Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brian Williams Is In De Nile

Once again, we were informed that Monday's broadcast was a "special edition" of Nightly News. Why? Because they covered the riots in Egypt? Because Brian Williams was in Cairo? That's ridiculous. Nightly News is supposed to be covering the events in Egypt. That's their job. They don't get to label a broadcast as a "special edition" just because they're doing their job. My garbageman comes by every Thursday to pick up my garbage. He never tells me that this is a "special garbage collection". He's doing what he's supposed to be doing when he's supposed to be doing it. There's nothing special about that. Now, if he came by on a Tuesday, that would be considered a "special edition" of garbage pick-up. If Monday's Nightly News had been on at a different time than usual, or if it had been on for longer than usual, then it could be considered a "special edition". But a broadcast that comes on at 6:30 PM eastern and lasts half an hour is not a "special edition" of Nightly News. That's just weaselspeak from the NBC marketing sleazebags who want us to think that Nightly News is somehow "new & improved". It isn't. It's the same old, same old.

And why was Brian in Cairo, anyway? He stood there and read the teleprompter and introduced the correspondents. He needed to go to Cairo to do that? I'm no news expert, but it seems as if he could have done that just as well from New York.

I would also like to know why the Nightly News producers are intentionally trying to deceive us. On Monday's broadcast, Erin Burnett told us that, "In the outdoor market today, the effects of the chaos are hitting home. Food supplies are dwindling. People waited more than five hours for bread." As she says this, we see a crowd of people trying to buy bread at a bread shop. Although Burnett used the word "today" (meaning Monday), the bread shop footage had already been shown on Sunday. The producers tried to fool us into believing that this was the scene Burnett was describing. It wasn't. They tried to pass this off as new footage when it was actually old footage. In fact, much of Monday's footage had already been shown over the past few days. With so many NBC News people on the ground in Cairo, why are the Nightly News producers recycling old news clips? That doesn't seem very "special edition-like". If there's anything worse than day-old bread, it's day-old news footage.

Once again, Nightly News has managed to spell the same word three different ways. On Sunday, as Kate Snow introduced a story about media censorship in Egypt, the word "Aljazeera" was on the screen to her left. A minute later, Abderrahim Foukara was identified by a Nightly News graphic as the "Al-Jazeera" Washington Bureau Chief. On Monday's broadcast, Foukara was identified as the "Al Jazeera" Washington Bureau Chief. Three different spellings. But it's not as if this is unusual for Nightly News. On Jan. 10, Nightly News spelled Glenn Beck's name two different ways on the same screen at the same time. Last Dec. 27, one Nightly News story told us that airline flights had been "cancelled", while another story told us that airline flights had been "canceled". On June 11, one "Meet the Press" promo identified David Axelrod as a presidential "advisor", and eight minutes later another MTP promo identified Axelrod as a presidential "adviser". And who can forget Jan. 5 & 6, 2010, when Nightly News graphics alternately spelled the Yemeni capital as Sana'a, Sanaa and Saana. Were those also "special editions" of Nightly News?

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