NBC interrupt 49er game for Obama Sandy Hook speech

Like many “Niner Faithful”, I was very upset Sunday night when NBC preempted the broadcast of the game in order to cover President Obama’s speech concerning the tragedy on Newtown Connecticut where 26 people (mostly children) were murdered by a crazed gunman.

At the party I attended to watch the game, President Obama was widely condemned for his timing of the speech. One fan said “Why not have the President talk prior to the game or at half time instead of during the action?” While I tended to agree with my friends outrage which resulted in us not viewing the 49ers first touchdown, I quickly came to my senses.

It soon occurred to me why blame Obama when it was NBC-Comcast’s decision to interrupt the game for the President’s speech. What might have gone into their thinking on this matter? Since the shootings were Friday and had been covered in depth for the next 48 hours, they hardly qualified as breaking news. For that matter the contents of the President’s speech was to console the country, which did not exactly qualify as a national emergency.

I would have prefered that instead of denying football fans their viewing pleasure of the 49er-Patriots game, that the network advise viewers that the President was then speaking and they could watch his speech live on CNBC and other cable outlets. This would have allowed viewers a choice of which event they would have prefered to watch.

It was President Obama’s decision of when to give his address to the nation. One would think a man of his responsibility should not have to consider the ramifications of interrupting the Sunday Night viewing pleasure of the nation. While I am a die-hard “Niner Faithful”. there are others who think Pawn Stars, the Iron Chef, or the Next Super Model shows are just as important as a football game broadcast.

Since we are going in a “Don’t Shoot the Piano Player” direction, we might ask what was the decision making which went into NBC’s decision to interrupt the football game for what amounted to the President’s sermon to the nation. Obviously, the network thought this was more important than Eric Crabtree’s reception for the game’s first touchdown.

There are those who thought the reason NBC put on the President instead of gridiron action was because the murders in Connecticut provided an opportunity to make a plea to the nation to enact gun control. I will not disagree with this assessment although President did not mention restricting the distribution of firearms during his presentation. The closest he came to doing this was stating, “we can not tolerate this any more.”

Without making any specific recommendations, it is up to the viewers to determine what the President actually meant by these words in his speech. No doubt Obama’s supporters and detractors will have no difficulty filling in the blanks for how to avoid similar tragedies. Regardless of opinion, no one can question the political savvy the President used in his speech to the nation.

One can not be sure if NBC was aware of the contents of Obama’s remarks prior to interrupting the football game for approximately 20 minutes. (It seemed to Niner fans to be longer) As this action by NBC was arguably unprecedented, is this the first of a new direction on the part of news media in their coverage of national politics?

I hope not, because taking such strong action to me constitutes manipulation of the news and a possible violation of free speech under the Bill of Rights. It also gives concern that by setting priorities for what news events are to be covered, we could possibly fall into the pit of manipulation of the media which characterizes totalitarian regimes around the world.

A die hard liberal friend of mine reminded me this morning that “NBC’s courageous decision to interrupt the football game proves that the network was more interested in educating the public than the possible loss of advertising revenue while the President was speaking.”

No doubt this opinion along with others who questioned the validity of NBC’s decision to interrupt the Sunday Night Football game are not without merit. The important thing to realize is that this type of debate is essential to the successful operation of our democracy.

With that being said, 49er fans should be grateful that the team was able to defeat the Patriots to set up the battle against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday night. We can only hope President Obama has better things to do when the game is being played and will let us watch the game in peace.

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Comments

  1. Lois says

    About 30 years ago, I attended a John Birch Society meeting. The reason I went to the meeting, I could see, and feel something was amiss in our country, in our schools. They said, the second to the last to a total tyranny/dictatorship in the country would be a broken economy, the LAST step would be CONFISCATION of our GUNS. Without our guns, we have no defense. Voting does not help now, because the enemy within knows how to defraud/manipulate the system in many ways, one being machines, illegal votes, and more.

    • says

      Totally agree, Lois….these feel good gungrabber types need to read “They Thought They Were Free”, a little book detailing Hitler’s rise to power. BTW, Hitler was aided and abetted by the US government…as the old saying goes – “the best enemies $$ can buy”

    • steve weir says

      Reply to Lois:

      “Voting does not help now, because the enemy within knows how to defraud/manipulate the system in many ways, one being machines, illegal votes, and more.”

      Do you mean the regular political games like gerrymandering, voter suppression, political manipulation of the electoral process, etc? Do you mean the corruption that money plays in our governance? All offensive, I’ll agree. But hardly a call to arms.

      Or, do you really believe that the actual voting systems in the US have been corrupted? This premise is delusional and at best, self serving rhetoric. There is no evidence that our current political process is any worse than that of our past practices over our whole history. I would argue that we are better, more transparent, and more inclusive (giving people access to the vote and actually counting that vote) than in the past.

