Saturday, October 1, 2011

NBC Nightly News Show Notes--9/24 through 9/30

Here's some of the great stuff that happened this week on Nightly News:

Sat. 9/24--Mike Taibbi took us on a tour of Khaddafy's private plane. Somehow, it looked familiar. Then I remembered--it was identical to a plane that was owned by Brian Williams when Brian was featured on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" several years ago. Small world. Here's how Lester Holt began the story about the NASA satellite that finally crashed to earth: "After days of hysteria, we can all rest a bit easier." Hysteria? I don't think so. No one really cared that much about it. The only "hysteria" was in the minds of Brian and Lester, as they desperately attempted to boost the Nightly News ratings by drastically overreporting this non-story. Come to think of it, I believe I saw a similar NASA satellite in Brian's garage during that "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" program.
Sun. 9/25--There was no Nightly News this night because golf ran late. Obviously, golf is much more important than news (important means profitable) to the NBC weasels. Meanwhile, on ABC World News, David Muir interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That's funny because on a "Meet The Press" promo during Saturday's Nightly News, we were informed that David Gregory would be conducting an "exclusive" interview with Netanyahu on Sunday. Just another example of NBC News claiming one of their interviews was "exclusive" when it obviously wasn't.
Mon. 9/26--Here's how Brian introduced the first of the week's Education Nation stories: "The reason we're here--our 2011 Education Nation summit--starting the national conversation--it was really started here last year--about the state of our education system--future of the country along with it." Wow. Even for someone with an ego as massive as Brian's, that's a ridiculously overblown statement. Does Brian really believe that NBC started the national conversation on education? I think that conversation has been going on for more than 200 years. And does he really believe that NBC is influencing the future of the country? Puh-leeze. Let's be clear: NBC's Education Nation summit is a trite self-promotional exercise dreamed up by the NBC marketing geeks as a way to increase ratings during the September sweeps period. NBC created this "summit" so that they could report on it as if it was a real news event--which it most certainly isn't. It's like Shark Week on the Discovery Channel or a wrestling story line on WWE SmackDown--a completely fabricated promotional event designed for only one purpose: to boost ratings and ultimately earn money. Brian's bombastic pronouncements about Education Nation's scope and influence are laughable. Also on this broadcast, we saw a 2:50 story (the lead story, in fact) about the damage sustained by the Washington Monument during the August earthquake in Virginia and a story about Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer's wish to join the New York City Fire Department. That's great. Maybe next week, Meyer will want to be a cowboy or an astronaut. A story on women's rights in Saudi Arabia featured comments from "Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon" (as she was described in a Nightly News graphic). Actually, Ms. Tzemach Lemmon's last names are not hyphenated. Oh well, no big deal. Accurate, inaccurate, whatever. The producers don't care.
Tues. 9/27--Brian referred to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as "The Big Man from New Jersey". That hardly seems like a respectful or professional way to describe the chief executive of a U.S. state. Viewers were also treated to another 2:50 story on the damage sustained by the Washington Monument and another story on Dakota Meyer's flirtation with the FDNY. Why do I feel that every time I watch Nightly News, I'm seeing reruns? No other network is reporting Dakota Meyer's job search because it isn't news--it's only news to Brian. But I guess when you're Brian Williams, you can report whatever you want. If a Medal of Honor recipient stubs his toe, Brian reports it as news. Later, we saw Anne Thompson's "Making A Difference" story about a dying 85-year old woman who wanted to see her grandson's high school band perform. So the band came to her hospice and put on a show. Really. I mean it. This is what gets two minutes of airtime on Nightly News. A story with absolutely no news value. But of course, Brian and his producers aren't interested in airing news--they're interested in airing feel-good tear-jerker stories that are specifically designed to boost ratings. Anne Thompson is a joke. Brian Williams is a joke. Nightly News is a joke.
Wed. 9/28--Another story on the Washington Monument. Oh goody. We also saw a 2:18 story about Reebok being fined $25 million by the Federal Trade Commission because of false statements they made while promoting their toning sneakers. This isn't news, but Brian always likes to help NBC's regular sponsors (such as Nike) by reporting damaging information about their competitors. Mission accomplished. Later, Brian aired a 35-second video of bear cubs wrestling at Yosemite. Because Nightly News is a serious news broadcast.
Thurs. 9/29--The first five minutes of the broadcast was devoted to the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor. Ninety seconds of this consisted of Savannah Guthrie regurgitating the already-stated facts of the case. A story on the increase in multi-racial and mixed race Americans included pictures of Seal & Heidi Klum and David Bowie & Iman--none of whom were born in the U.S. and only two of whom are naturalized American citizens. Well, at least it's an opportunity to show celebrity photos. And that's really what's important. We then got a total of 2:12 on these stories: Michelle Obama goes shopping in a Virginia Target store; the structural damage to the Washington Monument (I feel like I've heard this before--it must be deja vu); the next satellite that will fall to earth; and a 30-second video of Panda cubs. Thanks for reporting the hard news, Brian.
Fri. 9/30--A Nightly News map of Yemen omitted the apostrophe in "Sana'a" (they spelled it as "Sanaa"). We also got another story on the Washington Monument. That makes five reports totalling seven-and-a-half minutes for the week. I can't wait for next week so I can see more stories about the Washington Monument. And bear cubs wrestling. Maybe there will be some bear cubs wrestling Pandas at the Washington Monument. If that happens, I guarantee that Nightly News will cover it. Hell, they'd probably make it into a special report.

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