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Written by Basil on 10/9/2002 12:33 AM. Filed under:

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I am trying to determine the possible reasons NBC, CBS and ABC decided that the American people did not need to see President Bush’s speech to the American people.

  1. The American people are not really concerned about why the president thinks we need to topple Saddam Hussein and his cronies. [Read: the ratings will plummet.]
  2. That’s what cable news networks are for. [Read: public service schmervice. Screw people who don’t have cable. Who doesn’t have cable these days?]
  3. Bush will make a very convincing case for regime change in the next year or less. [Read: we cannot let the American public see that, for God’s sake!]

With regard to (1), it will be interesting to see exactly what the ratings actually reflect. With regard to (2), thank you. I consider myself screwed, insulted, and dismissed. Everyone without cable, for whatever reason, should feel the same. I watched it at a friends house, where I would not have even heard of it otherwise. With regard to (3), I really hate to say this, but it is clear that the bias of the networks came into play in this decision. If former president Bill Clinton (during his term of office) had scheduled a press conference to come clean about all of his illicit escapades, would the networks have been so cavalier about the public’s “need to know”? I rather doubt it.

In my mind, there does not seem to be any compelling reason for the omission.

Update: A similar censoring of the president took place during sweeps week last November, and ABC actually saw a ratings boost. (Thanks for the tip, Moose.) Additionally, the original version of this article mistakenly stated that NBC showed the president’s address to the nation. What I saw was, evidently, MSNBC. According to MediaLife, the situation was even worse than I thought. Only Fox showed the address.

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