Now, we know we'll be accused of picking on Channel Sux, but the facts speak for themselves.
All four local stations reported on the horrible case in which a woman is accused of leaving her dog outside without food and allowing the animal to either freeze or starve to death.
To draw attention to the story, the Nebraska Humane Society released photos of the dog and the doghouse in which it died, which all seem to have used.
KETV Newswatch 7's Melissa Fry handled the story for her station and photographs of the dog were pixelated so as to spare viewers the stomach-turning sight. Kudos to her.
KPTM's gave the story to reporter Jenny Nowatzke, who also chose not to shock viewers with the most graphic of the photos. Good work.
A check of KMTV's website displayed no video of the story, so we don't know how the photos were handled. Given that longtime reporter Kathy Sarantos-Niver filed the story, it's hard to imagine that she felt the need to sensationalize the dog's suffering. Who knows?
But then there's SuxNews. Perhaps it was too much work for them to pixelate the close-ups of the dog. Maybe it was just another of the all-too-plentiful "technical glitches" associated with the ultra-high-tech equipment their promos are always bragging about.
No matter how you spin it, it's hard to find an acceptable excuse for dimwit Brian Latham augmenting his mumbly report with up-close, unpixelated pictures of the animal curled up and frozen to the bottom of its doghouse. And there was no warning for viewers that the content might be disturbing. Nothing.
Compounding the offense, the station plastered a similarly graphic still shot of the dog in the "Latest Headlines" rotation on its "web channel," again without providing any sort of opportunity for visitors to avoid being ambushed.
This sort of gross incompetence and unprofessional work is a prime example of why we hammer this station so frequently. They make it easier every time they hire inferior talent, engage in what one alert reader calls "intellectual dishonesty," and air anything they have lying around, just to fill another few minutes of airtime.
Television stations are supposedly to be operated "in the public interest." Exactly how is that interest served when a station airs this kind of shoddy, shocking work?