oil spill, we were shown a YouTube clip of Louisiana Senator David Vitter demanding more action and fewer committee meetings. On the YouTube clip, Vitter is clearly identified as "Sen. David Vitter". A moment later, a Nightly News graphic identifies him as "Representative David Vitter".

On Sunday's story about Sarah Ferguson's attempt to charge 500,000 pounds for access to her ex-husband (Prince Andrew), a Nightly News transcript of a statement by Ferguson spelled the word "judgment" as "judgement". On Monday's broadcast, when that story was previewed during the show's intro, the word was also spelled as "judgement". In the first instance, the British spelling of the word can perhaps be forgiven, since the story was reported from London by Keir Simmons, who is British. But there is no excuse for Monday's misspelling, since that intro was read in New York by Brian Williams. The Nightly News producers should note that the word is spelled as "judgment" in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal, as well as by Reuters, the AP and at least two stories on the website (although a third story on spells the word as "judgement").

During Sunday's story about the finale of "Law & Order", an interview with the show's casting director carried a caption that identified the show as "Law And Order". That is incorrect. The title of the show is "Law & Order". There is a difference. The Nightly News producers could not even correctly spell the name of a show that appears on their own network. By the way, Nightly News has done four stories so far about the finale of "Law & Order"--the same number of stories they have done about the recent elections in Great Britain and the violent political unrest in Thailand.

Brian Williams's Attention To Detail

From Brian Williams's May 25 Daily Nightly blog: "John Hofmeister, the former President of Shell Oil who has written a book called 'Why People Hate the Oil Companies,' says the best minds in the nation are working on the oil spill."

Actually, Brian, the title of Hofmeister's book is "Why We Hate The Oil Companies." But you were close. Keep up the good work.

Lester Holt Spells Anne Thompson

From Lester Holt's 5/23 Daily Nightly blog: "On last night's broadcast Ann Thompson shared pictures from her journey far out into the Gulf which showed a virtual orange tide of oil. She'll show us more tonight, including graphic evidence of the toll this disaster has taken on the region's wildlife."

This is the second time in a month that Lester Holt has misspelled his own correspondent's name (her first name is actually Anne). He made the same mistake on his 4/25 Daily Nightly blog. Do we need any more evidence that no one at Nightly News cares any more?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Usher Trumps Synthetic DNA

This week, Nightly News devoted 19 minutes of news time to celebrities who are "Making A Difference". That's the equivalent of almost an entire broadcast (Nightly News runs 22 minutes when the commercials are factored out). On Thursday, the geneticist Craig Venter announced that his institute had developed synthetic DNA. Virtually every news outlet carried this story. Some hailed this accomplishment as being on par with splitting the atom or the development of the microchip. But Nightly News didn't even report Venter's discovery. Instead, we were treated to a three-and-a-half minute story on Usher. Nice going, guys. Keep up the great work.

During Monday's profile of Sally Field, Brian Williams talked about her early TV work--"Gidget", "The Flying Nun", "Sybil". But he never once mentioned her current series, "Brothers & Sisters". On Tuesday, Norah O'Donnell spent more than three minutes profiling Eva Longoria Parker without ever mentioning "Desperate Housewives". These are not just omissions--the actresses' TV series were intentionally left out of the stories. Brian and his producers have no problem using Field's and Longoria Parker's star power to boost Nightly News's ratings during a sweeps period, but they refuse to mention either star's current TV series because they both air on ABC. This would be comical if it wasn't so appallingly petty.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bill Nelson--Republicrat

During tonight's Nightly News story about the Senate inquiry into the BP oil leak, an on-screen graphic identified Florida Senator Bill Nelson as a Republican. He is a Democrat. Is anyone at Nightly News paying attention? Does anyone there care what they put on the air? Sadly, the answer seems to be "no".

The Fifth Hour Of Today

It's hard to imagine that Brian Williams can look at himself in the mirror without feeling a deep sense of shame over what Nightly News has become on his watch. Once upon a time, Nightly News was a serious news broadcast. But that was years ago. Now, it's a lifestyle/celebrity/entertainment/nature show that also features some news. In other words, Nightly News has become the fifth hour of The Today Show.

