Ed Driscoll

Just NBC the Reason Why Old Media is Dying

“No one understands this NASCAR nation more than Brian,” we were promised by his then-boss, when Brian Williams took over as anchorman of the NBC Nightly News in 2004, with more than a hint of Blue State elitist snark buried in the subtext of that claim. Eight years later, how is it working out?

“NBC Nightly News Devotes Mere Seconds to First-Ever Mention of Fast and Furious,” Mary Chastain of Big Journalism writes:

While the majority of the testimony covered Operation Fast & Furious, NBC made it appear that the hearing was mainly over the national security leaks. The segment even made it appear that Senator John Cornyn called for Mr. Holder to resign over said leaks when, in fact, he expressed his greatest frustration with Mr. Holder over Fast & Furious.

NBC devoted roughly thirty seconds to Fast & Furious in a segment lasting two minutes and seventeen seconds–the explanation of the controversy less than a third of it. No background information was given about the operation and no mention was made of how it led to the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and over 300 Mexicans. You’d think that after eighteen months, NBC’s producers would want to give their in-the-dark audience some information to get up to speed on the controversy.

Ed Morrissey adds, “Perhaps those who only get their news from NBC might be curious enough after this brief clip to see how well the network informs them of current events … and start switching channels as a result.”

According to Geoffrey Dickens of Newsbusters though, they won’t get much more from the other Big Three networks:

As Newsbusters reported yesterday, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news shows have been stunningly slow to report on the Eric Holder hearings on the Fast and Furious scandal. NBC news hasn’t even reported once on the gunwalking controversy, until last night. On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, at the very end of her report, Kelly O’Donnell finally told viewers about “a failed operation that sent US guns into Mexico.” O’Donnell awkwardly attempted to explain the controversy, in 30 seconds, since no one on Nightly News or Today had previously done it.

The only other mention of the Holder hearings came on Wednesday’s edition of CBS’s This Morning. ABC skipped the story entirely.

That doesn’t surprise me: last night at the gym, the TV above my treadmill carried ABC’s Nightline — at the end of a day in which a US senator called for the resignation of the attorney general, that show’s big story was devoted to…the dangers of spray-on tanning salons.

The Washington Post recently carried the unintentionally ironic headline, “Forty years after Watergate, investigative journalism is at risk.” Perhaps they could begin to repair its reputation, by investigating a way for journalists to break out of the liberal cocoon, and not be seen as a left-wing president’s palace guard.