Saturday, April 7, 2012

NBC Nightly News Disrespects Thomas Kinkade, Plugs "Mockingbird" On USA

As Nightly News weekend anchor Lester Holt introduced Saturday's story about the death of artist Thomas Kinkade, a graphic over Holt's left shoulder read "Thomas Kinkaid [sic] 1958-2012".  They misspelled his name!  It is just appalling that the Nightly News producers cannot even manage to correctly spell Mr. Kinkade's name in his own obituary.  Appalling, but hardly surprising.  Nightly News broadcasts are rife with spelling, grammar, math and factual errors.  Can you imagine ABC or CBS misspelling Kinkade's name?  I can't.  Apparently, the Nightly News producers are too busy concentrating on promoting NBC's sports and entertainment programming to bother checking their spelling.  I guess they have their priorities.

Speaking of which, the final story on Saturday's Nightly News was a two-and-a-half minute "news story" about the 50th anniversary of the film version of "To Kill A Mockingbird".  Why on earth would a news broadcast commemorate the film version of a famous book, rather than the book itself (Harper Lee's book was published two years earlier)?  It doesn't make any sense.  But of course, as is the case with virtually every story that airs on Nightly News, there was an ulterior motive.  In this case, Lester Holt rabidly plugged Saturday's USA Network screening of "Mockingbird" for one reason only--because USA is owned by Comcast/NBC Universal.  Of course, Holt never mentioned this to the viewers.  Neither did he mention that "Mockingbird" was released by Universal Pictures, also a Comcast/NBC Universal company.  He intentionally withheld this information to trick the viewers into believing that this was an actual news story, rather than a shameless plug.  So this story amounts to a two-and-a-half minute commercial for an NBC Universal film which will be airing on an NBC Universal TV network.  That is just sleazy.  Holt and his producers should be ashamed of themselves.  But of course they're not.  Their main job is to relentlessly promote NBC properties.  It doesn't bother them in the least that their broadcast constantly ignores real news in order to self-promote.  Well, what do you expect--weasels will be weasels.

Meanwhile, this month PBS is airing an excellent "American Masters" episode called "Hey Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird".  But of course Lester never mentioned it because PBS is not owned by Comcast/ NBC Universal.

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