Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Does Nightly News Hate Arkansas?

On Tuesday's lead Nightly News story about tornadoes, the producers used the abbreviation "AK" to identify Arkansas--three different times. "AK" is the abbreviation for Alaska. The correct abbreviation for Arkansas is "AR". It would take an average ten-year-old using Google about thirty seconds to come up with the correct abbreviation for Arkansas. So why can't the Nightly News producers do that? Maybe they need to hire a ten-year-old. (I guess there's one producer who knows how to use Google because at the end of Jim Cantore's report, Arkansas was finally identified as "AR".) Here's a mnemonic device to help the Nightly News producers remember the difference: Sarah Palin from Alaska really likes her AK-47.

Incredibly, this is not the first time this has happened. Just about a year ago (4/23/10), a Nightly News caption informed us that Mike Seidel was reporting from "Little Rock, AK". Committing this error once is appalling. Committing it twice is inexcusable. Is anyone at Nightly News paying attention? Does anyone care?

And as if that's not bad enough, last Dec. 31, Julie Martin told us she was reporting from Cincinnati, Ohio when she was actually reporting from Cincinnati, Arkansas. Why do people at Nightly News hate Arkansas so much? That's really not OK with ME (those are the abbreviations for Oklahoma and Maine, by the way).

Hitting the Quinecta: Wednesday's lead story about Pres. Obama presenting his birth certificate was a bonanza for Brian Williams and his producers. It contained no fewer than five different promotions. The story was titled "Born In The USA" because it's Brian's life mission to relate every story to a Springsteen song. There was also plenty of footage of Donald Trump, because Brian and his producers are squeezing every last drop of promotional value out of Trump's media blitz so they can use it to plug "Celebrity Apprentice". Then there was a film clip of Michael Douglas in "The American President" because Douglas is one of Brian's make-believe friends. That movie happens to be from Universal, so it was also an opportunity to boost DVD sales for NBC's parent company. And just for good measure, they threw in a clip of "Oprah" because--well, because people just love her! Great job, Nightly News producers!

Finally, it's sickening and grotesque that the Nightly News producers used paparazzi news footage of Gabby Giffords walking onto the plane that will transport her to Florida for her husband's shuttle launch. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Can't they leave her alone? Hasn't she been through enough? Do the Nightly News producers have to exploit her over and over and over again? How utterly shameful.

1 comment:

  1. While this is inexcusable on NN's part, it also demonstrates the stupidity of the persons who came up with the current postal abbreviations 50 years ago. "AK" to most people DOES seem like it belongs with Arkansas, much more than Alaska. "AR" is ambiguous, as it could equally easily be Arizona or Arkansas. They were smart with Arizona, and recognized that "AZ" was better than recognized for Arizona than would be "AR". And speaking of ambiguity, "AL" is also ambiguous. Could just as well be Alaska or Alabama. They should have made Alabama "AB", which would have been clear to everyone. So this is my lineup:
    Which leaves us with a problem: Alaska. AL? Could easily be Alabama. AK? Could easily be Arkansas. AS? Better, but some states have been abreviated with first and last letters in the past, and that could also by some of us old timers be seen as Arkansas. My best suggestion? . . .

    AA-Alaska. It's not perfect, but it's close, especially given that Alaska, far and away, has the highest alcoholism rate in the United State.