Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Royal Crush

I was watching the NBC Nightly News last night and the time NBC devoted to each of its stories in the first thirteen minutes of the broadcast caught my attention. First of all, all the news that is worth reporting is typically included in the first 10-12 minutes of a nightly news broadcast. The latter half of the broadcast is typically saved for feel-good stories, the weekend box-office report, minor weather-related disasters, etc. The shows are naturally front-loaded and one can typically tune out after the first or second commercial break. 

After watching six minutes of last night's broadcast, NBC had covered the impending flu season, Syria, and the approaching fiscal cliff. The fourth story of the night was about William and Kate expecting a baby. NBC devoted 4 minutes to this story. They even had an expert on to talk about the symptoms Kate would be dealing with in this case of acute morning sickness (inability to keep down any food/fluids, throwing up, etc.)

Let's just break down last night's newscast:

Story 1: The flu season is going to be bad. This story airs every year. Spare us next year, will you? - 2 minutes

Story 2: There are human rights atrocities constantly taking place in Syria right now. To be honest, it's genocide. Bashar Assad continues to oversee the destruction of huge swaths of the country and people he is responsible for. Thousands of children have died. There is no distinction made between combatant and non-combatant. When Assad's forces are on the hunt all are in the crosshairs - 1 minute

Story 3: Politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to be stubborn and selfish as the fiscal cliff nears. But let's just say it, the Republicans need to do a little pride-swallowing. The majority of the country clearly favors increasing tax revenue by raising tax rates on the top 2% income earners. In this sense, Obama's reelection did give him a mandate to do just that, raise the rate on the super-rich. The negotiations, or lack thereof, continue with little or no progress. - 3 minutes

Story 4: Duchess Kate is pregnant. She went to hospital, where she remains to this day. She has acute morning sickness, the same exact acute morning sickness thousands of women get every day, just in this country. So, what's the story here? - 4 MINUTES

Story 5: Dangerous carbon monoxide levels at a school threatens hundreds of children and staff. - 1 minute

Story 6: More proof that America's favorite sport is increasingly more dangerous and harmful to the body, particularly the brain, of football players, leading to very early diagnoses of degenerative brain diseases. - 3 minutes

Boiled down even more:

Flu season - 2 minutes

Genocide - 1 minute

We are all screwed if this fiscal cliff thing isn't resolved - 3 minutes

Girl who was born and married rich dude who was also born gets a bad case of morning sickness - 4 minutes

Potentially lethal carbon monoxide levels at school. - 1 minute

Nation's pastime making football players die early. - 3 minutes

Bad case of morning sickness trumps flu season, genocide, fiscal cliff, carbon monoxide levels, and pretty conclusive research on degenerative brain diseases. Excuse me, I'm going to go throw up.

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