Tuesday, June 21, 2005


from The Huffington Post:

Which brings me back to this weekend. If you were to get your news only from television, you’d think the top issue facing our country right now is an 18-year-old girl named Natalee who went missing in Aruba. Every time one of these stories comes up, like, say, Michael Jackson, when it’s finally over I think, what a relief, now we can get back to real news. But we never do. When one of these big league nonstories ends, they just call up a new one from the minors... and off they go with another round of breathless reporting. Anything to not have to actually report actual news.

Here are the number of news segments that mention these stories: (from a search of the main news networks’ transcripts from May 1-June 20).

ABC News: "Downing Street Memo": 0 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 42 segments; "Michael Jackson": 121 segments.

CBS News: "Downing Street Memo": 0 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 70 segments; "Michael Jackson": 235 segments.

NBC News: "Downing Street Memo": 6 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 62 segments; "Michael Jackson": 109 segments.

CNN: "Downing Street Memo": 30 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 294 segments; "Michael Jackson": 633 segments.

Fox News: "Downing Street Memo": 10 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 148 segments; Michael Jackson": 286 segments.

MSNBC: "Downing Street Memo": 10 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 30 segments; "Michael Jackson": 106 segments.

How can network "news" executives sleep in the face of such absurdity -- absurdity of their making? We need to hammer these statistics and keep them front and center until these court jesters answer for their dereliction.


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