April 29, 2004

Koppel's Abuse of the Dead

Tomorrow night, Ted Koppel will host an edition of Nightline which will feature a reading of the names of the Iraqi war dead, accompanied by a photo of each warrior and his or her rank.

This show is being aired during one of the fiercest engagements of the war to date. Also, and by no small coincidence, it is but two days after President Bush and Vice President Cheney's meeting with what is popularly known as the 9/11 Commission.

By ABC's admission this information was gotten from a government database through a government website which expressly forbids the use of the information on the site for commercial gain. ABC, a commercial network, will be producing this show and has made no announcement concerning whether or not the show will be commercial-free, leading this writer to believe that it will not.

During Sweeps Week, commercial time is sold at a premium to advertisers eager to present their ads to the largest audience possible. Much money is exchanged during Sweeps week, which benefits both the advertisers and the networks which use data collected during this week to determine advertising rates for the following fiscal cycle.

With this in mind, one has to ask some questions about this show:

-Why is this show being broadcast now, during some of the most intense fighting of the entire conflict?

-Why is a commercial enterprise, the ABC network, being allowed to use information from a government website for commercial gain?

-Will there be repercussions for the illegal use of this information by ABC and by Ted Koppel as their agent?

-Will any of the revenues collected from advertisers during this show be given to the families of those who's deaths are being exploited by this show?

-Ted Koppel is on the record as being completely against both the war and against President Bush. Will anyone of note, anyone with a large audience, call Koppel and ABC out for using the 700+ war dead to further their political agenda?

I, for one, will not be watching this exercise in demonization. I am sickened by those who maintain their extreme agendas and disguise them as normal dissent.

This is far from "normal dissent."

Posted by Mamamontezz at April 29, 2004 06:34 PM

Perhaps Hannity and O'Reilly at Fox will counter some of this sedition, but that's cable not broadcast. My hatred of the "hairpiece" goes all the way back to Vietnam, he needs to be forcibly air dropped into Najaf amongst his buddies without his entourage to cover his rear. Koppel has about as much credibility as that Frog Salinger.

Posted by: Jack at April 29, 2004 08:41 PM

A local radio station where I live was going to watch the program and take note (since I didn't watch the Nightline broadcast) which sponsors bought commercial time. I plan to let those sponsors know how I feel about their support of this obvious political statement at a crucial period during this war all dressed up as a tribute.

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