Possible demise of "Nightline"??? - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-05-2002, 06:40 PM   #1
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Possible demise of "Nightline"???

Has anyone been keeping up with this story? And to think that I just discovered this show recently. It's an interesting message ABC sends when it is willing to dump a well-respected, in-depth news program for late-night comedy.

Quote:
from the Boston Globe:

The last laugh: war on the news

By Ellen Hume, 3/5/2002

AMERICA'S disappearing audience for serious news came back after Sept. 11 to give newspapers, television, and radio another chance. Millions of people are interested, more than ever, in straight talk about real problems and what needs to be done. But despite all the valiant work of journalists on dangerous assignments, this newly attentive public is being jilted again by American television executives.


If you wonder why America is clueless about the culture war that inspires our foreign enemies, check out ABC's latest idea that David Letterman's entertainment show should replace Ted Koppel's ''Nightline'' news program. ''Nightline'' is one of the few national programs that responsibly examines the issues. Letterman is wonderful but certainly doesn't provide the information people need to understand the issues.

''Nightline'' is actually a commercial success; it attracts 4 million viewers a night, as the Letterman show does. But these viewers apparently have something else on their minds than just their own pleasure, which is a drag for ABC's advertisers. The older news audience is less profitable than the younger entertainment audience; this is why ABC is considering dumping ''Nightline'' for the Letterman comedy show.

Many television executives act as if the news is whatever emerges from 100 public relations campaigns. Television is only for selling, whether it's products or propaganda. This kind of thinking also inspired the now-discredited Pentagon Office of Strategic Initiatives, which was expected to lie to the foreign press as part of its news service.

Having the Pentagon bar American journalists from most of the war zone has not helped. ABC's entertainment division is getting better access to the US military than its news division, in order to present the Pentagon's version of the war in a new ABC ''reality series.'' Perhaps Letterman will sprinkle his jokes with some dispatches from the front.

To be sure, ABC is not alone in blowing this opportunity to elevate the news. The average 30-minute evening newscast offers only 17 minutes of news, and before Sept. 11 Dan Rather on CBS was told not to use the word ''foreign'' on air because his bosses are worried that it may turn off viewers, according to Len Downie and Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post.

We still aren't learning much from CNN or others about what the rest of the world is doing or thinking; international news seems to relate only to America's war on terrorism. Not since Nuremburg has an international court of justice taken on an accused war criminal like Slobodan Milosevic; Americans had a lot to do with bringing about his prosecution for genocide, yet one searches America's 500 television channels in vain for any tape of his trial at The Hague.

Each morning, CNN's Paula Zahn engages in obsequious chats with American generals assigned to boost our morale, or she badgers guests who seem to know a lot more than she does. She might as well be trying on fashions or singing with children the way former ''Sixty Minutes'' reporter Diane Sawyer does on ''Good Morning America.'' NBC has been criticized for years for reducing its news to personal issues of health or family life. Fox's news network has filled a niche by offering a more conservative ideology, but studies confirm that it isn't the ''fair and balanced'' news source that it claims to be.

If ABC abandons ''Nightline,'' it will be a loss to the search for useful information about the real challenges we now face as a nation. ABC executives will join all the others who shrug off their public obligations, saying the health of American democracy is ''not my problem'' while they pocket a bigger bonus. But the quality of America's public life is their problem, because they have a franchise to run the public's airwaves and because television is still our national source of information and our first line of attack in the battle for world opinion.

If we treat America's news flow as if it's a national joke, how surprised should we be if our bashers get the last laugh?
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Old 03-05-2002, 11:29 PM   #2
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Yeah Sula, I've been following this story with a lot of interest. I don't get the opportunity to watch this show very often, but whenever I do, I am seriously impressed by it for the fact that it is the only news show that I've come across (apart from BBC news America and PBS) that covers the news without sensationalism and actually report the news from an unbiased point of view. I stopped watching the news after Sept. 11 for two reasons. First, it made me sick, but second, I cannot stand that fact that these news organizations hype shit up for the sake of a story. I wanted to punch the fucking tv every time I saw one of those "Terror in NYC" "War on Terrorism" logo's come across the screen like some bad Arnold Shwartzenneger (sp?) movie. I was watching the tv the other night and there was one of those little 15 second ads for the news and it was hyping something crazy like "Is your water causing cancer...this man says it will" or some crap like that.

