If you didn't watch Nightly News this week, here are some of the things you missed:
Oct. 19--Brian Williams's obituary for Tom Bosley included clips from Bosley's Glad Trash Bags commercials (Brian also mentioned Glad by name). This was obviously a way to give some free ad time to a brand that regularly advertises on NBC.
Oct. 21--During a story about the latest Toyota recalls, Nightly News put the recalled models on screen. One of the recalled models they listed was the 2006 Lexus G5 300. Lexus does not make a G5 300. They do, however, make a GS 300. If Nightly News is going to list auto recalls, they should get the model numbers right.
Oct. 23--The lead story about Wikileaks' allegations of prisoner abuse in Iraq included some on-screen descriptions of torture. One of these descriptions read, "Whipping the bottom of a detainees feet". The word should have been spelled with an apostrophe ("detainee's"), since it is a possessive, not a plural.
>This broadcast also featured a story on the West Virginia senate race. Although Kelly O'Donnell spent time interviewing Republican candidate John Raese, she never mentioned Raese's racial slur against Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Apparently, part of Raese's shtick is to intentionally mispronounce the names of Democrats he doesn't like (I guess he's the Norm Crosby of the Tea Party). During a filmed speech last month, Raese referred to Dr. Chu (a Nobel Prize-winning physicist) as "Dr. Chow Mein". This is as bad as, if not worse than, George Allen's "Macaca" comment (made during the 2006 Virginia senate race), which Nightly News covered extensively. Why didn't O'Donnell mention Raese's "Dr. Chow Mein" comment? Why is Nightly News protecting John Raese?
>Also on Saturday, there was a "Making A Difference" story about people donating money to charities. One part of the story focused on a five-year-old boy who raised $288 for the Ronald McDonald house. This was just a way for the producers to plug McDonald's, a heavy NBC sponsor.
Oct. 24--During a story about walk-in medical clinics, Tom Costello told us that, "Doctors Express is now a national franchise, like McDonald's or Burger King." More plugs for regular NBC advertisers.
>The broadcast's final story was about a football coach being called up as a Navy reservist. Once again, Nightly News ran a football-related story to promote NBC's Sunday Night Football coverage, which immediately followed the news.