- Last Updated: 11:53 PM, July 1, 2012
- Posted: 10:39 PM, June 30, 2012
Ann Curry had a three-year $20 million deal with NBC to co-host the “Today” show? Wow.
Given what NBC has made of that show, that’s a lot of dough just to remind people that “The Biggest Loser” is on NBC that night, and to interview NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants.
Having so cheapened “Today,” NBC should be able to fill such a role for, say, 200 bucks a show. “Here, just read this.”
Of course, some travel is required to be a “Today” host. During the Olympics, they’re dispatched to the site of the games — provided NBC has the exclusive US rights to make a cut-and-paste melodramatic mess out of them.
Same for when NBC has the Super Bowl, as if folks might otherwise forget it’s being played.
Heck, the entire NBC News department is now required to take obvious dives and belly flops on behalf of NBC properties.
Two years ago, NBC’s lead news anchor, Brian Williams, reported a major US military operation against the Taliban — while he stood outside in an NBC Olympics ski jacket, broadcasting from Vancouver, British Columbia, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics (on NBC!).
From the 2002 Winter Olympic in Salt Lake City, Tom Brokaw, in an NBC Olympics ski jacket, anchored the national news outdoors at the foot of a snowy mountain range.
Then there was the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. When TWA flight 800, New York to Paris, exploded, killing all 230 aboard, Brokaw was in Atlanta preparing to bang NBC’s drums for that night’s opening ceremony.
Yet Brokaw was able to stretch beyond the boundaries of common sense and minimal taste to attach relevancy — 230 dead in an air disaster — to the start of NBC’s Olympics coverage:
“The explosion of Flight 800 was a tragic and unexpected prelude to the games. So tonight, the opening ceremonies take on a richer meaning of healing and celebration to temper the anxiety and despair.”
Good grief. Astonishingly, Brokaw was able to say that — make that tortured, absurd, insulting connection — with a straight, somber face.
Not that ABC, CBS or Fox would have behaved any differently, any better.
So it now appears that Curry won’t be making the trip to London to serve as a ratings barker for these games’ NBC telecasts. At least she’s got that — and a huge buyout — going for her.
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In 2008, the Rev. Al Sharpton told a radio audience that the federal indictment of steroid-enriched, record-smashing home-run machine Barry Bonds was racist.
As evidence, Sharpton said that Bonds was being prosecuted and persecuted while pitching star Roger Clemens, also accused of illegal, performance-enhancing drug use, was being given a pass. Why? Bonds, Sharpton explained, is black, Clemens is white.
“You’ve got to understand,” Sharpton said, “That the fight has always been about the criminalization of black men.”
His words, naturally, made news.
But, of course, the feds would also go after Clemens — twice — and very hard.
Yet, the news media have never made Sharpton accountable for his incendiary rhetoric or actions on this and many other matters.
So this week, during one of his payrolled MSNBC appearances, Sharpton will take it upon himself to admit that he was all wrong about his Bonds vs. Clemens claim, and that the feds, in this matter, were very evenhanded; his racism charge was way off.
Yeah, sure he will. Stay tuned.
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NY 1 last week promoted “Our continuing celebration of Crime Week.” Hmm.
Manhattan reader Carol Hopkins asks what the proper dress would be to wear to a Crime Week celebration. Horizontal stripes, perhaps?