Blech....I wash my hands of the whole thing.

I was a journalism minor in college and decided pretty quick that it was NOT what I wanted to do. The media doesn't control this country, $$$, marketers and advertisers in search of the next gold demographic and quick buck do.

Americans ARE ignorent, we really are. I sit around and listen to college students saying crap like "Let's just nuke the middle east dumb rag heads" and it's no wonder people hate us. Not only are we arrogent, we're stupid. There's no way we can understand what they feel, we don't even know what we're about. It's really pathetic...

*end of rant*

Yes, it will be a sad day if Ted Koppel and Nightline get the boot. I love Dave, but come on...even if Ted is funny lookin'
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Old 03-05-2002, 11:55 PM   #3
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ive actually been encouraged by the knowledge of the other journalism students ive met this week...aussies rock tho
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Old 03-06-2002, 02:26 AM   #4
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It's funny that Letterman is considering moving to a network for one reason being 'To Be Treated Better', when The network he is moving to is completely shitting upon Ted Koppel and Bill Maher (Which I will say was appropriate)...

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Old 03-06-2002, 03:21 AM   #5
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Yeah, it is funny that Letterman is saying that considering that was the same thing he said when he left NBC...

He'll never recover from not getting the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson retired. I think he really just assumed it would be handed to him and he was really shaken when NBC dropped his ass.

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Old 03-06-2002, 12:12 PM   #6
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Ah Yes.. The Latest news... CBS is looking at Howard Stern to possibly replace David Letterman.. Hahahah.. Can you imagine, It think that'd be the funniest thing.. Anything that brings more Beetlejuice to the Table, I'm all for it!

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Old 03-06-2002, 12:38 PM   #7
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"Touched by an Angel" followed by "The Howard Stern Show"...hmmmm.....
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Old 03-06-2002, 01:22 PM   #8
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hey touched by an angel sound naughty. perfect pre-stern show IMO.
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Old 03-06-2002, 05:59 PM   #9
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I saw a report on this on MSNBC late last night. It said that ABC wants to get more "carry-over" viewers. Basically what channel people go to sleep watching is the channel they wake up watching. Leno's show is #1 in Late-Night and the Today show is #1 in mornings. So they think if they get Lettermen at night their morning show will compete with the Today show (which it probably won't since the Today show is great *bias* ).

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Old 03-07-2002, 03:26 AM   #10
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We need David Letterman, we need Jay Leno, and WE definitely need Ted Koppel's Nightline! Maybe if Letterman goes to ABC CBS could pick up Nightline! I know, not likely...
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Old 03-07-2002, 03:42 AM   #11
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The thing is, this isn't a matter of either/or. Letterman is not going off the air. If he doesn't go over to ABC, he'll be sticking around with CBS. The thing is that Koppel may get cut regardless. And I think that's just sad.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
The thing is, this isn't a matter of either/or. Letterman is not going off the air. If he doesn't go over to ABC, he'll be sticking around with CBS. The thing is that Koppel may get cut regardless. And I think that's just sad.
The nation's need for entertainment during times of war... kinda like the golden era of Hollywood of the 1940s with all the musicals...but now it's David Letterman on ABC. bleech



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Old 03-11-2002, 08:40 PM   #13
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Letterman announced today that he is staying on at CBS, however, what ABC will do with their late night programming is still in question, they still could make a pitch for Conan O'Brian (though it's highly unlikely, it looks like damage control time for ABC with Ted Koppel)
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