This week, Nightly News is featuring "Making A Difference" segments about celebrities. Clearly, the celebrity angle is much more important than the "Making A Difference" angle. This month is a sweeps period (when TV shows' ratings are used to set ad rates for the coming quarter). So shows go all out to feature dramatic season (or series) finales, gargantuan stunts and plenty of celebrity guests so they can achieve high ratings and charge high rates to advertisers. And although a news broadcast isn't supposed to engage in tawdry ratings stunts, Nightly News is jumping right in. All this week on Nightly News, it's celebrities galore. Sally Field, Will Ferrell, Eva Longoria, Ben Affleck and Usher will all be profiled as part of "Making A Difference". The last time Nightly News did a week of celebrity "Making A Difference" segments was last Nov. 9 through Nov. 13. That week was--not surprisingly--also part of a sweeps period. If anyone believes that's a coincidence, there's a bridge over the East River I'd like to sell you. It's appalling that Nightly News is using celebrities to boost ratings during a sweeps period, instead of devoting that time to actual news. For Brian Williams and his producers, it's obvious that high ratings are far more important than reporting news. And that's really a shame.

When Brian introduced Monday's segment with Sally Field, the first thing he mentioned was her Boniva ads. This is hardly surprising. Boniva is a heavy advertiser on Nightly News, and Brian was giving them some free advertising. But on the shameless scale, this pales in comparison to Friday, when Brian showed a preview of his interview with Field. In that clip, he spent 90 seconds talking with Field solely about her Boniva ads (including 15 seconds worth of actual clips from the ad). But wait--it gets better. Although Brian mentioned Field's early TV work in Gidget, The Flying Nun and Sybil, he NEVER ONCE mentioned (either on Friday or Monday) that Field stars in "Brothers & Sisters" because that show airs on ABC. He refused to mention it! So it's okay for Brian to use Field to boost his own ratings during a sweeps period, but he won't mention "Brothers and Sisters" for fear that he might give the competition an unintentional boost during a sweeps period. That is truly unbelievable.

More Cowbell! More Afghan Orphans!

From Brian Williams's May 17 Daily Nightly blog: "It was a high honor this weekend to deliver the Commencement Address and receive an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend. It was the experience of a lifetime, and it took the efforts of so many people to make it happen."

I am absolutely shocked that Brian did not show any clips from his commencement address during his newscast. Nightly News is always first and foremost about Brian, and he always manages to turn stories around so they are about him (hence his favorite phrase--"For those of us who..."--that transforms a news story into a story about Brian). Monday's pandering Nightly News story purportedly about Sally Field was actually the 235th story about the Afghan Orphans that Brian has made into his cause celebre. So I'm giving good odds that Brian's commencement address will show up on Nightly News one of these days soon.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Real News--Really

Since last Friday, Nightly News has carried two stories about Betty White hosting "Saturday Night Live", two stories about the cancellation of "Law & Order" and a story about Hoda and Kathie Lee appearing on The Today Show without makeup. This is what passes for news on Nightly News. Maybe next week, Brian Williams can do a two-part in-depth series on "The Biggest Loser".

Brian Williams Protects Nexium And Prevacid (And Promotes Boniva)

On Monday, CBS Evening News reported that according to an article from this month's edition of "Archives of Internal Medicine", heartburn drugs like Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec could cause serious side effects. Use of these drugs can lead to an increased rate of bone fractures, intestinal infection and pneumonia. The article also says that more than 50% of the 113 million prescriptions written each year for these drugs (representing over $13 billion in annual sales) may be unnecessary or inappropriate. Nightly News seems to pride itself on being at the forefront of medical reporting. But Nightly News did not report this story. The reason is obvious. Brian Williams and his producers did not want to risk offending the manufacturers of Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec--all of which are frequent Nightly News sponsors. In fact, Nightly News carried Prevacid or Nexium ads four days during this past week (on Friday, Nexium was the first ad in the first commercial break--traditionally the most-watched ad of a show). Clearly, the income from these ads is much more important to Brian and his producers than reporting the risks associated with these drugs. Could you imagine Nightly News reporting that half of a sponsor's prescriptions may be unnecessary? That would never happen. This is just another example of Nightly News protecting its sponsors.

