The Transmission of Blue

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Jon Rappoport, investigative reporter and author, writes about the hypnotic use of color in television news on ZenGardner.com

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NBC News Brian Williams

Some people would call it simply an effort to please the audience. Well, pleasing the audience during a national news broadcast isn’t the objective, unless ratings and viewer numbers and ad revenues and distraction from facts is actually the plan…and of course it is.

Just now, I forced myself to watch a rebroadcast of Wednesday night’s NBC News with the golden boy, Brian Williams.

But Brian wasn’t golden, he was blue, which happens to be people’s favorite color in multiple surveys. Restful calming blue.

Here is what I saw in the first five minutes. I couldn’t handle more. (I urge you to go to NBC and look for yourself.)

Brian was wearing a blue suit. All the backgrounds for captions were blue. Small screens behind Brian were blue. Brian’s desk panels were blue. The surface of the desk reflected vague blue tints.

The lead story, the CIA torture report, featured blue in the CIA seal. Andrea Mitchell, who was covering the report’s release, was wearing a dark blue outfit. Behind her, the Capitol dome sat in a blue sky. A psychologist named Mitchell, an architect of the torture program, was interviewed. His shirt was partly blue. He was wearing blue jeans. The NBC reporter interviewing him was wearing a light blue shirt. A map of the world appeared onscreen, sitting in a field of blue. Behind Andrea, the background was filled with objects of different blues. Reporter Dana Priest was interviewed for the story. A piece of the background behind her was blue. Michael Hayden was interviewed. He was wearing a blue suit.

I watched the beginning of the next story: the NFL’s new policy on player discipline. Commissioner Roger Goodell stood in front of a blue background. He was wearing a blue suit.

Again, I emphasize—all this was in the first five minutes of the newscast.

You could say the news itself was merely an occasion for the transmission of blue.

“Let’s have dinner in front of the TV and watch the news. I like the blue.”

“Which channel?”

“NBC. Their blue is better than the CBS blue.”

“You’re right. It makes me feel restful. The CIA torture couldn’t have been that bad. It’s blue. I’m reassured.”

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