My response in the form of a letter to Brian Williams at NBC:
c/o NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
Dear Mr. Williams,
I recently read a news article written by Associated Press writer David Bauder
entitled "Where Have The TV Viewers Gone?" I thought you might appreciate
the insight of one ex-NBC viewer. I turned off my television set when I heard
your network was having trouble deciding whether to keep the bigot Don
Imus in your programming line-up. I almost turned it back on a week or so
later but I heard your network was promoting the views of Mr. Cho, the
Virginia Tech mass murderer. Friends and family members told me not to
bother, in fact they insisted that I not watch NBC in particular ever again.
Some widespread boycotts get little publicity, they simply spread like wildfire.
You might pass this along to Alan Wurtzel.
Like myself, I have noticed associates reading more books, spending more
quality time with their families, and generally not watching much television of
any sort. They tell me they are thoroughly disgusted with the menu of
violence and sensationalism spreading throughout all forms of broadcast and
cable television media outlets. I know it matters very little to you and the
executives at NBC how you obtain viewers so long as you keep them but you
might want to consider some alternative programming. All the networks
seem to have forgotten that people watch television primarily for enjoyment
and relaxation, not to be subjected to disgusting or utterly demeaning
programming on a regular basis.
So far as news stories go, you should try presenting the truth about
international and domestic events. When I did watch NBC News (for 40 years
consistently) I could not help but notice the recent sharp decline in cutting
edge stories like those read by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. It is OK to criticize public, political, or business figures when they obviously seek to
deceive the general public. Your cover-up of the actual events in Iraq was
made quite clear to me by family members that recently served there. Iraq is
an absolute hell hole but your network, like our President, refuses to tell us
the hard truth. You know it, Mr. Williams, you have been there, why not tell
Americans how bad it really is? Why not cover the returning deceased
veterans, despite the Bush Administration news blackout?
We used to rely on the candor our evening news broadcasters provided but
that honesty seems to have suddenly died with dear Mr. Jennings. I will make
it quite clear to you right now when I say you will probably never win me
back as a viewer but you still might want to consider making major changes if
you want to keep carrying all those pharmaceutical advertisers. My parents
turned you off during the Cho broadcasts and swear they will never watch
your show again. Makes sense doesn't it?