But of all the shameful things Nightly News has done to protect or promote its pharmaceutical sponsors (and that's a long, long list), without a doubt the most shameful was on Friday's broadcast. The broadcast ended with Brian Williams conducting a 90-second interview with Sally Field about the dog in the ad for Boniva, the osteoporosis drug that is a regular advertiser on Nightly News. This "news story" was nothing more than a 90-second commercial for Boniva (it even contained 15 seconds of clips from the actual Boniva ad). Just when I think Nightly News can't sink any lower, they find a way to surprise me. Has Brian Williams no shame? Apparently not.

Sade Baderinwa Reports The Christian News

It's appalling what is allowed on the air at WABC. On the May 14 5:00 PM newscast for WABC (New York's local ABC affiliate), anchor Sade Baderinwa introduced a story about possible teacher layoffs in New Jersey with this comment: "Tonight, some teachers in New Jersey are holding their breath and certainly saying a few prayers hoping they aren't next to receive a pink slip...." Really? Prayers? The story that followed did not show anyone praying. It did not show anyone talking about praying. And Toni Yates (who reported the story) did not mention praying. So why did Baderinwa tell us that people were praying? Obviously, she was projecting her own Christian views onto the story. But this isn't the first time Baderinwa has injected Christianity into the newscast. On the March 31 5:00 PM broadcast, there was a story about a 15 year-old Trenton girl who had pimped out her 7 year-old sister at a party. After the story, Baderinwa's comment was, "Poor little girl. Prayers are needed tonight." How dare she say that on a network newscast! And at least two times in the past year, Baderinwa has ended a story about children averting injury by saying, "What a blessing." (One of those stories was about a toddler who fell from a second story window and landed on some large rubber balls; the other story was about a teenage girl who fell down a building's chimney but received only minor broken bones.)

Is anyone at WABC watching their own broadcast? Aren't they keeping tabs on what the anchors say? A producer or director needs to instruct Baderinwa that it is completely inappropriate for her to air her Christian views as part of a local news broadcast. News is supposed to be secular, but it appears that WABC stands for "We Always Broadcast Christianity". If Baderinwa wants to broadcast the Christian news, she should go work for The 700 Club or The Christian Broadcasting Network. But she certainly should not be allowed to air her Christian views as a news anchor on ABC's flagship station.

Incredibly, Baderinwa isn't the only on-air personality at WABC who is allowed (or encouraged) to broadcast their Christian views. On the Jan. 19 5:00 PM newscast, Carolina Leid reported a story about a New York-area man who had been trying to adopt a Haitian girl before the earthquake hit Haiti. Leid said (of the little girl), "Her orphanage is still standing by the grace of God." Really? If Leid has evidence that God exists (and specifically spared the orphanage), she should share it with us. That would be quite a news story. But if she (or Baderinwa) have no such evidence, they should keep their mouths shut on matters of Christianity and stick to reporting actual news.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Betty White Trumps Gordon Brown

Let me make sure I understand this. On Monday, embattled British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he would step down as Labour Party leader in September in order to facilitate a deal that would allow a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition to run the country. But Brian Williams did not even mention this on Monday's Nightly News broadcast. Instead, Brian devoted a minute and a half to "news stories" about Will Ferrell's clownish impersonation of a drunken minor league baseball player and Betty White's appearance on Saturday Night Live (with a special mention that SNL "posted its best overnight ratings in 18 months"). This was the second "story" Brian did about Betty White's SNL appearance--he also closed Friday's broadcast with an earnest report about the "living legend" along with clips from her SNL rehearsal. That means that Brian has reported almost as many stories about Betty White's SNL appearance (2) as stories about the British election (3). You'd think that with no Nightly News airing on Saturday or Sunday (because golf was more important), Brian would report actual news on Monday instead of wasting our time with pointless entertainment drivel and self-promotional back-patting. But, of course, you'd be wrong. That is disgraceful.

