NBC announces that it will extend The Today Show to four hours each morning. Uh-huh. Four hours of lame interviews with political pundits. Four hours of gushing over -celebrities. Four hours of analysis of whatever reality TV show NBC tries to shove down the throats of America. The Today Show can barely stretch its interest out to two hours. Heck, it can barely stretch it out to one hour. Neither can Good Morning America, for that matter. Does CBS even have a morning show anymore?
The Today Show and Good Morning America are emblematic of what’s wrong with network journalism. To a certain extent there is room to forgive much of the crapulence that dominates the 24 hours new channels. After all, that’s a lot of time to fill. Not that there’s not plenty of news going on to fill it, of course, but why depress people with news about a labor strike in Ireland when you can depress them with images of a bald Britney Spears? The sad fact is that if they really cared about reporting the news, CNN, MSNBC and the Republican Press Channel (Fox News) could spend each day reporting news without repeating themselves and still manage to give each piece of news up to twenty minutes of coverage.
The Today Show will expand to four hours and it would certainly be nice to think the extension will result in Americans becoming more educated about debt relief in Latin America or a crackdown on corruption in Bangladesh. But let’s be realistic. What will really occur with the Today Show extending its hours is that we will learn what kind of panties Britney Spears wore while in rehab, or how many names Angelina Jolie went through before finally deciding on the name for her fiftieth adopted child. You know what would be nice? We know we won’t learn about Bangladesh corruption from the Today Show and we know we will learn about Angelina Jolie’s latest adoption. So how about splitting the difference?
What if The Today Show dedicated those extra hours to an investigation into how a woman who has openly admitted she engages in sadomasochistic sex and has been married and divorced countless time and who is Hollywood star-an occupation not exactly known for producing stable and dependable parents-seems able to adopt children on the spur of the moment while other Americans find themselves on a two or three year waiting list? If the Today Show really wants to expand in order to provide more opportunity for news, but they also want to get ratings by featuring stories about Angelina Jolie, then how about doing it from that angle?
Yes, clearly America needs a four hour long morning news show. Just like America needs another right-wing wooly-head racist moron who doesn’t have a clue about how society actually works expounding from the bully puppet provided by the 24 hour cable news channels. Four hours of the Today Show. What’s next, five nights of America Idol? Is there not one single person working in network television today who has even an ounce of creativity and imagination? You want to know the real reason why the Today Show is expanding to four hours? Because NBC can’t find anything worthwhile to put on after it. Not that this is surprising. After all, remember, NBC is the network that in all their wisdom decided that the very best time slot to give David Letterman a talk show was in the late morning when high school kids were at school, college kids were either still sleeping or at class and hip young professionals were working and the only people watching TV was old women. Could the folks at NBC have been any stupider?
Oh yeah…that’s right…they sure could. Leno over Letterman. Wow. How in the hell did NBC ever become the ratings king? I still say none of the execs at NBC have any creativity. A lot of luck. But no imagination.