Saturday, December 18, 2010

NBC Nightly News Show Notes--Dec. 14-Dec. 17

If you didn't watch Nightly News this week, here are some things you may have missed:

Tuesday--Kerry Sanders reported on the weather from the Universal Orlando theme park in Florida, which is owned by NBC's parent company. Sanders made sure to specifically plug The Wizarding World of Harry Potter--one of the main attractions at Universal's Islands of Adventure. This "news" segment was just a cheap and crass commercial for Universal Orlando.
* Brian Williams spent thirty seconds reporting on the Golden Globe Award nominations, which will be televised on NBC in January. Does anyone really believe that Brian would have bothered with this story if the Golden Globes was being shown on another network?
* A 2:30 story about holiday music is devoted mostly to Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho. Over the past 20 months, Nightly News has devoted nearly 20 minutes of news time to Susan Boyle in order to pander to the viewers' thirst for feel-good entertainment stories. And most of the Jackie Evancho clips came from her appearances on "America's Got Talent"--which allowed Nightly News to plug that NBC show. And Evancho was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show the next day, so this was, of course, just a plug for her appearance with Jay. Why is a network news broadcast wasting our time with this garbage?
Wednesday--For the second consecutive night, Nightly News spent the first five minutes of the broadcast showing the wintry weather around the country, as if cold and snow in December is breaking news. By contrast, The CBS Evening News spent 15 seconds reporting on the weather. Because NBC Universal spent $3.5 billion for The Weather Channel, they feel obligated to devote up to a quarter of their Nightly News broadcast to the weather.
Thursday--The "Making A Difference" segment was a 2:50 story on people who take care of baby elephants in Kenya. The story was reported by Maria Menounos, who is best known as a "reporter" for the celebrity gossip show Access Hollywood. Menounos's final line was, "Turns out the biggest lesson learned is that elephants are as human as the rest of us." This is what passes for news on NBC? A gossip reporter telling us that elephants are human? John Chancellor is turning over in his grave.
Friday--A story on McDonald's happy meals is nothing more than a 2:30 commercial for one of NBC's biggest advertisers. This "news story" includes 15 seconds of actual McDonald's commercials.
* Brian reports the death of another Medal of Honor winner. This isn't surprising, since Brian serves on the board of directors for the Medal of Honor Foundation. Reporting about an organization on whose board he sits is a huge conflict of interest for a news anchor. Brian doesn't care.
* The night's final story is a five-minute-long "Making A Difference" segment about a Minnesota man who left $3 million to various charities after he died. Does Nightly News report any actual news anymore?

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