      There is, at best, anecdotal evidence of voter fraud (not systemic) and the antidote to this blemish is not a call to arms. Hold yourself, your community, and your local registrar-of-voters accountable for a fair and accurate electorial process.

    • says

      Which part of the voting process, Melanie? Please be specific. I believe clearing of voter rolls, implementation of voter Voter ID (which actually increased minority voting per last election figures), better registration validation, could all help improve confidence in the ballot. These ideas are not rocket science and have been around for some time producing slow but steady improvement.

      I’ll grant you the occasional dropped box of ballots, or some other technical failure, and poll workers can make mistakes, but to write off the entire voting process including machines and even electronic voting or vote by internet (which many serving overseas use) is simply uninformed bordering on Luddite territory.

      If you want to improve representation then get behind preference voting to replace top two voting, recently installed in California, that would better help make sure every vote counts than outdated plurality voting which is fraught with more problems than any voting machine.

      Besides, you are missing the point. That it has already been decided by the Board of Supervisors and the usual suspects in County politics that Joe Canciamilla will be “given” the Clerk/Registrar job when Steve retires is more the problem. Not that Joe wouldn’t do a great job. But unaccountable, undemocratic machine politics making decisions behind closed doors is always more a danger to the Republic than cheap, unsubstantiated conspiracies.

    • says

      Actually my name is Marilynne, not Melanie…
      The “voting process” is corrupt from its inception. The two party system ensures only candidates who espouse the globalist line are picked to run in both parties. MSM molds and shapes public opinion by printing what the PTB wants. Even the writing of ballot arguments is corrupt. If you are an ordinary group of citizens (or one citizen) the argument you submit can be trumped by the argument put forth by an approved “tax exempt” organization.
      The incredible amount of voter fraud in the US has been documented ad nauseum Groups such as the evil ACORN, community organizers such as the Obamanation was in his previous incarnation, fake polling, the influence of special interest groups such as “environmental groups”, UNIONS, the LGBT “community”, “Code Pink” and others masquerading as anti-war, atheists, lie, cheat and steal to influence the perceived outcome.
      Most importantly local tax/”fee”/bond measures can imposed on the property owner class by a vote of the general public so you get in effect taxation without representation. In fact the need for more local taxes is the result of DELIBERATE State and Federal actions e.g. the “fiscal cliff”, the 2008 economic meltdown due to the Feds mandating loans to non-qualified individuals, etc etc
      Electronic voting machines have been proved to be easily hacked with resultant fake results e.g see http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2012/1026/Could-e-voting-machines-in-Election-2012-be-hacked-Yes.
      I personally don’t believe Bush, Jr. or the Obamanation were actually elected.
      Here’s some links to RECENT stories:
      http://www.infowars.com/voters-take-to-social-media-to-report-massive-vote-fraud/
      http://www.infowars.com/vote-fraud-expert-romney-votes-not-counted-in-key-states/
      http://rense.com/general95/votefraud_dev.html
      BTW, Mr. Weir could certainly ask this question himself. His job depends on the need for a County Elections Dept.
      As George Wallace once famously said: There’s not “a dimes’ worth of difference” between the two major parties.

    • steve weir says

      Bill, I believe that there are viable candidates for County Clerk/Recorder and that I am hopeful the Board will listen to all qualified candidates.

      I came into this office through the appointment process. The County Clerk passed away in office in January, 1989. Through an open interview process (conducted in public), I was selected in May, 1989 and had to run for election in June, 1990. Many, then, questioned my qualifications and motives in seeking that vacancy. I’ve done the best job I could do beholding to no one but the Citizens of Contra Costa and my conscience.

      I promised to stay through redistricting ( an every 10 year nightmare for Registrars), and through the Presidential Cycle. I’e done that and now it’s time for me to go.

      Many counties (especially the large ones) appoint their Registrar. Contra Costa is the largest County in Calif. that has an elected Registrar. So, although the Board will appoint my replacement, that person has to stand for election in June, 2014.

      To be honest, I see strengths and weaknesses in either the appointed County Clerk or the elected County Clerk. (Politics can play in any field). As an elected department head, I have felt free to express my beliefs and opinions without having to seek clearance from a County Executive.

      I think if the Board appoints the best candidate, and that candidate respects the non-partisan nature of this office, we’ll be well served.

      Only time will tell.

    • steve weir says

      John, I remember our conversation; I do not remember it being disrespectful, but if it was, I apologize. I recall that you were scheduled in a local school. That school scheduled work an dwe did not have access to it for an election and we selected a fire house (as we often use fire houses when they are available). We pick public facilities, first, because they are accessible and have community recognition.

      All that aside, I’ll bet that there is not a primary or general election that does not have some state or local measure on the ballot that impacts our polling places. We selected some 560 poll sites, often, we take what is available.

