Here's some of the exciting things that happened on NBC Nightly News from 11/5 through 11/11:
Sat. 11/5--Nightly News spent two-and-a-half minutes telling us about non-retail tenants in malls. Trampolines! Aquariums! A science museum! Awesome. This was a story on a network newscast. Really. We also saw a tribute to Andy Rooney. Some clips of Rooney were presented as if they were being shown on a television--a Dynex television. That's right, ladies and gentlemen--Nightly News has a new sponsor. Dynex is manufactured by Best Buy, so obviously Best Buy paid NBC to have their product appear on Nightly News. That's called product placement. Is there anything NBC won't so for a few dollars?
Sun. 11/6--We saw an important story about an experimental technique that slows down the aging process in lab mice. How wonderful--if there's one thing we've all been praying for, it's younger-looking mice. The story included clips of commercials for Neutrogena and RoC skin care products. More product placements. I wonder how much those brands paid NBC to appear on Nightly News. We were also treated to yet another story about Will & Kate--this time a two-minute piece about the couple moving into their new Royal digs. This is the 16th Will & Kate story Nightly News has shown since July 1. That's thirty minutes of Will & Kate--the equivalent of more than an entire Nightly News broadcast. Good thing there wasn't any actual news to report. Naturally, Lester Holt ended the broadcast with a plug for the Ravens-Steelers game coming up on NBC. Because what's the point of having a sham news broadcast if you can't use it to plug your NFL games.
Mon. 11/7--We saw Kate Snow's thrilling 3:10 interview with Bill Clinton. Let me tell you, that Kate Snow is a real intellectual heavyweight. It's obvious that the reason NBC News hired Chelsea Clinton was to ensure they would have constant access to Bill and Hillary. Brian then reported yet another story about the asteroid that was on track to miss earth. I don't really need to know about asteroids that will miss earth. Tell me about the ones that are going to hit us. In the final story, the idiotic Anne Thompson told us all about the Yale quarterback whose Rhodes Scholarship final interview is the same day as the Harvard-Yale game on Nov. 19. Oh, by the way--that game is being televised by the Versus network. Which is owned by NBC Universal. So this story was just a two-and-a-half minute promo for a college football game airing on an NBC network. Using a news broadcast to underhandedly promote a sporting event is just unbelievably sleazy. In other words, business as usual at NBC.
Tues. 11/8--Brian read a thirty second obituary for Ed Pauls, the inventor of the NordicTrack exercise system. Really, Brian? You think Pauls' death is important enough to report on Nightly News? The final 2:20 of the night was all about--you guessed it--the asteroid that missed earth.
Wed. 11/9--Robert Bazell began and ended his report on weight loss with clips from NBC's "The Biggest Loser". Unfortunately, Nightly News viewers are the biggest losers because they are constantly forced to watch news stories that are contrived to promote NBC entertainment and sports programs. In a story about Gabby Giffords' new book, Brian made sure to show footage of himself reporting about Giffords' shooting from Tucson last January. Because there's nothing Brian likes reporting on more than himself. Brian ended a story about a snowstorm in Alaska by saying, "They don't scare easily up there." Is there any group of people that Brian won't shamelessly pander to? Apparently not. Brian then read a twenty-second obituary for Heavy D because he was one of the great musicians of the past quarter-century. A true innovator. A musical genius. A legend. Brian also made sure to spend valuable time telling us that Eddie Murphy will not be hosting the Oscars. I've got to give Brian credit, though. He managed to plug "30 Rock" by showing photos of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin despite the fact that they had absolutely nothing to do with Eddie Murphy. The final story was a 2:25 piece about whales--the seventh whale story Nightly News has done in the past two months. As always, Brian's philosophy is to find a topic that's popular with viewers (as in gets high ratings) and repeat it over and over and over again. Whales, whales, whales. Ratings, ratings, ratings.
Thurs. 11/10--At the end of a story about the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, correspondent Ron Mott was identified in a Nightly News graphic as "Ron Allen". Apparently, the producers can't tell their own correspondents apart. Later, Brian reported a 2:10 story about more things Richard Nixon said on tape, because it's easier (and cheaper) than reporting current news. After that, Brian read another story about Will & Kate, and a story about Billy Crystal stepping in to host the Oscars. Talk about breaking news!
Fri. 11/11--In a story about births and weddings on 11/11/11, we saw an interview with "Glynis McCants--Numerologist to the Stars". Seriously? This is someone who is given air time on Nightly News? The final story was a "Making A Difference" piece about veteran-owned businesses. Because, apparently this is news. To someone. I don't know who.