Thursday, January 12, 2006

Authoritarians Can't Silence Koppel

First, the far right extremist in this country pushed Bill Moyers off the PBS program NOW. Moyers "retired" at the end of 2004. NOW's on-air time was cut in half. David Brancaccio makes a valiant effort, but what can he accomplish in 20 minutes of actual air time?

Next, ABC pushed Ted Koppel out of NIGHTLINE, because some higherups maintained his appearance is "too mature" to draw the younger set. Plus, they wanted to make radical changes in the format of the show. Koppel felt such changes would be detrimental to the show. The rumor is the brass made his job as difficult as possible in order to push him out. Koppel "retired," and they changed the format of NIGHTLINE from a single-topic highly influential and informative program to another almost mindless, slick TV magazine similar to a couple of dozen others on TV. Yawn. Koppel was right!

However, Moyers has not gone quietly into the night. He is writing and speaking out about the state of media today. I predict that NOW may eventually get its dignity back.

Koppel has not gone, either. First, he was hired to produce and host new town-hall format documentary specials for cable's Discovery Channel. Today, it was announced that NPR has hired him to provide commentary about 50 times a year on "Morning Edition," the afternoon, "All Things Considered," and a new mid-day program "Day to Day."

Well, it's something, but 50 comments a year are not enough!


National Public Radio (NPR):

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