Y2k on NBC Nightly News 2/20/99

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This is probably cheating (I'm sure I'll get flamed if it is. .) But I'm reposting comments from the first thread on this subject tonight, along with a "newsflash" that just hit me. (Had too much coffee today. Gettin' my glass of milk and heading for bed now, though.)

The KEY thing about the Soledad O'Brian report tonight was that it had no BALANCE. Think about it. No one contradicted anyone, really. Wonder why. They could have probably talked to some of those who have reason to believe all will not be well. Why not? Comments?

On to the other comments.

'Night y'all


Lead In: Y2k is going to be smoooth sailing unless public panic sets in.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), February 20, 1999


Yeeeeeeeesssssss,...we do already know what the spin is to be, don't we?

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

I think ABC has had the best Y2K coverage of any of the three networks. I've also noticed that TV coverage of Y2K doesn't usually include self-reported "happy face" press releases that newspapers seem more than willing to publish.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 20, 1999.

Highlights: After a slow start the government is now fixing the problem. Planes will not fall from the sky, ATMs will work, and there will be power. (Why do these newscasters all use the same wording)

Gartner Froup thinks most fixes will work, small inconveniences, smooth sailing. All houselold appliances will work.

ComEd says power will be on. Bell South says we will have phones.

If you need more information go to MSNBC.com. It will tell you if your computer will be ok.

Slona Obrien did the reporting.

I am so RELIEVED. I have been so afraid and doing all this prepring. I should have just waited for this informative news report. HEHEHEHEHEHE>I am going to the store right now and get more soup.

Mama said never trust anyone that smiles all the time.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), February 20, 1999.

Thanks Linda, will watch when it hits CA.

BTW, The latest GAO Y2K report was announced but not yet available. Note: District of Columbia Remains Behind Schedule. Is that a happy face?


GAO Daybook - February 19, 1999

http://www.gao.gov/ daybook/990219.htm

The General Accounting Office (GAO) today released the following testimony and correspondence:


1. Year 2000 Computing Crisis: The District of Columbia Remains Behind Schedule, by Jack L. Brock, Jr., Director of Governmentwide and Defense Information Systems Issues, before the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, House Committee on Government Reform. GAO/T- AIMD-99-84, Feb. 19.

The report(s) listed above will be available soon both electronically and in print.

Please note: the release of a GAO report does not necessarily mean the report is immediately available electronically. GAO reports are uploaded to our WAIS database on GPO Access and to the Recent Reports list on our web site as soon as they are available electronically. Because GAO reports are often released by Congressional requestors, there may be delays in file availability. Also please note: Correspondences are not available in electronic form. If you do not find a specific file cited above, please try again later.

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General Accounting Office (GAO) Reports Online via GPO Access

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-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 20, 1999.

This was copied from another link:

Well now, on ABC News, 6/p, Peter Jennings, good scary Y2K report re Russia. INDEFINITE POWER OUT prediction by Russian interviewee. ACCIDENTAL MISSILE LAUNCHES. NUCLEAR POWER PLANT MELTDOWNS. Severe humanitarian consequences. Guess what? Not sugar-coated, no pooh-poohs, not a single snicker. My oh my, the tone is changing. Got TP?

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 17, 1999.

doesn't it make you wonder why one network is controlling panic and another isn't watching it's p's and q's by giving us the unadulterated truth? I was dismayed that the networks haven't reported on the D.C. report. Any thoughts?

-- Diane (DDEsq2002@juno.com), February 20, 1999.

A legendary quote from Diane Sawyer: "We (journalists)are only as good as our sources." Sources tend to be public relations spokespeople from large companies who advise their on-camera spokespeople on exactly what to say during an interview. They even put them through media training to teach them the basics, which go like this: "Don't want to answer a question? Answer a different question (including the main point we want you to make--repeatedly-- in 10 seconds or less). The reporter may not ask you again, unless it happens to be Mike Wallace."

I have purses older than Soledad O'Brian

Kevin needs to email her his list of links of "Y2k for Newbies." Anybody know how to reach Kevin? I can't remember which forum to find him in.

Then again--might not do a bit of good. After all. . .NBC never aired the Jane Doe interview.

Sorry, but feeling a bit cynical tonight. Bracing myself for more happy face news and beginning to realize it's hard to trust anything anymore.

Comments anyone?

Have a great night.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), February 20, 1999.

