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The Molehill Hits An Iceberg

Brent Bozell and Co. pounds on NBC for not interrupting 'Titanic' for a Bush speech, but refuse to tell the whole story.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/3/2000

That sound you hear is Brent Bozell feverishly trying to build yet another mountain out of a molehill.

Bozell, it seems, is upset that NBC refused to allow its affiliates to break into its Nov. 26 showing of the movie "Titanic" to show George W. Bush's live speech following the certification of election results in Florida earlier in the day.

Bozell considers this such a blatant example of "liberal bias" that not only did he feature it prominently in his Nov. 28 column, he made his write two articles on it (one of which incestuously quotes Bozell, since he's only one who's making this an issue) as well as reproduce the advisory NBC sent to its affiliates asking them not to "dump out" of "Titanic" for the speech.

"First, how does NBC explain itself?" Bozell writes in his column. "So meaningless did this network consider the certification of the next President of the United States that it refused to interrupt the network’s airing of "Titanic." The network lamely tried to excuse its obnoxious dismissal of the certification by stating it had, you betchum, aired a couple of minutes of coverage during the next commercial break. Forget it, fellas. Of course, the next night, when Gore spoke to the nation, NBC showed the Undead Candidate’s entire desperate address live. On Tuesday, when Gore addressed the country again in the afternoon, NBC interrupted its soap opera to air Gore live again. True colors were never more evident."

But, as we have learned to expect from Bozell and CNS, the entire story is not being told. And for that, we turn to an genuine source of news, the Associated Press:

  • CBS, ABC and NBC sister MSNBC carried the speech live, the AP notes in a Nov. 26 story by David Bauder -- a fact not noted in either CNS story. So it wasn't as if NBC didn't carry the speech, no one did.
  • Fox also refused to carry Bush's speech live, the AP adds, a fact neither Bozell nor CNS notes.
  • When NBC showed Gore's speech live the following day, it began with by showing a portion of Bush's speech, the AP reported in a Nov. 27 story by Bauder. Bozell and CNS don't mention this, either. (Fox also declined to carry Gore's speech live.)

There are reasons to criticize NBC for not wanting to interrupt the premiere network showing of the highest-grossing movie of all time, but they have nothing to do with politics. As the Nov. 27 AP story notes, "CBS affiliates in San Diego and Kansas City were flooded with angry phone calls after the network cut away from the final few minutes of the National Football League game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs ... for a report on the Florida voter certification." A fan in a San Diego sports bar is quoted: "The Chargers game is much more newsworthy (being the Chargers' first victory of the season after 11 straight losses) than something we already knew was going to happen."

By jumping on NBC while not telling the whole story and not criticizing Fox at all, let alone considering them equally "obnoxious" for doing essentially the same thing (of course, as ConWebWatch has noted previously, Fox is held to a different, much less critical standard), Bozell displays the same hypocrisy he has been caught in many times before and once again demonstrates is not a serious news provider, at least as long as Bozell is pulling the strings.

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