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Blurring News and Entertainment

Below is an excerpt of an article by columnist Brian Lowry of Variety, which refers to the 'wackadoodle' demographic of television viewership. He writes this  encompasses folks who gravitate toward conspiracy theories, end-of-the-world prophecies and alien abduction. Lowry is concerned about the growing number of 'news' programs that pander to this audience, specificially one hosted by weekend uber-anchor Lester Holt.


Wackadoodle TV doesn't really worry about distinguishing between truth and fiction. In fact, it often seems to welcome the parallels between them, as in ... Syfy's upcoming "Inside Secret Government Warehouses: Shocking Revelations," a two-hour special transparently designed to promote the channel's series "Warehouse 13."

Lester Holt -- the NBC newsman, who has clearly put his journalistic credibility in a blind trust -- hosts the special, which comes from Peacock Prods., an offshoot of NBC News. Eschewing subtlety, the documentary frequently uses clips from "Warehouse 13" and movies -- illustrating its section on Area 51, the secretive base in Nevada long rumored to house aliens, with footage from "Independence Day."

"In the end, we can't say for certain what's below ground, or hidden behind closed doors," Holt concludes ominously, which is a helluva thing to say after wasting two hours of everybody's time. Nevertheless, he adds, there are secrets people don't want us to know, as if that in itself is evidence of something extraordinary.

That such nonsense is provided by an adjunct of NBC News makes its own statement about news-division willingness to further entertainment objectives. Then again, when the unit was formed a few years ago, NBC News Prez Steve Capus said it underscored "how we are transforming from a news organization into a news and information organization" -- even if some of that "information" winds up being more Weekly World News than "NBC Nightly News."


Steve.Scott's picture

Katie Couric was the voice of the character Katie Current in the animated film "Shark Tale."

I thought it was kind of cute.

Steve Scott, News Anchor
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