Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Terry outs himself—"only on Nightline"

I wish I had it on tape. I wish ABC would get with the 21st century and actually make a real webcast of an entire Nightline available instead of pawning off the painfully hipified “Nightline Webcast” as their e-presence.

But, I don’t, and they don’t, so, unless you TiVo Terry, Cynthia, and Martin (you poor, poor soul), you are going to have to take my word on this one.

On Monday night’s edition of Nightline, Terry Moran introduced an interview with Assault on Reason author (and, oh yeah, former Vice President) Al Gore by—well, not by talking about what’s in the new book, but by talking about what ABC had been pushing since Good Morning America, namely (yawn), will Gore run for president.

Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that Gore complains about in his book. Rather than addressing a real issue at hand, establishment media news divisions focus on speculation, celebrity, and fluff. They search for sizzle devoid of steak, afraid that the vast nation of media eaters has gone strictly vegetarian.

The tabloidization of TV news, that self-fulfilling prophesy, was made infuriatingly clear on ABC’s Good Morning America. There, producers plastered a “Will he run?” banner across the bottom of the live interview while a tedious Diane Sawyer time and again said something like: I will get to the other stuff, but when are you going to tell us whether you are running for president?

It was utterly awful, but that awfulness, at least, you can watch, both on the ABC site, and over at Think Progress.

Nightline’s piece, however, is e-MIA. Not that you need to watch Terry Moran try to give us some “fireworks” (as is promised in the “webcast”). He, too, dwells on the will he or won’t he of the ’08 race, and tries to get Gore to say “Bush = Satan” or some permutation thereof, all the while refusing to address the thesis of Gore’s book.

But the part I wanted to mention—the part I set out to tell you about all those paragraphs ago—was in Terry’s intro to the annoyingly edited tape piece where he talks about Gore’s persistent popularity in presidential preference polls. Moran says that “you Democrats” want him to run.

“You Democrats.”

As opposed to?

What we know, because we have seen it revealed in his reporting at least since the 2000 race, and because I have had it confirmed by folks inside the Mouse, is that Terry’s “we” breaks solidly to the right. The wingnut right, I am told.

But don’t take my word for it—there it is. . . though you kind of have to take my word for it because I don’t have a link. . . to Terry Moran, Democrats are “you,” Democrats are the other.

Liberal media my eye/ass/nut—choose whatever part you like.

Or, to put it a much funnier way—watch this other thing I can’t believe I didn’t tape.

Update: Nightline
has now posted a web version of last night’s segment; the Moran intro has clearly been re-taped for this edition (he mentions that it’s a webcast). In the online version, Terry replaces “you Democrats” with the rather awkward “leaned Democrats”—a reference, I suppose, to a poll number that comes from pressing respondents that originally answered a preference question as “undecided.” Which makes the 17% pro-Gore number Moran cites even more dodgy, and makes ABC’s trope even more trite and strained.

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Anonymous Terry Moran said...

Thanks for the critique, and thanks for watching. But FYI--in my original lead-in into the piece, I did indeed say "leaned Democrats." It is a term of art in polling, and I was worried about using it precisely because some people might not grasp it. I see i was correct. Thanks again, Terry Moran.

3:59 PM  
Blogger guy2k said...

I stand corrected.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment—it is appreciated.

Your comment deserves a more detailed response, and I post one at the top of the blog.

Thanks again.

7:33 AM  

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