Media Blog

Long Skewers NBC

Rob Long’s piece in the new NRODT is brilliant, hilarious, and really, really depressing at the same time. Here’s an excerpt:

Conference-Call Transcript
NBC Interoffice Communications Department

“Hi! Do we have the West Coast?”
“We’re here — it’s me, Jeff, Kevin, and Michelle.”
“Great! You’ve got news here, and Brian, are you on?”
“I’m here.”
“Well, great. Okay, I’ll start. We just want to tell you guys how incredibly thrilled we are with the Seung-Hui Cho numbers. Running that video — and, hey, look, I know it was controversial, and I know we’ve taken some flak for it — but running it wall-to-wall like we did was so totally worth it.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Who’s talking there?”
“This is Brian. How do you figure it was worth it? We look like irresponsible tabloid hypocrites.”
“I disagree. I mean, we did it full out, no one’s denying that. But we didn’t do it all Fox News-y.”
“Jeff, out here on the West Coast, the feeling is we showed the rantings of a mass murderer with taste and restraint.”
“Thanks, Kevin.”
“I disagree. We embarrassed ourselves.”
“Hey, Brian, was there push-back? Yeah, okay, there was push-back. But was there also a 24 share in the key demos, and a spike in 18-to-29 numbers for all of our news offerings across the board? So, you know, you can call us a lot of things, but you’ve also got to call us Number 1 in morning and evening news among all Americans under 35.”
“Haven’t we just sent the message that we’re encouraging and rewarding this kind of sick violence?”
“No. No, no, no, no, no. No. Not at all. No. Not in the least. No. No.”
“Not even a little?”
“Okay, a little, sure. But I think the important message here that we’re sending is more like, ‘Hey, we deplore this kind of violence and this kind of heinous act, and if you’re planning to do something like this, you know, just, just, you know, just don’t, okay? Just don’t do it. But if you’re like already 110 percent committed to it, and you have a video or something prepared, just know that NBC has the promotional platform and the marketing savvy to really get that piece of tape out there, to really get your message sampled by opinion-makers, young early-adopters, and sophisticated consumers in the 18-to-49 demo. But obviously, you know, we’re like, totally against this kind of violent outburst and stuff. Key message: Don’t do something like that. Secondary message: If you do, keep in the back of your mind that NBC owns this space. NBC is the place to go if you’re a violent, delusional, sick mass-murderer, or if you’re just interested in what someone like that has to say. Brian, does that help you?”
“No.”

Long’s stuff alone is worth the 20 bucks it costs to get an NR Digital subscription.

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