Monday, January 05, 2009

Email to the Today Show

This morning I sent the following email to the Today Show. I'll offer it here without additional comments unless you, my readers, comment. If I get any reply, I'll put it in another post.

I've always been a fan of NBC news. During the election my son (age 18 and a new voter) commented on how much he trusted Brian Williams and I responded that this spoke to his credibility. The today show with Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, Al Roker and Ann Curry is my favorite part of the day. I don't get to watch it every day, but when I start the day with news, its NBC news and the Today Show.

I also like the local NBC affiliate's news team. Michael Cogdill has the same kind of credibility as Brian Williams, Gordon Dill's recent weight loss experience put a face on this story, I've heard Carol Goldsmith speak locally and I've seen Geoff Hart and John Cessarich at the local college football games. The team works to build their image both on and off the air.

But it's NBC's Today Show that is the focal point of my attention in this note. My loyalty to NBC's Today goes back a long way. I remember Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric as two of my favorite ex-hosts.

However, this past Saturday morning, January 3 I turned the Today Show off. On that day, Dr. Nancy Snyderman was talking about the changes she was expecting in 2009. In the past I've admired her medical knowledge, but on this day she chose to introduce politics into her discussion. She talked about medical insurance and how "everyone knows that it's broken". This kind of comment seems devoid of any facts and pure opinion. She went on to say that she thought the new president would create an executive order to "end this ridiculous stem cell research ban." Even the most liberal senator and soon to be president would admit there are struggles on this issue, but Dr. Snyderman simply calls it ridiculous and asks for an immediate change. And all of this is done on a news show. It should be clearly labeled as commentary. (the quotes are from my memory and may not be exact).

I will probably continue to watch NBC News and the Today show. I may even watch Dr. Snyderman again. But please let her and your editorial staff know that if she begins to talk about politics instead of medicine I will turn the TV off again.

I’ve copied the local NBC affiliate (WYFF4) on this note. I couldn’t find a single email address for them, so I copied the three anchors I mentioned above.


Kris said...

stem cell research should go on...but not with aborted babies.

the insurance problem is much deeper...high rates not only point to 'greed' as some would say, but also to litigation costs, the cost of a dr. to keep himself protected under the law from being sued and the major steps drug companies must go through to adhere to the fda

it is bigger than a 'universal' plan

Brooke said...

I hate it when you tune into something to get news or facts and instead get an op/ed.

Nice letter. I wonder if you'll get a response, or if NBC will just label you a 'crazy right winger' and ignore it?

Randy said...

Kris, I intentionally left my political views out of the letter in the hopes that I'd make a point. News is news, opinion is opinion. The stem-cell research questions are beyond me. I do know that a lot has been gained in the last 8 years with the ban, so can't see why anything needs to change.

I'm kicking around some ideas on universal health care that I'll publish in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Brooke, exactly my point. If they want to do an op/ed, let me know ahead of time. I'll keep watching NBC and generate another letter when this happens again. Not "if" but "when".

Thanks to all.

"The Edge" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"The Edge" said...

Funny thing is, I kinda respected the late Tim Russert. I know he was a news guy, prone to be defaulted left like many of today's so-called hosts/opinion mongers, but something about his demeanor and his straightforward delivery kinda made me believe he just might be somewhere in the middle of the whole fray. Maybe that is one of the reasons I asked for one of his books for Christmas. I'm looking forward to reading it this year...

Personally, I'll take Brian Williams over Katie Couric and whoever the new ABC guy is anyday. I don't hardly ever watch the news, but to me, Brian Williams comes across better. Maybe it's the suit and tie......kind of the Peter Jennings look. (Of course, BW is somewhat liberal, but at least he can fake being middle of the road pretty well.)