Paula Zahn : Re: Did NBC go too far? Dateline (Jan 21 2004)

Important Statements from the Jackson camp and pertinent transcripts from various TV shows about Michael.

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Paula Zahn : Re: Did NBC go too far? Dateline (Jan 21 2004)

Post by whisper » Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:54 pm


Interview With Andrew Card; Interview With Michael Jackson's Attorney

Aired January 21, 2004 - 20:00 ET

ZAHN: In the quest to land all things, Michael Jackson, did NBC blur the lines between news and entertainment? The "New York Times" says the network offered Jackson $5 million for exclusive video and an interview. Now along with the money, the "Times" says NBC said it would pre-empt a dateline investigative segment on Jackson. Did NBC go too far? Joining us right now, Michael Wolfe, the media critic for "New York Magazine." Also good to see you, Michael. So what did NBC do wrong here?

MICHAEL WOLFE, MEDIA CRITIC, "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": They said the word "pre-empt" and the word "pre-empt" means we're going to take what you offer us over this other thing that we had scheduled. And now NBC is saying, well, we didn't really mean that and we would do it later.

ZAHN: Let's put up on the screen what they are saying. They're saying it would constitute a scheduling change. There was actually, quote, "no quid pro quo involving NBC New or "Dateline." The proposed pre-emption was in no way offered as a cancellation of "Dateline's" investigative piece. Merely a scheduling change."

WOLFE: We can say, do you believe that? Or we can put that aside and say what we have here, very clearly, incontrovertibly is the appearance of impropriety. And I think that that's it. They either really did something stupid, I mean, we didn't mean it, but there it is. Or they meant it. And what they meant to say is that we're going to get better ratings for this so we're going to bump the news item. Forget it. We're going to give you Michael Jackson, a pass, theoretically on the news that we had scheduled to run.

ZAHN: You think the scheduling excuse is a bunch of bunk.

WOLFE: Bunk, exactly.

ZAHN: And that is what? To kill a tough piece?

WOLFE: They were in a deal here. It was a business consideration. Forget the news, forget the news side of what we in the network business do. This is business, we want a Michael Interview With Andrew Card; Interview With Michael Jackson's Attorney

Aired January 21, 2004 - 20:00 ET
Jackson interview over more than we want this news segment that we have done.

ZAHN: And explain to us why this is any different than what happened with CBS when Ed Bradley just recently landed the interview with Michael Jackson which was tied into an entertainment deal, right, with a special that aired on CBS Entertainment. Are they analogous?

WOLFE: It's absolutely the same thing. Everybody wanted the highest rating numbers they could get out of Michael Jackson. And other considerations, news considerations be damned.

ZAHN: So we're not supposed to pay for interviews but essentially what you're saying that is what is happening in all the fancy deals that are cut for Jessica Lynch and trying to get Michael Jackson on the air? Creative ways of getting interviews...

WOLFE: I think there are probably several other things you can say, Jessica Lynch is bad because of those reasons. Michael Jackson is bad because of -- because they are just focused on getting Michael Jackson there, getting the most ratings they can. Everything else, every other news consideration be damned.

ZAHN: Michael Wolfe, thanks for joining us tonight. We'll be right back.


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