**I have purses older than Soledad O'Brian **

LOVE this, FM. And also the comment by Diane Sawyer about sources. My questions to the tv news readers are: How much of what you report do you believe? AND If you don't accept a particularly spin, why do you report it, other than to keep your job and sell out your integrity?

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

Donna, the simple answer you asked of readers (I assume you mean anchors--and maybe even reporters) goes back to the Diane Sawyer quote: "We are only as good as our sources." Anchors don't always just "read" the news. Usually, they're responsible for writing/editing all or part of it. So will they read/report what they don't personally believe? Yep. Because it's all about attribution. They are reporting what someone in a position of authority told them. and that's what they are paid to do. It's called being objective. Otherwise, they'd be columnists. When's the last time you saw one of those on local TV (Besides the station manager with an opinion piece)? No columnists on national evening news, either. 'Just the facts maam. If the "source" says you can't hear a tree falling in the forest because nobody's there to hear it, it's a fact. You report it. Privately you might think it's horse-pucky (and discuss it heatedly with your newsroom colleagues) but publicly you report it.

Ooops--I forgot an exception! The time Linda Ellerbee accidentally sent out a personal memo on the wire (can't remember details, but they were hilarious. Ellerbee's one of my heros. Colorful as heck, (once through a tv through the window to get her husband to stop watching some dang sports event)and writes like a dream.

I think I also have sandals older than Soledad O'Brian, but she's sure a lot prettier than I.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), February 20, 1999.

Ooops. That should have been "threw a tv." I don't spell check anything I write on this forum. In fact, I was born before spell checkers! I grew up with manual typewriters! As if you couldn't tell . . .


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), February 20, 1999.

I watched this report. After saying the FAA will be fine 'because they're spending millions of dollars ' and further reassuring the sheople that everything will be fixed for the same reason ie.$$$. They HAD to show a southern Church stocking canned goods. If there is a such thing as a generic y2k piece this would be it.

Remember (as FM pointed out) these are the people that refused to air the Anita Broadrick piece. They don't report the news they CENSOR it. My opinion ;-)


That CBS piece was about Russia. We humans tend to think, it can't happen to us (especially in the gool ol' US of A). Just a thought. Actually FOX news (local) did o.k. a couple weeks back, however the Anchors were (almost)laughing. It was difficult to tell why. They either thought it was silly, or it was nervousness. I truly have never seen the same type of response (on the news) before.

I too have been looking for mention of D.C., I'm still waiting.

-- Deborah (tossing@the.tv), February 20, 1999.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), February 20, 1999


What a long post. But, I agree. There was no balance. The segment was all one sided. EVERYONE has on a happy face. I do not know what it means. I do keep wondering why all the newscasters are using the same wording, phrasing, etc. "Planes won't fall from the sky". How many times have/will we hear this. It is almost equal to the unforgettable picture of Clinton embracing Monica. I can understand the use of the picture over and over since it is a one of a kind but one would think that reporters would want to come up with different discriptions of possible scenairos or forecasts. Everyone presenting a positive picture appears to be reading from the some script. Why??????? And why is everone smiling when they talk about Y2k on this program?

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), February 20, 1999.

And you wonder why I link them directly as propagandists for the administration?

Actually - the two are semi-independent - except for any news "preset" by the "conventional wisdom" (or "national news") as set by the three networks - blended by CNN - and written by the DC Post and NY Times. The news industry is a small - incestuously interwined group of people who regularly exchange places with people in the administration (and Democrat political offices).

They work together, talk together, read the same things, and use the same sources. They are out to impress each other, and are beat up when they don't toe the (democratic-liberal) party line. Since they are hired on looks (TV) or reputation (print) they have no morals or scruples about anything EXCEPT their reputation - which is set by their peers who are thinking the same way the original reporter is trained. It becomes a self-repeating process since journalism school - since there has never been compitition before.

When competition happens (Fox news channel, CBN, London papers, Limbaugh, Drudge, WorldNetDaily) - it is universally criticized (among the media) as gossip or mean-spirited or racist or whatever the "key word and tricky phrase" becomes.

