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NBC to Devote 75 Hours to Al Gore's 'Climate in Crisis' Concerts --6/6/2007


1. NBC to Devote 75 Hours to Al Gore's 'Climate in Crisis' Concerts
In what will surely be one of the largest ever, if not the largest, in-kind contributions to a presidential campaign if Al Gore decides to run, NBC Universal announced late last week that its networks will devote an incredible 75 hours of time on Saturday, July 7 to showing Gore's "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis." In addition to the entirety of NBC's prime time that night hosted by Ann Curry of NBC News, CNBC will carry seven hours of coverage from 7pm to 2am EDT; Bravo will show the concerts around the world for 18 hours starting at 8am EDT; and both the Sundance channel and the Universal HD channel will showcase the concerts for 22 hours each beginning at 4am EDT. Rounding out the 75 hours, mun2 will run a two-hour show at 5pm EDT and Telemundo will air a one-hour special at 7pm EDT. And that's not counting how NBC's press release touted that "MSNBC will broadcast special coverage of this global concert event throughout the day with live reports from the concerts in New York and London."

2. Couric Repeats Iran-Contra Mantra She Used Three Months Ago
Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's sentencing occurred on Tuesday and Katie Couric led the CBS Evening News the same way she did when Libby was convicted three months ago: With a comparison to the Iran-Contra scandal and how he's the highest-ranking official convicted of a felony in 20 years. But his conviction was news three months ago, not now. Back on March 6, Couric teased: "Guilty: Scooter Libby is convicted in the CIA leak case, the highest ranking White House official found guilty of a felony since the Iran-Contra scandal." She opened by pointing out how "Libby is the highest ranking White House official convicted of a felony in two decades." Fast forward to June 5 and Couric teased: "Tonight, the hammer comes down on Scooter Libby. He was once Vice President Cheney's right-hand man, now he's going to prison. The highest-ranking White House official in nearly twenty years convicted of a felony." She began the newscast: "Hello everyone. Not since the Iran-Contra scandal nearly two decades ago has such a high-ranking White House official been convicted of a felony..."

3. NBC Showcases Obama Blaming Bush for Black Despair Back to 1991
Touting it as "some unusually direct talk today from Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the issue of race, something he rarely focuses on in his speeches," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday decided to showcase a clip of Obama delivering a standard liberal critique of President Bush for not spending enough federal money on social programs. Williams relayed how "Obama said the Bush administration has done little to address what he called 'a quiet riot' of discontent and despair among blacks in this country, one that erupted in L.A. 15 years ago and has been building again since the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina."

4. Letterman's 'Top Ten Excuses of the Tuberculosis Traveler'
Letterman's "Top Ten Excuses of the Tuberculosis Traveler."


NBC to Devote 75 Hours to Al Gore's 'Climate
in Crisis' Concerts

In what will surely be one of the largest ever, if not the largest, in-kind contributions to a presidential campaign if Al Gore decides to run, NBC Universal announced late last week that its networks will devote an incredible 75 hours of time on Saturday, July 7 to showing Gore's "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis."

In addition to the entirety of NBC's prime time that night hosted by Ann Curry of NBC News, CNBC will carry seven hours of coverage from 7pm to 2am EDT; Bravo will show the concerts around the world for 18 hours starting at 8am EDT; and both the Sundance channel and the Universal HD channel will showcase the concerts for 22 hours each beginning at 4am EDT. Rounding out the 75 hours, mun2 will run a two-hour show at 5pm EDT and Telemundo will air a one-hour special at 7pm EDT. And that's not counting how NBC's press release touted that "MSNBC will broadcast special coverage of this global concert event throughout the day with live reports from the concerts in New York and London."

[This item was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

NBC is quite proud of its role in advancing Al Gore's political agenda. The May 31 press release trumpeted:

The networks of NBC Universal will come together to air "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis" an unprecedented global event on July 7. From the producers of "Live 8," this monumental music event will bring together more than 100 of today's hottest artists and two billion people to focus the world's attention on the global climate crisis and what can be done to reduce global warming. The networks of NBC Universal will broadcast nine legendary concerts from the seven continents, all raising awareness of the solutions to the global climate crisis.

"NBC Universal is proud to be the exclusive U.S. broadcaster of this historic television event," said Jeff Gaspin, President, NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content. "By leveraging all of our properties, we will reach millions of viewers with this important call to action to combat global warming, while offering our audiences an incredible entertainment experience from today's biggest artists."

"Live Earth is about engaging a critical mass of people to tackle the climate crisis," said Kevin Wall, Live Earth founder and producer. "NBC Universal's sweeping coverage of Live Earth ensures that Americans from coast to coast will be able to tune in to the concerts and take action against the climate crisis."...

The "Live Earth" concerts will take place in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg and Istanbul. Some of the hottest musical acts scheduled to perform include: Madonna, Bon Jovi, The Police, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Clarkson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Melissa Etheridge, John Mayer, Faith Hill, Shakira, Mana, Black Eyed Peas, Fall Out Boy, Enrique Iglesias, Duran Duran and many more. The 24 hours of music across all seven continents will deliver a call to action and the solutions needed to answer the call. Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by The Alliance for Climate Protection and its Chair, former Vice President Al Gore, to move individuals, corporations and governments to take action.

