Friday, February 03, 2006

Flooded By Bad Reporting

What the hell is happening? There are so many instances of horrible reporting that we can't keep up...

• An alert reader reminded us of KETV's Owen Lei, who kept referring to the engineer of a train as "the conductor."

• On Friday's "Action 3 News" at 5 p.m., reporter Kayla Thomas was sporting a green coat with matching hat, the latter of which looked like the hats worn by the "Wild and Crazy" Croatian brothers portrayed by Dan Ackroyd and Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live back in the late '70s.

• And then the normally solid Michelle Bandur on Channel 3's Thursday 'casts, as described by an alert reader:

I generally agree with your wait-and-see approach about 3's new format -- and your willingness to at least give them credit for trying something new -- but I'm concerned about something that apparently is a point of emphasis: The desire to make the reporter either THE story or a major part of it.

And I'm not just talking about Joe "lock-your-jaw-and-raise-one-eyebrow" Jordan. Thursday night, he made my skin crawl by referring to the stolen tissue issue as "skin-crawling" before recycling a bunch of footage of his oh-so-slimy interviews with a few guido N.Y. attorneys.

Then Thursday night, we saw Michelle Bandur literally grilling the guy who was paralyzed in the Benson Pawn Shop robbery. Twice, she ambushed him as his buddies helped him out of the car and into a wheelchair, saying: "I mean, you know, you lost your legs and your best friend and now they're charging you with robbery. Do you think that's fair?"

It might -- MIGHT -- be appropriate if the guy wanted to give his side but he clearly wanted nothing to do with her. I felt slimy just watching her trying to grill him. Then she tried to wrap up the garbage with the same reference to him losing his legs and his buddy -- and maybe his freedom! We get it, Michelle. He's paralyzed, though technically, he didn't lose his legs. He lost the use of them.

Wednesday night, they tried to spin a neighborhood's court victory over the liquor license of that tobacco/alcohol shop by going to a Benson neighborhood meeting. Never mind that the shop wasn't in Benson. The reporter asked some mild-mannered Benson leader how empowering this was for groups like his -- he understandably looked bewildered -- so the camera focused in on her as she intensely and intently repeated the question.

If they're focused on making the reporters the story, those reporters better come up with some better copy. So far, from the flashy graphics to the whooshing sound effects to the hot-dog reporters, this feels far too much like the Fox stations you see in Kansas City or Denver or Chicago. Fourth-rate and, typically, fourth-ranked in their markets.

C'mon people, you're making writing this blog too easy.


AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

In all fairness, I must comment that, in this case, KETV's Owen Lei was CORRECT in referring to the train crew member as the conductor. Union Pacific freight trains generally have a two-person crew--the engineer and the conductor--who both work in the engine car at the front of the train.

oldnewshound said...

I recently discovered Omaha TV News and bust a gut over your comments and critiques of the local news offerings which I decided since moving here a while back is quite weak. No real news and usually trying to make something out of nothing. Generally I only watch the TV news to know what's going on with the weather but even that is hard to watch sometimes. And what's the deal with nobody really covering any sports? I now understand what tunnel vision there is in this state with the Big Red being the only thing to talk about when it comes to sports. Of course, even if "Action 3 News" does a real sportscast I'll never know because just the sight of "Travisty of Injustice" makes me wanna puke. Calling him a tool is actually a compliment. He's not sharp enough to be a tool.
I have somewhat enjoyed the change at KMTV to "Action 3 News." It seems they are trying to get more "real" news but I do find I am somewhat out of breath after watching the newscast because it moves so fast.
But what about Kayla Thomas the other night? What was the deal with her lime green outfit? Not only did it look like she was trying to out as Akroyd's "wiiild and craaazy" girlfriend it also looked like I was watching a giant lime delivering the news. Who has authority over wardrobe decisions at that station? Of course, Kaya isn't the only reporter and/or anchor in town who really needs some good wardobe and hairstyling advice.
And why was Michelle Bandur asking the guy who tried to rob the Benson pawn shop if he thought it was fair he was being charged? Of course it's fair! He tried to rob the place at gunpoint! I applaud the pawnshop owners for taking action. Hopefully the other punks in town will think twice before trying something similar.
OH... I was watching this morning as Andrea McMaster was talking about another bombing in Iraq and I'm pretty sure I heard her say it was an "impoverished explosive device" that caused the bombing. I've met Andrea. A sweet girl but she does fit the blonde stereotpye.


King Vernon said...

I met the boys' grandmother or someone related to him. For a second I felt kind of bad, until I found out he was committing a crime when he got shot. Didn't feel bad at all.

Obbop said...

Regarding the lad in the wheel chair; wouldn't a more appropriate question have been to ask, "Do you believe that having to use a wheel chair to be mobile will deter you in any future criminal activity" would have been more appropriate and would have had a secondary effect of warning others of the danger of using criminal activity to wend one up the socio-economic ladder.

omatvwatcher said...

Please tell me you've seen 7's I-team commercials during the Superbowl! Maybe Farah Fazal can investigate the meaning of the initials UP. Or maybe Mike Sigmond could investigate how to report a real investigative story. Looks like this sweeps is going to be a little extra crusty this year.

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