Stupid Network Tricks

ABC Wants to Dump 'Nightline' for Letterman. Laughing?

JOHN KAPLAN
Age 47
Resides
Brooklyn
Occupation Playwright

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? I don't think it's a news-versus-entertainment issue, because a news organization is basically about entertainment. They're going to be trading seriousness for irony. Ted "the Head" Koppel is probably a serious journalist, but neither Nightline nor 60 Minutes is going to do a real, in-depth analysis of the systemic abuses in something like Enron.

How much television news do you watch? Zero. I read the Times, and the Voice, some. And I listen to the radio.

What's the greatest show on TV? The Simpsons. I also loved Space Angel, a cartoon where characters had real human lips superimposed over their cartoon mouths.


CASSIDY DURRELL
Age 25
Resides
Manhattan
Occupation Musician

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? No. You can get news 24 hours a day. There are news programs and news highlights on dozens of channels at any given time. I'd much rather go to bed laughing my way into dreams than have national events leaving me unable to sleep.

How much television news do you watch? I get a majority of my news from television. I don't read much of the papers. My father's a newspaper editor and he thinks I'm not informed.

What's the greatest show on TV? That '70s Show.


CHRIS CHAN
Age 19
Resides
Manhattan
Occupation Student

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? I myself watch David Letterman more than Nightline because it's more entertaining. In terms of marketing to young guys like me, I'm always more entertained by the ads than I am inspired to buy anything they're selling.

How much television news do you watch? A majority of the TV I watch is news. I don't like CNN, because they show their American bias too clearly. I watch BBC news on cable, and World Wide Vision.

What's the greatest show on TV? Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet. A guy hunts for crocodiles, but only to wrestle or tackle them, not to kill them.


MATHEW WILLIAMS
Age 29
Resides
Brooklyn
Occupation Courier

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? Yes, I would care because my cousin and I watch it every night.

How much television news do you watch? I watch the local news at 11 p.m. I mostly get my news from the papers.

What's the greatest show on TV? Right now I think it's Smallville. The Job is also very good, particularly the plots.


HANK FLYNN
Age 33
Resides
Manhattan
Occupation Actor

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? Yes. Ted's show can't be that expensive to produce, and according to his Times editorial, the show has made the network at least half a billion dollars. As for the argument that replacing Nightline reinforces the perception that Americans are ill informed and uninterested in world news, network news is medium quality at best anyway. If you think you're not informed, take a look at your news source.

How much television news do you watch? It depends. I get special reports or headlines, and versions of events from different networks. The real truth can only be gotten by checking with as many sources as possible.

What's the greatest show on TV? I like The Howard Stern Show. And re-runs of Miami Vice. It's like a kind of cheese I didn't like as a kid. Twenty years later, I like it. Some things just age well.


TANYA CASEY
Age 27
Resides
Manhattan
Occupation Sales associate

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? Yes, that would suck. Ted Koppel has been doing the show for a long time. They should leave Nightline where it is.

How much television news do you watch? I watch the 10 and 11 p.m. news, Nightline, and Fox 5 before I go to work in the morning.

What's the greatest show on TV? Martin Lawrence's show. Or Steve Harvey's.


J.C. BUSSEY
Age 24
Resides
Manhattan
Occupation Fabric coordinator

Would you care if Nightline went off the air? Yes. I have nothing against David Letterman, but replacing Nightline is not the right message to be sending, particularly now when Americans should be informing themselves as much as possible.

How much television news do you watch? I definitely watch the news, in spite of the networks' tendency to overhype and editorialize.

What's the greatest show on TV? Friends.

 
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