Though it certainly isn’t a hard news item, a montage of identical story openings at roughly two dozen local TV stations assembled by Conan O’Brien’s staff early last week shows us that their news readers will often parrot whatever their national news script service provides them.
The primary and perhaps dominant purveyor of such scripts is more than likely APTN, the video division of the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press. It’s clear from the video after the jump that many subscribing outlets just read what they’re given without applying any thought (HT HyScience):
APTN has extensive script and text offerings.
Of course, we would never expect these esteemed local journalists to simply repeat what they’re given in a genuine hard-news story — and we shouldn’t be at all concerned that the news organization which almost slavishly toes the Obama administration’s line is a major provider of such content. (/sarc)
It’s worth asking why the stations involved don’t just hire realistic-looking robots to deliver such canned content.
At the very end of the video, O’Brien calls the whole sequence “scary.” It is.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.