On Wednesday, a Nightly News story about sexual harassment in the workplace featured a clip from "Mad Men". This is the seventh time in the past year that Nightly News has used a "Mad Men" clip and the 90th time this year that they have used a television or movie clip as part of a news story. Was that clip really relevant to the story? Of course not. In fact, not one of these clips has ever done anything to clarify or explain a news story. They are featured solely to pander to the audience and drive up the ratings. The NBC News research department has informed Brian Williams and his producers that movie and television clips attract viewers and make them more likely to tune in to future broadcasts. And since "Mad Men" is one of Brian's favorite shows, he has obviously ordered his producers to include "Mad Men" clips on Nightly News as frequently as possible. It's just another example of how Brian Williams and NBC News President Steve Capus have turned Nightly News into the fifth hour of "The Today Show" and the first half hour of "Access Hollywood". If you pack your news broadcast with extraneous entertainment clips, people will tune in. And of course, higher ratings mean more ad dollars. It's all about money.
But here's the astonishing thing. When the Nightly News producers displayed the credit for the "Mad Men" clip on screen, they attributed it to "Lionsgate Televison [sic]". Televison! They actually misspelled "television"! NBC is in the television industry, and they misspelled the word "television"! How incredible is that? Do we need any further proof that Nightly News is a joke and that their producers are morons? It's obvious where the producers' priorities lie. Show the gratuitous clips and don't worry about spelling. Unbelievable. This is a news broadcast?
Ironically, that night's broadcast featured an Education Nation report about the school system in Shanghai. During the report, Rehema Ellis informed us that U.S. students rank 14th in the world in reading. That's hardly surprising--after all, the Nightly News producers misspell words practically every night.