Saturday, February 07, 2015

Brian Williams Falls on His Sword, Sort Of

Bri Bri Says Bye, Bye For "Several Days"

The glare of the spotlight that Brian Williams turned on himself has gotten too bright.

The "NBC Nightly News" anchor/managing editor, who didn't realize that when he was telling stories they were supposed to be grounded in fact, is going on hiatus for "several days" to defog his memory about his non-near death experience covering the Iraq war. At least judging by this announcement from NBC News, it was his choice. Then again, maybe not.

In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.

Interesting that this was put out as a press release. Don't look for it on or the Nightly News home page. I sense there are still hordes of walking wounded at 30 Rock still trying to make sense of this F.U.B.A.R. exercise.

Now, about this several days thing. Better than even it's a poorly chosen euphemism. Lester Holt may be doing more than sitting in--he could be getting fitted for a new chair.

Is Williams a dead anchor walking? Maybe not yet. But he's badly bleeding and nobody at NBC is in a hurry to offer him a Band-Aid.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Nationwide Is Not on the Side of Common Sense

Explain Away All You Want, But the Buzzkill Still Lingers

Now that we're in the midst of Dead Kid-Gate, Nationwide Insurance has come out with a defense, of sorts, of its Debbie Downer of an ad for yesterday's Super Bowl. It's like Pete Carroll made the media buy.

Per PR Newser:

We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.”

Noble intentions are swell. But during the Super Bowl? At $4.5 million a spot? And after a funny Nationwide ad with Mindy Kaling had just aired?

On any other day, you would have had parents everywhere sprinting for the Kleenex. Instead, you just pissed them off, including those who had to explain what happened to their kids.

The dialogue Nationwide so desperately wanted about an important topic is overshadowed by the one about the incredibly bad judgment of the company and its ad agency.

If you're tone deaf in the media world, you're toast. And Nationwide got burnt.