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Anchor Away

June 08, 1986

Is it possible that television critic Howard Rosenberg is not watching television? His June 2 column, "The Art and Craftiness of Media Propaganda," makes us wonder.

Warming up to some major moralizing, Rosenberg writes: "Tom Brokaw's recent interview with Palestine Liberation Front leader Abul Abbas was double-barreled propaganda. . . ."

Then the Rosenberg Journalism Review explains why: "By assigning 'Nightly News' anchorman Brokaw to the interview rather than an ordinary correspondent, NBC was saying: This Is Important and thus 'Nightly News' is Important for airing it. Propaganda. Not incidentally, the interview also cast Brokaw in the image-enhancing role of Ace Reporter in addition to Ace Anchor. More propaganda."

The only problem with all that is that it never happened.

The NBC News interview with Abul Abbas, broadcast on "Nightly News" May 5, was conducted not by Brokaw but by our London correspondent, Henry Champ.

True, Champ is no "ordinary correspondent." But that still undercuts the entire premise of Rosenberg's column.


President, News Division

NBC, New York

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