Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NBC Nightly News: Promos, Promos, Promos

In case you didn't watch Sunday's (8/22) Nightly News, here's what you missed:

* A "news story" about Betty White winning an Emmy Award. The story showed clips of White's appearance on "Saturday Night Live", so this was a promo for SNL. Lester Holt told us that, "She was honored for her acclaimed hosting job on Saturday Night Live last May and also had blockbuster ratings." Bragging about ratings--how dignified. At the end of the story, Lester also told us that, "The main prime time Emmy Awards will be presented live here on NBC next Sunday night." So not only did this story serve as a tacky promo for SNL, it was also a tacky promo for NBC's Emmy Awards broadcast.

* Next, we were treated to a 2:50 story about the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, reported by Brian Williams. Actually, the story wasn't about Katrina--it was about Brian. Most of Brian's sentences began with "I" or "We". What HE saw. How HE felt. What it meant to HIM. This was just another exercise in narcissism for the most egocentric of all news anchors. The story ended with Lester telling us that, "Brian's Dateline special--'Hurricane Katrina--The First Five Days'--airs tonight at 7--6 central--here on NBC. And starting Thursday on Nightly News, Brian will report live from New Orleans as NBC News presents special coverage of Hurricane Katrina five years later." Of course, both the Dateline and Nightly News promos included graphics. A promo for Dateline and a promo for Nightly News all rolled into one. Awesome--a double promo!

* Finally, Lester narrated an "inspiring" story that had aired earlier on The Today Show about three wounded veterans climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (what ever happened to letting the viewers determine what is and isn't inspiring?). So not only was this story a promo for Today, it was also a rerun. When the story ended, Lester told us, "Stay tuned for Brian's Dateline Special, followed by NBC Sunday Night Football--Brett Favre and the Vikings taking on the San Francisco Forty-Niners." So how many promos is that? Let's count them: SNL, the Emmy Awards, Dateline (twice), Nightly News's Katrina Coverage, The Today Show, Sunday Night Football. Seven promos for six different shows! Nightly News isn't a news broadcast, it's a vehicle to promote other NBC shows.

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