Now - thus far they have had nothing but scorn (and the fed government's "prrevent panic" party line. There are no "facts" to prove "the future" - and they refuse to "WANT to listen to extrapolated logic - because they don't (can't ?) think that way. Also - reasoning ahead makes bad interviews, bad graphics, bad visuals, and tends to turn off the technically illiterate. (Note: technically illiterate is not a criticism, just a reflection that not everybody is trained the way some people are. Most everyone is capable of understanding the systemic failures likely with year 2000, but it must be explained carefully. And they don't want to take the teach.)

They'd rather entertain. Than inform.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.R@csaatl.com), February 20, 1999.


Balance. Good point. I think I am the most cynical person on the planet. I gave up looking for balanced reporting on Television a long time ago.

Chicago local News (ABC NBC CBS) is pathetic. It's like The Evening News For Dummies.

Here is an example: "It's going to be very cold today, so make sure you dress warm, wearing layers, a hat & gloves."

To which I actually say out loud "Thank you Big Brother!" and then I go and look for a sharp object to impale myself with.

It is news for the illiterate. The language is very condecending. They are like patient grown ups speaking to learning disabled toddlers.

I don't know what T.V. 'news' is like in other (major) cities, but if it's anything like it is here, we are in deep doo doo, because people obviously buy the 'product' otherwise they would change it.

I do not consider myself an intellectual, however I am an adult I wish they would report actual news to us as such.

Could it be that this is actually what people want? Are people this stupid? "Gee, I should wear a hat today because Media God said I should." Do people not know when it's -20 they should dress warm? (I realize this is a petty example- I can't think of any others at the moment)

Well, I guess I've editorialized enough for today. (blush)


P.S. You are getting veeeeeeerrryy sleeeeepy, we will take care of you. Y2K is nothing. 'They' have spent alot of money. Money is god. Money fixes everything. When you wake up you will think people who prepare are fanatics with guns that think planes will fall from the sky. Buy tampax. Buy beer. Buy a new car. Watch our wonderful sitcoms. Spend all your money on the goods we hock.

P.S.S. The news is on right now.(NBC) Gene Siskel died today, this takes the first seven minutes. CHICAGO Mayoral campaign next. One minute of coverage. The election is TUESDAY. Go to Commercials (three minutes). Attempted chid abduction one minute. Allentown Explosion 30 seconds tops. Go to More Commercials (2 more minutes). 5 most dangerous places for women ( your home, at or near a friends home, being alone, anywhere college students frequent,)(5 minutes--Thanks Big Brother) promo for tomorrow/weather/sports/thats IT. puke. Long live the www.

-- Deborah (despise@tv.com), February 20, 1999.

I've had a disdain for network news way before I discovered this Y2K mess.

I hate it when...
- the anchors do the idle pleasantry banter between news topics.
- they do weather thing...just like Deborah said :-)
- celebrity news takes precedence over/gets more coverage than hard news...definitely living up to the over-used motto: "NEWS THAT YOU CAN USE."...

I sometimes wonder if some of these folks understand what they're reading from their teleprompters. Sorry to complain. JMPOV :-)

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), February 20, 1999.

The news media is a fundamental part of the corporate/government "establishment", to use a term from the 60's, and they cannot accept y2k because it threatens their jobs, their income, their social positions and their status. Personally, I am so absolutely sick of their smug arrogance that I almost feel like welcoming y2k just to see them knocked off their perches.

-- cody (cody@y2ksurvive.com), February 20, 1999.

I hate it when people impersonate me.

-- Andy (andyruiney@SeeBS.com), February 20, 1999.

Most of you are too young to remember the Vietnam conflict. At the time I was there, Peter from CNN, Dan Rather and a few of the other national news boys were over there. My folks sent me the local newspapers and my buddies and I used to get most of our laughs from comparing what the government was saying with what actually was happening. The reason I mention the news anchors is that, yes they were there, no they didn't stir themselves out of the Caravelle hotel except to get the handouts from the PR at the base.....then they wrote what they wanted to anyway. Truth or not. What makes you think this situation is any different??? They still will say what their masters at the networks want. In 1965, it was anti-war.(no matter what the government wanted). In 1999, it's anti Y2K because a bunch of people stand to lose a LOT of money if a panic spreads. Lobo

-- Lobo (hiding@woods.com), February 21, 1999.

I also saw this puff piece on the NBC Nightly News tonight. We must remember that NBC and its parent, GE, are not compliant. The same holds for the Wall Street Journal, Time, etc. We will never get the truth from those who have so much to cover up.

-- Incredulous (ytt000@aol.com), February 21, 1999.

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