Words Fail Me

During Monday's Nightly News story about Dr. Nancy Wexler's work with people suffering from Huntington's disease, a map of northern South America showed the country of Colombia spelled as "Columbia". Incredibly, this is the second time that Nightly News has made this mistake. On the 11/9/08 broadcast, we were shown a story about how statins may help reduce the risk of heart attacks. As a list of countries conducting statin medical trials scrolled down the screen, Colombia was spelled as "Columbia". For a network evening newscast to make this mistake once is appalling. Making this mistake twice is almost beyond belief. It seems that the producers and editors just don't care what goes on the air. Nightly News often does stories about the decline of the U.S. public school system, yet they can't even spell Colombia. Wow. Apparently, the American education system is in even worse shape than anyone at Nightly News could have imagined.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

P & G & NBC

It's a good thing I was wearing my Slanket during Wednesday's Nightly News broadcast because diet root beer shot out of my nose when Brian Williams reported that Julia Louis-Dreyfus's name had been misspelled on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star. I hope this story was meant as irony because Nightly News is the news industry's poster child for misspelled names. Over the past few years, Nightly News producers have misspelled the names of Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, New York Governor David Paterson, Senator Kay Hagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, NTSB member Kitty Higgins, Chesley Sullenberger, NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Helen Keller, the CDC's Anne Schuchat (both her first and last names) and many others. On his Daily Nightly blog, Brian Williams has misspelled the names of Eliot Spitzer, Paul Volcker, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Gen. David Petraeus and singer Alison Krauss. On her 12/28/08 blog, Amy Robach misspelled Barack Obama's first name (as "Barak"). On his April 25 blog, Lester Holt misspelled the name of Nightly News correspondent Anne Thompson (as "Ann"). So Nightly News complaining about a misspelled name would be like Mark McGwire complaining about a baseball player using steroids (which Nightly News spelled as "steriods" during a Jan. 11 story about McGwire).

Case in point: The night after the Julia Louis-Dreyfus story aired, the Nightly News lead story was the 1,000 point drop in the stock market. To illustrate the plunge, Brian said, "Procter and Gamble, as important an American company as there is, lost half of its value in a five minute period...." An on-screen graph showed Procter's precipitous plunge and recovery. At the top of the graph, in big letters, were the words "Proctor & Gamble". Nightly News could not even manage to correctly spell the company's name--"as important an American company as there is." Maybe the producers should refer to them simply as "P & G". That's certainly easier to spell.

Nightly News--Batting .015

At least three times this week, Brian Williams bragged about how Nightly News has reported from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast 26 times since Hurricane Katrina hit. He first wrote it last Monday on his Daily Nightly blog, he then said it during his ridiculous Olbermann-esque "special comment" that closed Monday's Nightly News broadcast, and he said it again on David Letterman's show Thursday night. 1714 days have elapsed since Katrina hit the Gulf. So the 26 days that Nightly News was in the region represents a mere 1.5% of that elapsed time. If that was a batting average, it would be .015. Not exactly Ted Williams territory. If Brian wants to brag about something, he should pick something he does more frequently than five times a year. Like reporting about Bruce Springsteen.

Meanwhile, it's no surprise that Brian was in the Gulf region on Monday (he had intended to stay there all week, but the attempted car bombing in Times Square brought him back to New York--as Brian explained on his Tuesday Daily Nightly blog). Monday marked the beginning of the first full week of the current Nielsen sweeps period, which is when networks establish their ad rates for the coming quarter. Networks always try to air their most attractive programming during sweeps periods in order to earn the highest ratings and therefore set the highest ad rates. Season (or series) finales almost always end during sweeps--this month "Lost" and "24" will both end their runs during a sweeps period. Not surprisingly, the recent Vancouver Olympics (on NBC) took place entirely during a sweeps period. So it's obvious that Brian was in the Gulf this week as a sweeps stunt, just like he was in Iraq last October for the October-November sweeps period. I wonder what Brian has planned for the rest of this sweeps period. Perhaps we'll see him dancing with Kate Gosselin or singing with Susan Boyle.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Derby Trumps Oil Spill

If reporting on the oil spill in the Gulf is as important as Brian Williams claims it is, why didn't the brain trust at NBC bother to air Nightly News on Saturday? The answer is obvious: The Kentucky Derby is much more important (meaning more profitable) than the oil spill. NBC devoted three hours of coverage to a two-minute race. That's the equivalent of devoting 360 hours of coverage to a four-hour Super Bowl. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that--I don't want to give NBC any ideas.

