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Trump has audio problems; "NBC Nightly News" ends with feel-good story relevant to Ripa story

This is what I’m thinking:

Some readers may be surprised I’m saying this, but I wish I could have heard what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said better than I was able to during his televised victory speech after he swept five more state primaries on Tuesday night.

His team’s organizational skills have been questioned in the race to get undeclared delegates, but you would think they would help the cable networks get better audio.

I had difficulty hearing the start of Trump’s speech at CNN so I switched over to Fox News. It had the same problem. It is hard to know if the audio problems can be blamed on the cable networks or on Trump’s team. But it certainly hurt Trump more than the networks.

Eventually, the sound was better, but when Trump decided to take questions you couldn’t hear them.

A couple of things came in loud and clear.

Trump declared himself the presumptive Republican nominee.

And he has decided to attack Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who won four of five state primaries Tuesday, in a way that is insulting to a great many women.

Trump’s suggestion that she would only get five percent of the vote if she were a man is one of the stranger things Trump has said. And that’s saying something. Analysts were puzzled by it.

I was a little surprised Tuesday night when Kelly Ripa’s return to her ABC morning television show, “Live! Kelly and Michael,” made the “NBC Nightly News.”

Sure, the story of her feeling disrespected for not being told co-host Michael Strahan was leaving for “Good Morning America” until shortly because it was announced has gotten a lot of national attention.

But the story that Ripa said was partly about “respect in the workplace” hardly seemed to be worthy of a rival’s nightly newscast even in the days that celebrity news often gets more attention than it deserves.

The Ripa story has the potential to undermine the popularity of Strahan at a time that ABC hopes to ride his popularity to help its lucrative morning program.

The goal Monday seemed to be damage control for both Ripa’s program and “GMA.”

Her opening remark “our long national nightmare is over” was widely reported without the context. The assumption was that all viewers of her program knew that President Gerald Ford used that line after he took office in 1974 after the resignation of President Nixon. But I doubt all her viewers – many of whom were born after 1974 -- got the joke.

Ripa also cracked that there would be violent consequences if she went “off message.”

She was trying to be funny, but it also appeared to be almost an admission that what viewers were seeing and hearing was a bit of a charade.

It will be some time before ABC will see if the damage control worked or if it will be as big a morning disaster as the time that “Today” dropped Jane Pauley for Deborah Norville.

The end of Tuesday’s “Nightly News” seemed complementary to the earlier Ripa story. The finale story in the newscast was about the owner of Chobani Yogurt giving his employees in upstate New York a 10 percent stake in the billion dollar company that could be worth $100,000 or more to some of them.

Correspondent Harry Smith ended the piece by saying “the money means a lot to these folks, but being appreciated means even more.”

Sounds like Ripa could have been written those words as well.

apergament@buffnews.com

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