Monday, October 24, 2011

Stories You Didn't See On NBC Nightly News This Week

Here are some stories you didn't see recently on Nightly News (and are not likely to see for obvious reasons):

***Michael Douglas's son Cameron, who is already serving a five-year prison sentence for dealing meth and cocaine, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs in prison and is expected to receive an additional 12 to 18 months on his sentence. Many news organizations reported this story, but Brian Williams will never report it because Michael Douglas is an FOB (Friend of Brian). Brian doesn't report negative stories about his friends and their families, and he obviously quashed this story as a favor to Michael Douglas, who introduces Brian almost every night on Nightly News.

***According to an article in The New York Times this week, McDonald's has indicated that it may be necessary for them to raise menu prices for the third time this year. Brian will not report this because he only reports good news about McDonald's, like the launch of their new gourmet coffees, how they spent a billion dollars to renovate their restaurants or how their Happy Meals are now healthier. McDonald's is one of NBC's best advertisers, so you won't hear this story on Nightly News.

***On Friday, CBS News reported that Walmart is drastically cutting their employee health benefits (The New York Times also reported this on Friday--on the front page of their business section). Employee health insurance premiums will increase by 20%-60%, company health savings contributions will decrease by 50% and Walmart will no longer provide health insurance for new part-time employees who work less than 24 hours per week. Brian will not report this because he doesn't like to report bad news about Walmart, one of NBC's biggest advertisers. Of course, he's happy to tell us when Walmart is planning to sell healthier food or slash their prices because Walmart pays NBC for positive news coverage with their millions in ad dollars each year.

Brian and his producers often decide what stories to report on Nightly News based not on the newsworthiness of the stories, but on how much the stories can help their sponsors. Conversely, they also protect their sponsors (and FOBs) by refusing to report negative stories. That's how Brian and his producers operate. Welcome to Nightly News. New studio, same old tricks.

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