Saturday, August 20, 2011

NBC Nightly News Show Notes--Aug. 13-Aug. 19

Here's what you may have missed on Nightly News this week:

Aug. 13: Nightly News aired a 2:20 minute story about "Doggy Date Nights" where shelter employees bring dogs to get-togethers with prospective adopters. This was a story on a network newscast. Really. I'm not kidding.
Aug 14: Once again, Nightly News aired a two-minute commercial for a ridiculous fake-gold Indian Head/Buffalo coin. It looks like one of those chocolate coins with a gold-foil wrapper. Clearly, this is a rip-off. Doesn't NBC have any standards for the ads it accepts?
Aug. 15: Brian Williams reported on Warren Buffett's N.Y. Times Op-Ed piece in which Buffett called for higher taxes on the super-rich. We know that Brian is fond of turning news stories into stories about himself by using phrases like, "For those of us...", or "If you're like me..." So I'm surprised he didn't begin this story by saying, "For those of us with 8-figure incomes...", or "If you're super-rich like me..." I guess Brian doesn't like drawing attention to his enormous wealth. It hurts the "regular guy" image he has carefully cultivated for himself.
Aug 16: The lead story on the CBS Evening News was that Walmart's second-quarter sales dropped by .9%--their ninth straight quarterly drop. Did Nightly News report this story? Of course not. Brian Williams does not report bad news about Walmart, a regular NBC sponsor. However, Brian is always happy to help his pals at Walmart by reporting good news. Last Jan. 20, Brian couldn't contain his glee while telling us that "Walmart...promised today to cut prices on fresh fruits and vegetables and to reduce fats, sugar, salt (and) eliminate trans fats in some of its own store brands by the year 2015." Maybe Brian should wear a Walmart hat when he reads their press releases.
*Also this night, Nightly News reported a 2:30 story about how people who are nice tend to earn less money than people who are not so nice. On July 25, Nightly News spent the same amount of time on a story about the appropriateness of wearing flip-flops to work. Is this what Brian Williams considers legitimate reporting on the workplace? It's appalling that Nightly News wastes our time with garbage like this when there are real news stories to be reported. Speaking of real news, Brian made sure to read a story about how people often pretend to be talking on their cell phones as a way of avoiding people they don't like. Well done, Brian. You should be proud of your broadcast.
Aug 17: The lead story was that the Joplin schools would open on time. It is unbelievable that a network newscast could make this the lead story. But Brian used to live in Joplin, and at Nightly News, it's all about Brian all the time. We also were treated to the third story in three weeks about Rachel Beckwith and her charity that brings clean water to areas that need it.
Aug 18: Brian read a story about the celebrities who are most trusted as product pitchmen or pitchwomen. I'm surprised that Brian wasn't on that list, since much of his time on Nightly News is spent endorsing and promoting products like McDonald's, Kraft, Chrysler and Walmart. Brian also did a news story about Robert Redford's 75th birthday. Really. I swear. Of course, he didn't mention that terrorists crossed into Israel from Egypt and killed 8 Israelis and wounded more than 30. I guess that story wasn't important enough. But at least we know all about Robert Redford's 75th birthday.
Aug. 19: Harry Smith brought us the breaking news story about how Will & Kate toured one of the the sites of the recent UK riots. He also told us that Burger King has fired their spokes-king and won't be using him in future ads. That's what I love about Nightly News. They're always right there for the important news.

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