20 August 2006

NBC Nightly News: I am filing for divorce.

When I was a wee lad of 3, living outside Rosholt, SD, our old tv had a dial where the numbers had rubbed off. So my mom marked two channels with a magic marker so I could find them. One was where the Mickey Mouse Club was to be found, and the other was where I could find the Huntley Brinkley Report.

Chet & David ran a story on a local tragedy that winter, when four college students went driving on a lake before it was certified frozen over. Two died, including my older sister's best friend's brother.

I have been hooked on the NBC Nightly News ever since. Frank McGee. John Chancellor. Garrick Utley. Tom Brokaw.

(Reveal: Sadly, my parents always chose to eat at 5:30 central time. More sadly, they allowed me to rule the dinner table throughout my jr hi and hi school years with shouts of "quiet" and "I'm trying to hear this". Little of the important conversation of family and school life took place because my parents made three mistakes. (1) They always had dinner during the Nightly News. (2) They had a tv in the spacious kitchen where we ate. And (3) they allowed me to act like a pr**k shutting off family conversations.)

Yeah, I know, Brokaw was left of center in his editing, but he was a South Dakota prairie populist, and I grew up with parents of that stock, so he spoke to me.

Brian Williams ... well I dont know. The editorial quality has gone down hill. (And I know that John Siegenthaler is only the weekend guy, but I think that it is part and parcel of the ethos in the newsroom.)

I have seen lots of examples of this sloppiness and bias lately, but I only feel like posting 2.

Exhibit One: A few weeks ago, NBC NN ran a story on how Americans are getting bigger. (Reveal: I live overweight. If my wife and doctor had their way, I'd be on a diet for the rest of my life. And she - my wife, not my doctor - may win.) Part of their evidence for Americans being overweight was that some major mattress company had recently made available a larger matress for larger Americans. The problem: Unless you watched very carefully (I have tivo so I could) the matress was larger only because it was longer! If the point of the story was that our improved nutrition had made American taller, this might have been convincing. It was not, so it was not.

Exhibit Two: Tonight's news told of 13k extra US & Iraqi troops in Baghdad to make safe a Shiite holy day procession to a sacred mosque. (Even if I were nonchalant about Islam - Reveal: I am not - for my taste, Shiia Islam has way too many sacred mosques and way too many holy day processions.

As Gomer would say, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Sunni Muslims attacked the parade. NBC NN Headlined: "AMBUSH" and told the story of 20 killed and 300 injured by insurgents killing others from the rooftops in, what seemed to be - though was never exactly stated that way - a single attack that left hundreds shot! This in spite of the beefed up American military presence.

Later that night I went to Fox News. Turns out that 20 were killed and 300 injured in a series of attacks and most of those were injured in the stampede of folks running from the shooting. (So much for 'helping your neighbor' in Islam, eh?) Oh, and unmentioned in the NBCNN report: at least 7 suspects were detained in the series of shootings. Guess those extra troops weren't just sitting around sucking down Nehi's, eh?

Still, since 1000 people were killed in this same procession last year (note to Immam: re-consider procession!) this actually represents an improvement!

Not that NBCNN would mention that. At least not under the current newsroom leadership.


And just HOW did NBCNN completely miss this story on the last two broadcasts?

1 comment:

Pam said...

Interesting that you regret your behavior at the dinner table?! I never heard that comment before. Maybe reading your blog is not so bad.