NBC News thinks impeachment hearing lacks "pizzazz", but what if it just lacks Pazuzu?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/14/nbc-news-pundit-thinks-impeach.html


True story: Capn’ Howdy might be one of the very few horror triggers for me. Couldn’t stand looking at this image as a kid. Still a powerfully rendered character.


They didn’t say it “lack the “pizzazz” necessary to make news”.

They said it “lacked the pizzazz to capture public attention”.

This is accurate for at least half of the population probably more like 3/4th. The average person is out of touch, unaware, and uninterested.

It is a sad, but accurate, commentary on society.


I love to make my readers happy.




But I think the universal reaction is that a reporter ought to be explaining why this is important rather than just blaming the public.

Americans seem to be almost universally convinced that America is a uniquely awful place full of uniquely stupid and ignorant people. Sure Denmark can have universal healthcare; and the UK can have parties publish detailed manifestos that are wildly read; and Sweden can have 82% voter turnout; and Germany can elect people who appear to be competent. But none of those things are for America, America is just too stupid.


The job of the news media is to report the news. If they’re more concerned about ratings, they are not serving the public interest. These hearings, no matter how you feel about them, should be televised/broadcast, not because some “journalist” decided that they were “flashy” enough, but because they are of critical importance to the public…

Do you think that Walter Cronkite ignored stories that didn’t have pizzazz?


O man, I thought I was fully conversant with my Mesopotamian demon kings! Thanks for introducing me to this joyful character:



You’re absolutely right - but that is impossible to do on Twitter. Since the tweet is screen captured, I didn’t goto the linked article yet (can’t right now, should be working) but did the article at least expand on the coverage? Is this a click bait title gone wrong? Or did they really waste the opportunity.

Oh I never said that. I don’t think America is any stupider or smarter than the rest of the world. Just because other countries have nicer things, doesn’t mean the average citizen is that much “better” in that respect. “Different” is a fair statement.


Their job absolutely is about ratings. We should not consider their mission to serve the public interest, because that is a fallacy. Maybe it was true at one point, but not now.

NPR/PBS and some of the specific news shows are the exception - but too much of media is chasing eyeballs.

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You’ve never seen The Exorcist?


Read “Amusing Ourselves to Death” and you will see that the reporter was probably right. In fact, one of the arguments of that book is that television, as a medium, requires things to be entertaining.


Suddenly I’m wondering how many people there might be out there who know the “Have you no sense of decency?” line from the McCarthy hearings without any clear idea of the specific context. Perhaps the reporter hungers for another such sound bite.


No, it’s not. If they are more concerned about ratings, they are not journalists by any decent definition. Now, if you want to argue that NBC news is not a journalistic organization any more… I might be inclined to agree with that (especially after the bullshit with Ronan Farrow). But they describe their work as journalistic in nature, so either they are that and are failing, or they are lying and are not that.

And that is part of the reason why were are in this current mess to begin with.


Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant in the context of trying to provide analysis of the events. It’s like covering a murder trial by focusing on the victim’s fashion sense. Grotesque, it inherently diminishes the importance of the events being covered.


NBC knows about a lack of pizzazz, as it perfectly describes their primetime line-up for the last 20 years.


Also, if they can’t find a way to report on the impeachment of the President of the United States in a way that captures the public’s attention then they aren’t even competent entertainers either.


What they meant to say was that it lacked pizza. As anyone who has been in student government knows, free pizza is a great way to get people to pay attention.


I know a guy who has never seen any of The Godfather films.

It happens. :slightly_smiling_face:


What if news programs weren’t allowed advertising?

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I’ve got a sense of decency! I’ve got the best sense of decency! Yesterday a general came up to me, real tough guy, you know, tough, but he was crying, there were tears in his eyes and he said that I had the biggest, most beautiful, perfect sense of decency he’d ever seen. You should be asking Hillary Clinton if she’s got a sense of decency, because a lot of people are saying she doesn’t.