Sunday, August 07, 2005

NIGHTLINE'S DECLINE The New York Observer managed, this week, to run an entire article about the changes afoot at NIGHTLINE without mentioning that the show has more or less gone to crap.

The closest scribe Rebecca Dana comes to addressing the show's transformation is in this sentence:

Much about the new format of the show remains to be decided: who will anchor, how many topics NIGHTLINE will cover each night, and what those topics will be.
Those issues may not have been officially "decided." But in recent weeks, many of the program's nightly installments have stuffed several topics into the half-hour format.

Once you factor in the commercials, that comes to 6-8 minutes per topic. In other words, about as much in-depth coverage as can be found in your average episode of HANNITY & COLMES.

To be sure, the NIGHTLINE producers have continued to sprinkle in a decent number of no-nonsense pieces about international issues. But there's no question that the show has drifted toward the kind of approach that viewers have come to expect from CNN's prime time line-up.

And that isn't a complement.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.