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Hit-&-Run News

Reported by Nancy - August 23, 2005 -

Rick Folbaum anchored the last hour of FNL today (8/23). As a rule, Folbaum is professional (with occasional lapses) & a vast improvement over the previous anchor, David Asman. But if FNC really wants this program to be "hard news" as they claim, the producers need to get away from the slash-&-burn, rapid-fire, content-free, hit-&-run, miniblurb format.

In that last hour (12pm-1pm EDT) there were:
6 segments about new news (e.g., NYC is adding hi tech surveillance to subways, tunnels & bridges ; NW Airlines is running near normal; Harrah's will buy Imperial Palace Casino)
7 segments about old news (not follow-up, simply old; e.g. Bush is on vacation; there's a delay in voting on the proposed Iraq Constitution)
4 segments that were fluff/eye candy (e.g., Top Ten Party Colleges, an experimental plane in AK ("Murphy Moose") crash-landed safely in a mall parking lot)
3 segments of opinion (not, of course, labelled as such)
3 segments that were self-promotion (for Dayside & for Cavuto)

Here's *some* of what viewers would NOT have learned (all available at Reuters Alerts by 11am the same day):
Iranian freed from Guantanamo was mistreated
Aid groups respond to Niger food crisis
Aristide party threatents to boycott Haiti poll
Gunmen attack east Congo voter registration centres
40,000 Togo refugees fear reprisals if they return home
UN warns of possible Indonesia polio epidemic
Poor countries to miss 2015 health goals - WHO
War fears palpable in Sri Lanka's ravaged north
UN-led peace body shuts, heralding Burundi success
Firefighters battle forest fire north of Lisbon
Blocked Eritrea food aid reaches needy
Burundi's ex-rebel head Nkurunziza voted president
Southern Sudan VP appointment to boost reconciliation talks
Afghan reconstruction
Africans to declare tuberculosis emergency - WHO
Horn of Africa food crisis
India's encephalitis death toll rises to 90
Deadly bird flu strain confirmed in Kazakh villages

Comment: Average length of a "segment" on FNL is less than 3 minutes (often MUCH less). That's not enough time to convey any significant info to viewers. The program is routinely just blurblets & teasers. The more I watch FNL, the stupider I feel & the harder it is to stay informed. No wonder we need a permanent link to the PIPA report.

Yes, my list of stories they didn't report is all about international stories. There is (gasp!) a whole world out there that FNL just never mentions.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's lack of content, choice of which stories to cover). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.