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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A Morality Tale at NBC

It seems clear from a new Vanity Fair article that NBC is roiling with instability and angst.  Those words are not too strong given the facts now coming out -- at least from the aforementioned magazine.

The important thing here is the picture being presented -- one of systemic break-down with ratings decline at premiere shows such as Today and Meet the Press.  And did I mention the new head of NBC News is apparently British?  No wonder the situation required a full-blown article to make sense of.

This is not a time to chortle over individuals who have fallen from great heights to the very ground the rest of us walk on.  It does represent, however, an opportunity to see how the modern-day press is operating.

One thinks of Paddy Chayefsky's film, Network, from 1976.  That telling morality play rang true to millions of Americans.  The statement, "I'm fed up and I'm not going to take it anymore!" as shouted from home windows in the movie, became a national tag-line.

Below right, on this blog, you will find a link to a book by Robert McChesney entitled "Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy."  In this landmark work, McChesney details the history of broadcast media in this country and how it started out as a non-commercial venture.  What both Network and now the Brian Williams fiasco show is a system apparently run by the profit motive at the expense of the truth -- at least in the case of Mr. Williams.

As I've intimated before, America can do better.

[Note:  Link to Vanity Fair article has been removed due to inappropriate language.]

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