"I pray a lot." That was how NBC's Tom Costello quoted an airline passenger who checks her luggage in a news-you-can-use Thanksgiving travel feature about how to avoid lost, delayed, damaged and pilfered suitcases.
NBC was completely deadpan about the irony. Earlier in the newscast, Pete Williams had told us about a group of Moslem preachers who were thrown off a USAirways flight in handcuffs. Why? Because other passengers were nervous when they said their prayers!
Williams' report was unusual. Instead of collecting normal vox-pop talking-head soundbites on the pros and cons of such apparent anti-Moslem bias, Williams quoted from e-mail comments on the issue at NBC's Daily Nightly blog.
This innovation is no improvement. Personal reactions have more impact when they come from the speaker's mouth. Television has the advantage of offering facial expressions, tone of voice and visual demographic information about the speaker. All that is lost by reading e-mails.
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