Tuesday, March 8, 2011
America's Next Sick Baby--Only On NBC!
It is appalling and grotesque that Nightly News continues to exploit sick children just for the sake of gaining a few ratings points. Sunday's "Making A Difference" report about people who volunteer to hold sick babies in L.A.'s Children's Hospital did not contain a shred of actual news. But it did contain plenty of close-ups of sick babies. Here a sick baby, there a sick baby, everywhere a sick baby. This is a recurring theme on Nightly News. The sick children stories. They show them over and over again. Just like the rescued animal stories and the feeding-the-homeless stories. The purpose of these stories is not to provide information, but to cause a strong emotional reaction in viewers. And, as the Nightly News producers well know, emotional reactions cause viewers to bond with a broadcast and tune in again and again. Sick babies are like crack. Viewers have to get their fix. It's like a soap opera or a Lifetime movie. But the difference is that we expect a soap opera or a Lifetime movie to be exploitative. We don't expect that from a news broadcast. Exploiting sick babies for ratings is shameful and unethical. The Nightly News producers should be ashamed of themselves. But they're not. They're too busy scouring the country for more sick babies to exploit on future Nightly News broadcasts. Maybe NBC should start a reality show called "America's Next Sick Baby". That way, Nightly News would have a steady supply of sick children to exploit. Wow--I just thought of something. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but what if the Nightly News producers were actually poisoning babies or infecting them with diseases just so they could film them for "Making A Difference" stories? Someone should investigate this. It sounds like a good plot for "CSI: 30 Rock".