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July 25, 2014

There are very few exclusives in TV news nowadays

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 2nd 2009 5:01PM
Michael JacksonWe've talked about this a lot here at TV Squad, how the word "exclusive" isn't used correctly in TV news these days. In fact I'll go one step further and say that networks often lie when they say something is an "exclusive." They'll say that an interview with a famous celebrity or a politician is an exclusive, but you realize you just watched an interview with the same person on another network the night before, or there's an interview with the same person the next day.

Now, some networks will say they have an exclusive before another interview airs, so in that case I guess we can say they're right (if we give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know the other interview was coming, that is), but more often than not they know it's not an exclusive.

It's happening this week too. Larry King has been saying the last couple of nights that he's going to have an exclusive live report from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch tonight. But the commercials are sneakily saying exclusive prime time live report, which I guess means that this morning's Today show live report from Neverland Ranch with Matt Lauer doesn't matter (note: they called it an exclusive too). And Cynthia McFadden from Nightline is going to report live from Neverland tonight too, but that's not prime time either, so...

This is only the latest example. Networks are doing this all the time. The word "exclusive" doesn't mean much anymore. In fact, I'm going to declare this blog post an exclusive. I'm the only one writing about Michael Jackson at this very moment using these particular words in this order. It's an exclusive!

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