Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Daily Dully Blog By Brian Williams



Get the scene. You are a NATIONAL Network Anchor on one of the MAJOR networks. You have a daily Blog. And yet this same Blog only gets about a half dozen reader comments (often less) on average. How can that possibly happen? Simple. The Blog is so incredibly BORING that even though you have MILLIONS of viewers, few of them can endure the torture of the ennui inducing posts. In this case I am referring to Brian Williams' Blog, THE DAILY NIGHTLY, more properly called The Daily Dully. It borders on the ASTOUNDING how a person can participate in a myriad of fascinating events like Williams and yet make it all sound about as exciting as watching water evaporate. I used to joke that the networks must search the mannequin factories to find their blow-dried anchormen but even a mannequin can come up with more exciting material than appears in The Daily Dully. I mean, didn't Brian Williams' even take some basic writing courses? If not, then I would recommend such a course as a night school assignment for Brian Williams. Perhaps Williams is scared of spontaneity. On one of the rare occasions that Williams spoke off the top of his well coiffed head, he came up with a "gem" comparing the Founding Fathers of America to terrorists. The harsh reaction from the public might have caused him to withdraw into his shell so as to fear being the least bit controversial in any form and manner to the extent that his Blog writing resembles just a dull recital of his observations. So let us now try to stay awake through a sampling of Brian Williams' Daily Dully in toned down Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, drinking cup after cup of coffee just to keep from falling asleep in the middle of this review, is in the [BRACKETS]:




IF IT'S WEDNESDAY, IT MUST BE MINNEAPOLIS




[IF IT'S WEDNESDAY, I MUST HAVE SLEPT THROUGH IT reading this EDITION of The Daily Dully.]




Because I am traveling with my family today in order to attend an event tonight here in the Twin Cities, and because the newscast can move WITH me without too much effort, tonight will find us in Minneapolis. Since there should be some mystery in life, I'll say a word at the end of the broadcast about the event that brings us here.




[It must have not been a very earth shaking word since there were a grand total of ZERO comments on this edition of The Daily Dully despite the fact that you are broadcasting to MILLIONS of people on a major network.]




To the newscast: A late-breaking lead story tonight: the verdict in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. Pete Williams will have the story and analysis. We'll also look at the federal bird flu plan and a new soft drink initiative aimed at kids. We will air a piece we have promoted for this evening on gas prices -- chiefly, where and why a gallon is available so cheaply. And We also have a fascinating item about women who work -- inside or outside the home -- and what they should be paid for it.



[Blatant self promotion doesn't make for very interesting Blog material. I've read flat out SPAM that is more interesing.]




AND ANOTHER THING...




[Spare us...PLEASE!]



My thanks to the good folks here at our legendary and venerable NBC affiliate, KARE-TV channel 11 -- or, as it is spoken aloud in this region, "Care eleven." I had a nice visit with my counterparts there today in their beautiful new HD studio.



[My thanks to the good folks here at our legendary and venerable BlogSpot -- or, as it is spoken aloud on the Web, "Blogger.Com." I had a nice visit to the head today with the beautiful new tile.]




Also, a few of you called me on something I said in this space about how there was "only one big story out there" in the news a few days back. We are all guilty of using an awful and demeaning (to real events around the world, where people live and die every day and where atrocities are committed and where great, great things happen) kind of shorthand. Once a day on most days in every newsroom in the country, large or small, you hear someone say, "it's the only story there is today." What they mean is... in terms of that newscast, that day, and given the circumstances, vagaries and limitations of daily (and especially television) journalism -- including a kind of insidious group think that happens wherever two or more journalists are gathered. Of COURSE there is news out there. In every person, in every nation and city and town. Take Darfur or Najaf. Tons of news in both places, much of it awful. But on a random Tuesday at 6 p.m., it can't just be "declared" news -- people have to be in place to cover it. There are more caveats and explanations than time or space permit. It was, regrettably, both offhand and shorthand -- two qualities that can come back to haunt a stressed-out journalist writing a blog posting on deadline with people hovering outside his office door and a studio full of people waiting for him to show up for a promo taping.




[You've more than used up your ENDLESS "caveats and explanations" to roundabout apologize for saying in your IMMIGRATION DAY Daily Dully edition that you thought there was only one big news story out there that day. I guess you've been shy of even the APPEARANCE of being controversial ever since you got burned for your Founding Fathers As Terrorists statement. But look at the bright side, Brian, that Daily Dully edition actually got over 70 responses, something of a record for your sleep inspiring Blog.]




Back to our core business in this world of so much news: our 30-minute slice of it will be ready for air before we know it, and we sincerely hope you'll join us.




[Um...Isn't that the whole purpose of The Daily Dully so why keep redundantly imploring us to watch your show? And now on to the IMMIGRATION DAY edition of the Daily Dully that caused Brian Williams to torture us with his navel self-examination...]




