It is an age-old complaint about television news when an anchor introduces a story whose contents fail to back up the introduction. A pair of examples were Williams' lead into NBC's In Depth report on infantile brain development and Couric's lead for Bob Orr on urban EMS preparedness.
On NBC, Robert Bazell followed research into the neurological development of babies in bilingual households. Williams promised that the findings would be "surprising." So we expected to be disabused of our assumption that bilingual brains are better. No surprise whatsoever. Babies understanding two tongues perform better at certain tasks: more "mental dexterity." Quelle surprise!
Couric promised an explanation of why it was "harder than anybody thought" to put emergency responders on the same communications frequency. Au contraire, Orr told us that EMS planners have succeeded inside-the-Beltway, according to the Department of Homeland Security, and have failed to be "interoperable" in Cook County Ill…but he never delivered the promised reasons why.
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