Nightline Regresses

Replaces the war in Iraq with fluff

Great catch by MediaMatters’ Eric Boehlert today. It seems that on Friday, the ABC news show’s segment on the emergency room at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad was the first time since July 18 that Nightline aired an on-the-ground report on the war.

“In the four-plus months in between,” Boehlert writes, “Nightline produced more than 230 separate news segments covering a kaleidoscope of topics, but just one was filmed in Iraq: a Green Zone-based profile of Gen. David Petraeus on the eve of his Capitol Hill testimony.” What did they run instead? Boehlert pulls some actual story slugs from the show’s archives:

* Twin Skateboarding Stars
* “Frenemies”
* Pole Dancing as Exercise
* Rock & Roll Camp for Girls
* Death of the Postcard
* Barbie vs. Bratz
* Great Lobster Hunt
* Burger King’s Gamble on Marketing
* Butlers In High Demand
* Frozen Yogurt Wars
* Discrimination Against Redheads
* Expensive Parking Spaces
* Pasta Wars
* [Barry] Bonds’ Navy
* Babies at the Box Office
* Paddington Bear a Sellout?
* A Football Fan Makes Wine the New Beer

Pathetic, especially given that we just praised Nightline for a great report from Afghanistan. Apparently, the show’s producers and reporters feel that one or two stories from the war zone is enough every couple months.

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Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.