There's only really one big story out there today, and it's taking place in cities across the country. We'll have it covered tonight with a team of our folks stretched across the nation. For our own version of the issue in microcosm, I walked over to 7th Avenue and 39th Street to where a tiny and peaceful protest was taking place, and where I interviewed a woman with strong feelings about immigration. We're still sorting out the events as they begin and end and as the time zones play out to the west, and so size and importance will dictate the final order of march when we come on the air.



[GASP! You said it was the "only really one big story out there today?" Shame on you, Brian, for even sounding vaguely controversial! For that we DEMAND you bore us to death with tons of "caveats and explanations" in a future edition of The Daily Dully. As to your coverage of "Immigration Day" (aka "Illegal Alien Day"), despite all your flood the zone coverage with the vast NBC News resources you didn't really capture what those demonstrations were all about with the depth of Michelle Malkin's VENT Vodcast on her new HotAir.Com Blog.]




Sopranos fans put in another unproductive Monday at the office. Most of the buzz seems concentrated on Vito's new life (from mob Capo to gay biker in just three episodes... amazing) the almost-consumated real estate deal, Thad McCone's phone (isn't that how they will eventually find Vito in this age of caller ID and GPS chips in phones?), Tony as CEO (the scene with Phil..."we're both saying the same thing... you need to let me handle it my way...") and A.J. Poor A.J. Is he a Dr. Melfi patient waiting to happen? Is it possible Carm (who never knew how meaningful an act buttoning a shirt could be) won't find out about the knife? Also, is it too much to ask to have smoked turkey in the fridge after an exhausting evening of signing forms? And by the way: who can identify the song playing in the background during Tony's conversation with the realtor at the bar in the Bing? Post the answer if you know it or know someone who does.




[Now we enter the realm of the surreal. Out of nowhere, Brian Williams fills The Daily Dully Blog page with a totally besides the point review of the Sopranos. Note to Brian Williams: We know you want to sound hip about pop culture but the Sopranos long ago jumped the shark. How about a totally meaningless review of a "Happy Days" rerun?]




America today welcomed Pete Breen to the airwaves. Pete worked with us years ago on THE NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS on MSNBC and CNBC. In his role as producer, he appeared as (hopefully) a new regular on today's debut of THE MOST with Alison Stewart on MSNBC. Pete has the triple crown in life: a great wife, a great dog and the cutest baby in the world. Now he's on the air. While his part apparently calls for him to use a headset microphone while seated in the control room (giving his live report a hint of "helicopter traffic report" audio) he is clearly a natural, and all of us who are his friends will enjoy watching him begin the inevitable wardrobe upgrade. I was thrilled to look up and see Pete today -- and I wish Alison and her crew the very best of luck with their new and very promising broadcast.




[Pete has the triple crown in life: a clean navel, double coated paint on his house, and a really kewl Phillips head screwdriver. And since bizarre Soprano episode reviews seem to be Brian's way of filling up space, I'll bore you to death with the following pasting from his April 24 EDITION of The Daily Dully.]




Finally, and because there's more to life than non-fiction: a Sopranos recap for fellow addicts. While many friends and co-workers were of the opinion today that the gift-basket incident bordered on shark-jumping, there's no arguing with this year's writing, casting and plot lines. But where the lurking sharks are concerned, let's wait and see if Vito really becomes an antiques dealer. I was surprised to learn that the idyllic New England town where he landed two weeks ago (what was the significance of the half-shaved mustache on the short-order cook?) was Boonton, N.J., in real life -- a place where I spent some time as a reporter years ago but did not recognize in that depiction.

The quotes of the night last night, in no particular order:

"No firing guns in the Borough limits."

"I'll be at my investing club at the Learning Annex if anybody needs me."

"We lead the world in computerized data collection!"


That all three quotes are from or pertain to the same character speaks to this year's episodes so far. Also (we're doing this without names to protect those who've not yet caught the episode) last night's cameos were priceless... if not a little bruised at times.


There was one inside-baseball cameo that stood out, however... as an inside joke for the truly hardcore: how many people spotted David Chase in the background of a critical scene? It was perfect.




[The quotes of the night last night, in no particular order:

"No posting innocuous filler material."

"I'll be at my creative writing class at the Learning Annex if anybody needs me."

"We lead the world in posting content-free comments."]

13 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jumpin' Jeebus on a Nukular-powered Pogo Stick! I think you've discovered the perfect punishment for Zacharias. Force him to read Brian Williams' blog for the rest of his life.

(Or would that be against the Geneva Conventions?

B.C.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Son Of The Godfather said...

Sorry, I kinda zoned out there after "IF IT'S WEDNESDAY, IT MUST BE MINNEAPOLIS"...

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Oh man, I thought you were kidding at first but that REALLY IS death to sit down and read. Even with your comments in between as short brakes, I STILL simply couldn't bring myself to get all the way through it...and the whole thing was barely a few paragraphs long.

This guy's got a face for television and a wit for shutting the hell up and sticking to reading what the OTHER people outside of his office write for him.

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