Saturday, narrow win for the RNG.
Sunday morning, decisive win for TV news.
But the prime-timers haven't had a go yet. In this, the final day of the competition, the RNG is pitted against the big names of primetime cable news, who really don't come out to play on weekends. What happens when ratings start to affect the story choices? The RNG doesn't care. The RNG doesn't know what ratings are. It picks what it picks.
This is about where I kind of regret picking this particular Monday for this competition, as it has been realized too late that Monday Night Football this week is Packers/Bears. In Wisconsin, that's a bit of an oversight. So I'll have to slalom between the game and the news.
But, that's my problem, not yours. TV, take your shot.
CNN: Rick's List, hosted by Rick Sanchez. He is announcing the results of a giveaway of a book he wrote, and promoting a book-signing he will be doing in Atlanta. That is... that is a poor showing there, Rick.
CNN Headline News: Nancy Grace.
"URGENT BREAKING NEWS
COPS: NURSE HIRES MAN TO KILL HUSBAND IN EXCHANGE FOR A MOTORCYCLE!"
Seriously. That's how the byline is written. With the exclamation point and everything.
FOX News: Bill O'Reilly's answering his e-mail. The specific letter mentions the Rally To Restore Sanity, which launches O'Reilly into a criticism of Stephen Colbert's testimony in front of Congress.
MSNBC: The crossover from Keith Olbermann to Rachel Maddow. Maddow begins her night with noting how Republicans are running national campaigns for the upcoming election, while Democrats are running local campaigns.
CNN International: Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, showing a report on Afghan civilians being killed for sport by US troops. Drew Griffin reports.
Bloomberg: Nigeria flooding causing fears of a food shortage.
FOX Business: Cavuto, noting how a Congressional vote on the Bush tax cuts was delayed until after the election. Or, as the byline put it, "CONGRESS PUNTS: TAX HIKES FOR ALL BEGIN ON JANUARY 1ST". (International readers should be reminded that this current Congress, regardless of the election's outcome, will still be seated until January 3rd.)
CNN International, Bloomberg and to a lesser extent Maddow rescuing an otherwise dismal lineup, damaged further by terrible coverage of those terrible story choices.
The RNG only gets 7 spins, but with the opposition it's been given, it shouldn't need more:
United Arab Emirates
Scores of potential. Very strong lineup, as strong as one could ask. But it still has to be converted on. And as you'll see, Serbia shows up twice. Intriguing gambit by the RNG.
Serbia 1: Assailants blew up the cars of two Serbs somewhere in that country's northern area; police think it's in response to the Serbs in question with Albanian minorities in Kosovo, a nation some Serbs do not recognize the independence of.
Spain: We have a corruption trial underway; 95 defendants accused of collectively making off with 2.4 billion euros from the coffers of the city of Marbella. Marbella was robbed so blind that it couldn't pay "even the smallest bills to local businesses, rubbish collectors and cleaners."
Norway: The nation's central bank is suing Citigroup for exactly what you'd expect them to sue Citigroup over.
Belize: Hurricane... er, Tropical Storm... wait, Tropical Depression Matthew passes over.
Serbia 2: Went to the Serbia well once too often; this time we can only come up with tennis player Viktor Troicki beating Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the Thailand Open. Troicki is seeded 7th; Rafael Nadal is seeded 1st.
United Arab Emirates: They've banned Dead Rising 2. Why? No official reason given, but probably every single reason you'd want to play it.
Madagascar: A piece on Operation Smile, an organization of volunteer hospitals in the developing world; in this case in Antananarivo.
Only the one real clunker from the second try in Serbia; the gambit failed. That's a decisive RNG victory, making up almost entirely for the loss on Sunday.
Which leaves us in a bit of a pickle. Really, if you added the quality of the RNG's Saturday win to the quality of the Monday win, it adds up to basically the amount of TV news' Sunday win.
Scoring on rounds won, the RNG wins 2 days to 1. But on points?
It's a tie.