END of Excerpt of press release

For the May 31 press release with more detail about what will air on each channel: nbcumv.com

Home page for the Live Earth concerts: www.liveearth.org

The "Who We Are" page with Al Gore: www.liveearth.org

A hat tip to TVNewser, where I first learned of NBC's announcement: www.mediabistro.com

Couric Repeats Iran-Contra Mantra She
Used Three Months Ago

Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's sentencing occurred on Tuesday and Katie Couric led the CBS Evening News the same way she did when Libby was convicted three months ago: With a comparison to the Iran-Contra scandal and how he's the highest-ranking official convicted of a felony in 20 years. But his conviction was news three months ago, not now. Back on March 6, Couric teased: "Guilty: Scooter Libby is convicted in the CIA leak case, the highest ranking White House official found guilty of a felony since the Iran-Contra scandal." She opened by pointing out how "Libby is the highest ranking White House official convicted of a felony in two decades."

Fast forward to June 5 and Couric teased: "Tonight, the hammer comes down on Scooter Libby. He was once Vice President Cheney's right-hand man, now he's going to prison. The highest-ranking White House official in nearly twenty years convicted of a felony." She began the newscast:
"Hello everyone. Not since the Iran-Contra scandal nearly two decades ago has such a high-ranking White House official been convicted of a felony. And today, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in connection with that very convoluted CIA leak case. Libby was not convicted of leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, but rather of lying about what he knew."

As occurred back on March 6, neither CBS or ABC uttered the name of the leaker: Richard Armitage. (For more about coverage the night of Libby's conviction, check the March 7 CyberAlert, "Libby Framed Around Vile Scheming, Skip Armitage, Tie in Reagan," online at: www.mrc.org )

But unlike back in March, the Tuesday NBC Nightly News story by Bob Faw did include a soundbite, from former Bush speechwriter David Frum, naming Armitage: "The actual person who did it, Richard Armitage, he faces no penalty whatsoever. I think a lot of people who are aware of Scooter's huge contributions to public service say that seems a little unfair."

[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

CBS and NBC led Tuesday night with the Libby conviction while ABC (with Charles Gibson back as anchor after George Stephanopoulos anchored Monday night: www.mrc.org ) began with "the harsh cold war language exchanged between the U.S. and Russia gets tougher as President Bush accuses Russia's President of dismantling democracy" followed by a look at the missile defense system proposed for Poland and a brief item on how Fidel Castro appeared in a television interview. Then Gibson got to Libby. Instead of a taped piece, Gibson discussed the decision with George Stephanopoulos.

After the NBC Nightly News report from Bob Faw, Brian Williams brought aboard David Gergen to talk about the possibility of a presidential pardon. Gergen noted: "This is a very tough sentence. This is a Watergate-type sentence. Bob Haldeman, who was Richard Nixon's chief of staff, went to jail for 18 months, not 30."

NBC Showcases Obama Blaming Bush for
Black Despair Back to 1991

Touting it as "some unusually direct talk today from Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the issue of race, something he rarely focuses on in his speeches," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday decided to showcase a clip of Obama delivering a standard liberal critique of President Bush for not spending enough federal money on social programs. Williams relayed how "Obama said the Bush administration has done little to address what he called 'a quiet riot' of discontent and despair among blacks in this country, one that erupted in L.A. 15 years ago and has been building again since the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina."

In the clip, NBC viewers heard Obama issue the hardly unusual liberal talking point that "this administration was color blind in its incompetence" before he avoided holding those in question responsible for their own plight: "All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day, which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, whole sets of communities that don't have meaningful opportunity and don't have hope and are forgotten."

[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The AP's article on Obama's address to a conference of black clergy: news.yahoo.com

A transcript of the segment on the June 5 NBC Nightly News, which led into a story on the "candor" about faith expressed by Democratic presidential candidates during Monday night's Sojourner's forum carried by CNN:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: "Now to presidential politics in this country, and we begin with some unusually direct talk today from Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the issue of race, something he rarely focuses on in his speeches. But today, speaking to a primarily black audience at Hampton University in Virginia, Obama said the Bush administration has done little to address what he called 'a quiet riot' of discontent and despair among blacks in this country, one that erupted in L.A. 15 years ago and has been building again since the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina."
BARACK OBAMA, IN HIS SPEECH: "This administration was color blind in its incompetence. But everyone here knows that the disaster and the poverty happened long before the hurricane hit. All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day, which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, whole sets of communities that don't have meaningful opportunity and don't have hope and are forgotten."
WILLIAMS: "Senator Obama's message on race came a day after an unusual forum that found the Democrats talking about another sometimes touchy subject, faith, and they spoke with what some saw as surprising candor. With that, NBC's Ron Allen..."

Letterman's 'Top Ten Excuses of the Tuberculosis Traveler'

From the June 5 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Excuses of the Tuberculosis Traveler." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. "Calm down -- most of the people I coughed on were foreigners"

9. "How was I supposed to know drug-resistant bacteria was a bad thing -- who am I, House?"

8. "When the doctor told me I had 'TB,' I assumed he meant 'Terrific Breath'"

7. "Of course my judgement was impaired! I had Tuberculosis you moron!"

6. "If people with a dangerous communicable disease are not allowed to travel among innocent civilians, then the terrorists have won"

5. No number 5 -- writer infected by Tuberculosis Traveler

4. "Ha! You've been Tuberculosis'd"

3. "It's just drug-resistant Tuberculosis. What harm can it do?"

2. "Surgical mask made me feel like Spider-Man"

1. "Hey it's still better than flying JetBlue. Am I right, people?"

-- Brent Baker