Y2K on NBC Nightly News (more)

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Folks, now that the Impeachment hearings are over, the national media will move on to other topics (MSNBC immediately went to the Jon Benet Ramsey investigation, etc.)

This is important, because we're going to see more Y2K stories locally and nationally. So, I'm reposting the latest comments on the NBC Nightly News Soledad O'Brian report last night. Compare to what you know, or maybe start your own thread on what your local news media is saying, and compare that. Look for balance in all the reporting you see. In a perfect world, all reports should have pros and cons from people who've really studied the issue. We'll see. I'll have some comments (not necessarily profound) at the bottom of these recent posts.

LATEST POSTS ON Y2K on NBC 2/10/99 Nightly News Report

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.

-- FM (Vidprof@aol.com), February 21, 1999


On the past national level, I am reminded of the sad story of Edward R. Murrow (pardon the misspelling if there is one). Journalistic icon until he rubbed the president of his network the wrong way once too often (over what he wanted to report, versus what the network wanted him to report). Then, Murrow was gone.

I grew up on Walter Cronkite, in the days when national newscasts had two or three commercials. Tops. FCC rulings changed all of that. Now we are flooded with commercials.

On the local level I remember the days when station managers first realized they could make money off their newscasts. That's when newscasts went from being a "public service" and entered the realm of programming. Enter the ratings game.

Local reporters are required to write stories using language that a sixth grader could understand. They are told by their news directors that they must write for the masses that don't have or can't afford cable television. They work on horrible deadlines. The stories they report must be easy. In general, (with the exception of special "beat" reporters) if it bleeds, it leads, and follow from there. (If there are exceptions out there--please point out some.)

All of this leads me to believe that none of us will really ever be able to prepare for what's ahead because we won't know. Everything will eventually become more and more filtered in the months ahead.

An acquaintance of mine used to be a very successful anchor in Chicago. When I asked her why she quit, she replied that among the many reasons, "I got tired of standing in a snowstorm, telling everyone it was snowing, when they could SEE that it was snowing."

I blather on.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), February 21, 1999.

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