Monday, March 14, 2005


Networks Complain About Government News Cutback

Washington March 14,2005. A delegation of network executives held a series of meetings with administration officials to express concern
about a rumored reduction in news broadcast productions by government agencies. They feared that backlash from the extensive report by the New York Times about the pretend news created by the government could lead to a reduction in these news segments.

The group included most major networks, as well as a number of cable and radio broadcast companies. At a press conference,its spokesman, Roger Greenshade, noted that, in view of the widespread reliance on these segments,withdrawal would have serious financial consequencies. Mr Greenshade added that an important benefit of the government product is elimination of certain financial risks since networks could be assured of no violation of decency standards.

Beatrice Lay, an NBC programming executive. noted that in addition to the expense of reporting real news, reduction would leave a vacuum that would be difficult to fill. For example, CBS has been counting on an increase these creations to make up for the departure of Dan Rather. James Mooney, Program Director for Sirius Satellite
Radio, asked how could Sirius hold listeners' attention with just a steady diet of Howard Stern and Nascar.

A reporter asked Disney executive Robert Isner whether Disney had any reservations about misleading the public by the use of fictitious reporters to enhance the impression that these segments were real. Mr. Isner said that it did not as long as no male escorts were included.

Absent from the group's membership were Fox and Clear Channel. An observer explained that each these organizations had a sufficient number of administration supporters on its regular staff.

The group's attempts to reach Karen Hughes were unsuccessful as she was busy using her communications skills to convince our European allies that we really care about them.