Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Heartland Connection" to Jackson Trial Found!

No matter how much local TV news we watch, we always seem to miss something. Browsing the video section of the WOWT website, we noticed the story about the "former Omahan" who served as a juror in the Michael Jackson trial that ended earlier this week.

The "Omaha Connection" fetish is an old standby that local media just can't seem to get enough of, no matter how remote that connection may be. In this case, the link is pretty remote: Ray Hultman, the juror in question, hasn't lived in Omaha since 1972.

Since this was apparently John Knicely's "reporting" foray for the week, we learned the following:
  • Knicely talked to him on the phone!
  • Hultman is 62 years old.
  • He was Juror Number One! (Who says a local boy can't make it in the big city?)
  • And Knicely solved the "mystery" of who had been delivering baked goods to the jury room (you may want to sit down for this): It was Ray's wife!
Someone get Woodward and Bernstein on the phone.

Occasionally, "connection" stories make sense: Alexander Payne wins an Oscar? Sure. Fat triplets get humiliated on "American Idol"? You bet. But a celebrity trial juror who hasn't lived here in 33 years? Give it a rest, please.


Renee said...

Of course this town is desperately obsessed with connections. I had no idea Brando was born here until he died and local tv told me. A lot of people were born here... and left soon after. Big whoop.

Anne Ramsey from The Goonies and Throw Mama from the Train is buried in Forest Lawn. Now that's a local connection to brag about. ;)

gradstudent said...

In News Writing 101 you would have learned that journalists define news as having the following six characteristics: consequence, interest, timeliness, proximity, prominence and conflict.
Although you didn't like it; it was ligitimate news.

Ted Brockman said...

In 4th grade, you would've learned to check your spelling. That way you wouldn't embarrass yourself by misspelling legitimate.

gradstudent said...

go ahead and step around the real misspelled word (and your ego) is more important...

TheJackal said...

I won't step around the real issue. That story was of no consequence, little interest, was not prominent in any sense of the word, and, unless Mr. Hultman disputes the fact that he used to live in Omaha, it had no conflict.
I guess that it did have the qualities timeliness and proximity, but there are a lot of things that meet those two characeristics that aren't news.
I side with the OMA News Crew on this one.

janetdoe said...

Children, children... behave.

The only worthwhile schooling in journalism is on the job. If gradstudent is indicative of this person's level of education, then he or she wasted some money on a graduate degree in journalism.

The only question you ask is "why should viewers care?" The average level of interest in this juror is along the lines of: "He's from Omaha? Huh. Didn't know that." That's about it.

What you have at Channel 6 is Dennis Wilden and Amy Adams banging their heads against the wall in the morning meeting, clutching at straws to come up with a local angle to force someone to pursue. This is driven by the news director's orders, which are driven by the consultant.

Trying to make a story out of nothing just because you are afraid channel 7 will do it if you don't is pathetic.

frankiesolich said...

janet, Im wondering what type of employee publicly trashes the station they work for and the people they work with. Don't you even have a twinge of guilt when you take your paycheck every two weeks? I saw an interesting article the other day about people getting fired for trashing their employers in a blog.

janetdoe said...

frankie, I am laughing all the way to the bank at you remark. Cha-ching! Guilt? Ha! What a little boy scout shithead you are. GUILT?!

Get a clue! All that teamwork and loyalty crap goes out the window the first time you pissed on by one of the brainless sheep making the decisions and supposedly offering you guidance in preparing your work product. Baaaaa... Baaaaa... Next!

frankiesolich said...


Im guessing you don't care, but I actually feel sorry for you.

janetdoe said...

Oh my god. Laughing off my goddamned chair!!! Frankie -- thank you! That is the BEST laugh I have had in weeks!

I really need your pity. I am such a basketcase!

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