Well, we know the answer isn’t five.
Though it won’t speak the truth of why out loud, even the New York Times admits the NBC News brand is in trouble, and late yesterday Reuters gave us another example as to why:
Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky sought a mistrial before his conviction for child sex abuse on the grounds that prosecutors showed jurors an inaccurate version of a bombshell NBC News interview with the former football coach, and the mistake may now form part of the basis for an appeal.
In response to a subpoena, NBC News turned over three versions of Bob Costas' NBC News interview with Sandusky, which aired last November on different NBC shows.
One of those versions, which was broadcast on the 'Today' show, contained an erroneous repetition of a key question and answer - about whether Sandusky was sexually attracted to young boys, Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general said on Sunday.
The repetition, Sandusky's lawyers contend, made it appear to jurors that he was stonewalling.
Steve Capus runs both NBC News and MSNBC. Therefore, the most troubling part of the glossed-over-in-denial NYTs' piece should be this:
Mr. Capus won a significant endorsement this week: he signed a new long-term deal to continue as the top executive in the news division.
And yet, Capus has not only overseen the NBC News brand's decline; under his watch NBC has piled up a series of scandals based on outright fraudulent editing the likes of which even CNN can't lay claim to.
Just last week, Andrea Mitchell was caught red-handed in an attempt to edit Romney into what could've been a defining gaffe (which you can bet was the whole idea).
Earlier this year, NBC's once-legendary "Today Show" was caught editing a 911 tape to make the caller, alleged Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, look racist.
In August of 2011, NBC's Ed Schultz used deceptive editing to make Texas Governor Rick Perry, who was running for president at the time, look racist.
In August of 2009, NBC's Contessa Brewer was caught deceptively editing a piece of video to portray the Tea Party as racist, but only after she edited out the fact that the Tea Partier carrying a sidearm was a black man.
If you look at the timeline here, you'll see that the frequency of these fraudulent edits is increasing at a rapid rate. Which is probably no accident when you consider how close we are to voting Obama out of office.
In summation: NBC's brand is in trouble, the man behind the decline just got his contract renewed, and the frequency of brand-tarnishing frauds is increasing.
What are we to conclude from this?
Simple: NBC is willing to lose gobs of money and whatever is left of its reputation to get Barack Obama reelected. Capus has created an atmosphere in the news division in which this kind of outright fraud is not only tolerated but probably winked at. Feel free to believe this is all just coincidence, but I do not.
And where are our so-called media watchdogs: Howard Kurtz, Politico's Dylan Byers, and the Washington Post's Erik Wemple?
Like Capus, they are also doing their jobs as nothing more than figurehead toadies.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
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