It’s never hard for the luminaries of journalism schools to manufacture a little outrage, and Louis Ureneck, who’s the journalism department chairman at Boston University’s College of Communication, came up with the below, which was emailed around to reporters today.
He was reacting to the news that NBC’s nightly news anchor Brian Williams will be appearing on Saturday Night Live. The PR person sending out the email suggests that Katie Couric would be “crucified” were she to do the same, but Ureneck’s the one who came up with this gem:
“Neither of them should be hosting Saturday Night Live. This is a publicity gimmick and only serves to muddy the distinctions between news and entertainment television.”
I’m glad to see someone speaking up on this one. Because if by some horrifying accident I found myself watching Saturday Night Live and saw Brian Williams yukking it up with the cast, you know, I might get all confused, and think that they’d changed the timeslot and the format of the nightly news without telling anyone!
I mean, it’s tough enough already to tell the difference between Charlie Gibson’s newscast on ABC and Desperate Housewives. Or Lost. (Maybe not Lost. That’s the one on the desert island, where there’s nothing you could mistake for an anchor’s desk. Right?)
Professor Ureneck? Puh. Leeze.