You will find no tears here for the cancellation of Brian Williams' "Rock Center," which was first reported Friday by the New York Times.
It was one of the sorriest excuses for a newsmagazine that I have seen in 30 years of reporting on network television. I wrote that as many times in as many ways as I could since its debut.
From the hiring of the Chelsea Clinton as special correspondent, to the quotes from Williams comparing his team to the baseball Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, never has such journalistic bankruptcy been promoted with such self-important bluster. And that's saying something in a TV business built as much on narcissism and hype as it is journalism.
For all the alleged newsmagazine all-stars, the best journalistic moment "Rock Center" had came from Bob Costas, a sports commentator and essayist, in his interview with disgraced former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Costas is a legitimate Hall of Famer in his realms of sports and popular culture. But he's a member of the "Sunday Night Football" team -- not "Rock Center."
I have wasted all the words I can on Clinton's pathetic performance -- and the preposterous claim by Steve Capus, then-president of NBC News, that it was as if Clinton had been preparing her whole life to be a network newswoman.
Was there anyone connected with this show who could speak the truth about anything -- or did they think if they said they were epic, people would automatically believe them?
The truth about "Rock Center" is that the network had to cancel it or risk a rebellion by its affiliates. The ratings were so bad when it ran at 10 p.m. that it dragged down late local newscasts across the country -- and that's money taken right out of the the affiliate stations' pockets by the ineptitude of the Hall of Famers at "Rock Center."