      Whether you believe it or not, we never select a poll site based upon what is on the ballot. We struggle to secure the poll sites we have.

    • steve weir says

      Oh, by-the-way, the office of County Clerk has the least conditions on the office holder of any of the seven county wide elected department heads; You have to be 18, a registered voter, & resident of Contra Costa. If you have strong feelings about the running of that office, now is your chance! Apply, like if did, go through the two public interview processes, like I did. Get appointed, like I did, and run the office, like you think it ought to be run.

      If you meet these minimum requirements, why not go for it?

    • steve weir says

      Bill, point taken, and I did not mean to sound combative in my last response.

      I guess, in the Jacksonian sense, at least the position of County Clerk still assumes that any citizen can fulfill its resonsibilities. I think everyone knows that it is more complex than that.

      I’ve spent my almost 24 year career modernizing the office and making the staff more professional. We have extensive employee rules and a Performance Manage Program that has been held up by the Grand Jury as an example for the whole county.

      We have documented our procedures down to a functional detail (management’s challenge is to follow and update these procedures).

      Our Department enjoys a good reputation and the support of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator.

      My operating philosophy has been, if there’s a mistake that can impact a customer (voter), identify it, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on. (If you have competent staff, you know when there’s a mistake, you can identify it and usually fix it before it negatively impacts our customers /voters).

      There will not be side-by-side training, but I have been documenting my experience to leave with the new Clerk.

      The Office is well staffed while we have carefully monitored our work volume to assign permanent and temporary staffing.

      Of concern to me as I leave this job is the replacement of my Assistant County Registrar and Assistant County Clerk-Recorder. I am in that process right now.

      Having said that, our professional staff is well trained, our procedures are well documented and updated, and my analyses of elections, and what to watch for is being updated.

    • says

      Which is my point. Your productive career and approach to the “job” is very different than turning the position into a sinecure or parking place for the politically connected. The job requires more than someone with their eye on some other prize can give.

      We all thank you for your dedicated service.

    • John says

      I have to chime in Mr. Weir. I do not think that the voting process is corrupt. I do think there are many issues based on this last election nationally and corrections need to be made. However, I must comment based on your statement I am requoting. I am sure there is a logical explanation and you may even call it a coincidence locally. I will share my continued observation of our switched polling places. As I am sure you recall the nasty responses from you to me on a previous forum regarding the fire tax polling place being at a fire station when the school has been designated for over five decades. I cannot help but share my the next polling observation of 2012 locally with you. Your office assigned the polling place at our fire station when there was a fire tax on the ballot even though it had not been used before on a regular basis. The local school had been the regular polling place. It was changed to the fire station. Your response was well taken and I would have probably responded the same way. However, your insults could have been left out. I was making an observation as many others were in our community. This was earlier this last year when we voted at the fire station for or against a fire tax. Now we come to Nov. 2012 and the polling place was changed back to the local school where coincidentally the school just happened to have a school tax on the ballot. We then were sent to the school to vote for or against the school tax. I know this must be strange, but you must admit it is subject to thought. I will not dismiss a coincidence when the fire tax is re visited and the polling place is again changed. As in your words; ” Hold yourself, your community, and your local registrar-of-voters accountable for a fair and accurate electorial (electoral) process “.

  2. says

    Interrupting a 49er game to see the Obamanation crying fake tears and quoting Bible scripture out of context was and abomination in itself.
    The real story behind these continuing school/mall, et al massacres by mind controlled freaks will never be revealed by the main stream media.
    But, it does serve the gungrabber lobby quite well!!

  3. ChampagneKitty says

    Wow. Richard, were you being sincere when you wrote this? Is there some kind of joke in here that I’m missing?

  4. Artie Moffa says

    I’m aghast at the priorities you express in this blog post. On a weekend with 27 homicide victims, Priority #1 is axiomatic: we talk about the tragedy. We talk about it with our leaders, our neighbors, ourselves. Everything else is a distant second. NBC made the right call, the NFL made the right call, the President made the right call. I hope (and rather expect) that dissent on this point was limited to the small gathering in your living room.

    “The Show Must Go On” is at best a guideline, not a Commandment.

    I’ve read your post twice with a charitable eye toward finding a trace of deadpan sarcasm. I still hope you aren’t being serious. I fear you are. Return to your words in a clearer moment and see if you stand by them:

    “One can not be sure if NBC was aware of the contents of Obama’s remarks prior to interrupting the football game for approximately 20 minutes. (It seemed to Niner fans to be longer) As this action by NBC was arguably unprecedented, is this the first of a new direction on the part of news media in their coverage of national politics?

    I hope not, because taking such strong action to me constitutes manipulation of the news and a possible violation of free speech under the Bill of Rights. It also gives concern that by setting priorities for what news events are to be covered, we could possibly fall into the pit of manipulation of the media which characterizes totalitarian regimes around the world.”