Monday, November 15, 2004

Is there something in the water at NBC news?

Desperate to catch-up with CBS and ABC, NBC is tossing away it's credibility in bucket loads. CBS News, whom many media experts and blogging pundits consider to be the leader in the race towards self-immolation, leveraged it's flag-ship "fake news" program 60 minutes with it's highly editorialized nightly news to jump out to a commanding lead. With a potent one-two punch of forged national guard memos and an attempted election-eve hit piece on several tons of not-so missing explosives, it's hard for anyone with political leadings to the right of Joseph Stalin to miss the blatant partisanship of CBS News. Despite these considerable efforts, many CBS defenders still insist the above examples merely constitute honest mistakes that happen from time to time in the noble process of exposing the Hitler of our era - Dubya.

Enter Peter Jennings and ABC News, who collectively balk at the notion of playing second fiddle to Dan Rather & co, especially when it comes to selling journalistic integrity for cents on the dollar to smear a right-wing warmonger President. Fearing that any "news" story, no matter how overtly-biased, can be construed as legitimate, ABC took a different tact: the internal memo leak (linked here for nostalgia). Mark Halperin, political director at ABC News, explicitly directs his staff to hold Bush more accountable for his attacks and distortions than Kerry. This brilliant gambit paid off with a massive embarrassment and a spot on the podium next to CBS and across from the New York Times...

Wait! Hold on a minute! Before we pass out any medals: NBC News, initially caught off guard by their rivals, has rallied strong after the election. Amazing, simply amazing. First, they lured the competition into complacency by calling Ohio for Bush on election night (Even Krugman took a vacation). Next they unleashed a flurry of masochistic attacks on their own honestly and reliability. Leading off: Keith Olbermann and his musing that Florida Dixie-crats voting for a Republican President (like they've done for the last 100 years) is highly unusual and may indicate systematic fraud. Batting second: Lawrence O'Donnell's rant on McLaughlin, which proposed that the Blue states secede from the 'welfare [Red] states'. Want more? How about anything posted to Eric Alterman's Blog at MSNBC.com or Chris Matthews fair and balanced panels of 3 socialists with a side of center-right Joe Scarbourgh. But that was only the first wave. Now comes Emmy-award winning John Hockenberry's childish mudslinging email to an Army Captain/Blogger who is fighting in Iraq as we speak. This is hilarious! First check out the history of the conflict. The part regarding Hockenberry is in the second half of the post. Next up, check out John's half-hearted apology:
Opps, I'm sorry that I revealed myself as a Bush-hating, anti-war protestor masquerading as a legitimate journalist. Doh!
At this pace and by fully utilizing all of it's media outlets, NBC could pass CBS on the road to implosion by Christmas. More as this race heats up!

UPDATE (Kang): All this effort is already earning NBC recognition. According to Laura Ingraham's radio show, Tom Brokaw was in the heart of the Christian Conservative confederacy (Lincoln, Nebraska) to do a story on congressman Tom Osburn. Brokaw took in bizarre local ritual which is rabidly followed by the rednecks of Jesusland, and is even popular in the less-progressive portions of the United States of Canada: University Football. When shown on the jumbo-tron, he was loudly taunted and boo'd. This represents a landmark accomplishment for NBC in their ratings-slaughtering effort to convince 52% of the country that they are stupid, ignorant boozos.

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