Monday, June 14, 2004


Meet the Press host Tim Russert foresees a bloody summer in Iraq as insurgents try to kill off officials of any new government-in-waiting.

"So, too, in Afghanistan," he told Rich Kellman just before Sunday's Meet the Press broadcast. "The warlords are still very much in control of much of the country. The opium production is sky-high, turning the country, in effect, into a narco state," he says.
Who the hell cares what Tim Russert has to say on the subject? He's a talking head on TV...he's supposed to ask the questions. What makes him an authority? Why does the press believe that his opinion is newsworthy?

The so-called press has forgotten everything it ever knew about true journalism.



Anonymous said...

May I point to the last paragraph of this news article?

"Russert will be back in Western New York next Friday for a booksigning at Barnes & Noble on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst at 2 pm. That's two days before fathers day, which he says is especially appropriate for promoting his book "Big Russ and Me," about his dad and growing up in South Buffalo."

A few points needs to be mentioned:

It is obvious NBC (local affiliate WGRZ-TV, Buffalo) is hyping Russet's book signing. Thus, it is an "infomercial" disguised as a "future prediction" opinion piece with a sensational headline. It is in NBC's vested interest to hype Russet's popularity since that will ultimately lead to increased viewership and rating for the show "Meet the Press".

The obvious ploy here is the location and timing of the booksigning. I am sure WGRZ-TV is the only NBC feed in Amherst, NY. And to air this piece exactly the Sunday before Father's day? Can someone look into whether the reporter (Rich Kellman, Senior Correspondent) gets a kickback or special discount privileged at Barnes & Noble?

Another point is that Tim Russert has been on the talk show circuits (Larry King, Charlie Rose, etc.) for the past few weeks to "highlight" his new book. I suppose NBC had to do something also to show "support". After all, they won't be able to get away by transparently featuring him on "Dateline NBC"!

Finally, the only token journalistic justification for "local interest" is the fact that Tim Russert grew up in South Buffalo

John, Dad of 1AD Soldier

David said...

An interesting and new twist to advertising … If you watch TV some (not many yet – but the trend is increasing) of the “news stories” are actually commercials – these commercials look and sound like “news”. From Medicare Commercials put out by the HHS to 60 minutes doing a segment on Richard Clark’s book (the publisher owns CBS too) .

I’ve seen a few and its getting difficult to tell the news from the ads anymore.