Brian Williams Addresses The Peabody Committee

The following are excerpts from Brian Williams's May 3 Daily Nightly blog:

"Tonight will be our 26th Nightly News broadcast from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina first hit."

So what does Brian want, an award? Actually, yes. He wants a Peabody Award. This is Brian's not-so-subtle way of lobbying the Peabody Awards Committee. "Look at me. I spend so much time in New Orleans. Much more time than Katie or Diane. Can I have a Peabody Award?" (That wasn't actually a direct quote from his blog.)

Also from Brian's May 3 blog: "While boarding our flight here, a nice man sitting in an 11th row aisle seat on Jet Blue from LaGuardia stopped me as I was headed to my seat -- to thank me, and the network, for our coverage from here over the years. I don't mean for that to sound immodest...."

Oh, no, of course not. Brian Williams--immodest? It hardly seems possible.

"The people here [in New Orleans] continue to be the most welcoming I've ever encountered."

Pander much?

"I just received a top-to-bottom tour of a houseboat owned by people who were strangers to me just an hour ago."

Duh. People like to be on TV. Hasn't Brian ever seen The Jerry Springer Show?

Johnson & Johnson & NBC

On his May 3 Daily Nightly blog, NBC's chief science and health correspondent Robert Bazell reported that, "Over the weekend McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson and Johnson voluntarily recalled 43 popular over-the-counter children's medications. The recall includes all products for infants or children that contain Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. The company initiated the recall after a Food and Drug Administration inspection of its manufacturing facility revealed some contamination and problems with correct dosage."

It's hard to believe that this important story did not make it onto the Nightly News televised broadcast. After all, it affects the health of children. The reason is obvious: The NBC powers-that-be did not want to risk offending their pals at Johnson & Johnson, who happen to be heavy NBC advertisers. Apparently, reporting it for the few hundred people who read the Daily Nightly blog is okay, but reporting it to the 8-9 million who watch Nightly News each night is definitely not okay with the NBC brass. Just another example of NBC protecting their sponsors. You can bet that if there was good news about a Johnson & Johnson product, Brian Williams would have reported it as the lead story ("On our broadcast tonight--the oil spill spreads in the Gulf, there was an attempted bombing in Times Square, Nashville is underwater, but first--Listerine is now 20% mintier!")

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Down With Bri--I Mean Davis!

On his April 12 Daily Nightly blog, Brian Williams wrote that he didn't like Davis (the D.J. character) on HBO's new show "Treme".

Brian, I agree with you 100%, brother. I don't like Davis either. He's a pompous, arrogant ass who thinks he knows so much more about music (and all other subjects) than everyone else. He imagines that he's pals with Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and many other musicians who don't even know that he exists. He's so much holier-than-thou, I'm surprised he doesn't have a halo. I read that in an upcoming episode, Davis attends a Christmas party where he plugs his iPod into the house sound system because (of course) HIS MUSIC is so much better than everyone else's music. I also read that he will be starting a website called DavTunes, where he will review music, interview musicians and provide clips of some of his favorite songs. Because obviously (in his mind), people desperately need this information. Can you believe the ego on this guy? I wonder how on earth the writers came up with him.

Like John Lennon says on "Steel and Glass": "This is a story about your friend and mine. Who is it? Who is it?"

Brian Williams Adopts

From Brian Williams's April 28 Daily Nightly blog: "It's in that same vein that I must respectfully quarrel with a portion of Laura Bush's new memoir dealing with something I witnessed: Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. After reading a portion of the book, I feel compelled to speak up for the citizens of my adopted City of New Orleans."

What a joke. Brian treats his "adopted city" of New Orleans like Torry Hansen treated her adopted Russian son. Brian pretends to be a caring adoptive parent when it's convenient (and when the media spotlight is shining on him), but after a while he just puts New Orleans on a bus back to Louisiana with a note pinned to its lapel reading, "This city is mentally unstable. It is violent and has severe psychopathic issues. I was lied to and misled by Louisiana regarding its mental stability and other issues. The state was definitely aware of the major problems that this city has. Yet they chose to grossly misrepresent those problems in order to get it out of their custody. After giving my best to this city, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer wish to parent this city. I am returning it to your guardianship and would like the adoption annulled."