Ed Driscoll

Remember NBC's Contrarian Phase?

No, me neither. But Mickey Kaus spots Brian Williams asking the particularly hard-hitting questions “during his newscast’s unctuous Iraq Study Group celebration“:

“Are we at our best when our best and brightest get together and hammer out a problem like this?”

Kaus asks, “When did NBC Nightly News become such CW sludge?”

When wasn’t it? But hey, maybe Brian was just aggressively misunderstood! At least didn’t try to compare the US to terrorists again. (Maybe because we appear so eager to negotiate with them.)

Below that post, Kaus spots Jonathan Klein, the man who put us all into pajamas not exactly enjoying a ratings smash these days at CNN and Headline News. Mickey asks, “Whatever happened to storytelling?”:

Checking in with … visionary CNN leader Jonathan Klein! Who knew, when Klein declared he agreed “wholeheartedly” with Jon Stewart’s attack on what Klein called “head-butting debate shows,”–and when he pledged to “report the news” and not “talk about the news”–that what he really meant to give us was Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace! … Ah, but that’s CNN Headline News, you say, not Regular Pure Hard News Opinion-Free CNN itself. They’re totally separate!** For the moment that’s true. But thanks to Klein’s visionary leadership, Regular Pure CNN has gone from being the second place cable network to being the third … wait, make that occasionally fourth place cable network, behind a surging (opinionated) MSNBC and Head-Buttin’ Headline News itself! … If the “brash” head-butt format keeps delivering, how long before it infiltrates Regular Pure CNN? Sub-question: How much more expensive is it to produce Regular CNN than Headline News? Three times as much? Ten times? … Bonus question: Whatever happened to storytelling?

Apparently, that was last year’s strategy. This year it’s headbuttin’ time!

(I guess how the news is reported on TV changes faster than hemlines in Paris.)