“NBC Plumbs The Journalistic Depths”

By Brian 

“Watching NBC tonight, I’ve just seen an impressive new low in journalistic integrity,” Richard Bradley blogged on The Huffington Post last night.

“I was checking out the NBC show ‘Surface,’ a guilty pleasure. On tonight’s episode, two characters, Rich and Laura, are trying to spread word that they’ve discovered a sea monster. They show a videotape of the monster to a reporter who works at what appears to be an NBC affiliate in San Francisco.

Not only can we put this on the air, the reporter declares, we can put it on our website. Rich and Laura say they’ve already uploaded it to the web. ‘But have you posted it on MSNBC.com?’ the reporter says breathlessly. Rich and Laura are instantly won over.

(NBC, of course, owns MSNBC and partners with Microsoft in MSNBC.com.)

After the reporter interviews Laura, the entire segment is aired on — you guessed it — ‘Countdown with Keith Olberman,’ on MSNBC. Olberman introduces the segment and closes it. We hear lots of his show’s music, and then, for no apparent reason, the theme from NBC Nightly News. It’s an eight-minute ad for an NBC news show tucked jarringly into the middle of a program produced by the entertainment division.” Here’s the rest…

> Update: 4:15pm: Olbermann responds via e-mail: “I’d be a little more worried about complaints about journalistic integrity relative to the guest shot on “Surface” if the complaintant had bothered to spell my name correctly.”