Wednesday, March 03, 2010


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?


Big Mark 243 said...

Can't argue with you there, and I don't even live in the market (yet). These people are cheating the profession.

Al said...

Disgusting, way to be real crude Channel 6. Embarrassing.

kev said...

Too bad the FCC probably cannont fine Sux. Other than the Super Bowl "Wardrobe Malfunction" I have not seen them do too much with tasteless airing of crap.

Cogitor said...

When this story is rerun this weekend (and it will be, both days, ad nauseum), I strongly suspect that at the conclusion of the package, the terminally uncomfortable Brian Latham will thank himself when the camera returns to the studio. His constant habit of thanking the tape at the conclusion of a week-old package is most annoying. As stiff as he is on camera, it seems unlikely that he could muster the srength to break that habit.

Off-topic, but worth mentioning since we hammer her so much: I'm wondering if the lovely Malorie Maddox has taken any diction lessons lately. She actually said "budget" this morning. Not "bedjit". Something else came out right as well, though I can't remember what it was. She was much clearer on several other words this morning too, at least for the few seconds I witnessed as I was passing by.

News Producer said...

Actually.. six wasn't the only one that showed the dead dog.. so did three.. they actually zoomed in on the picture several times.. and it was not blurred. They may not have posted it on the web.. but they did enough damage on air.

Dumb Anguish said...


I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed Latham's compulsion to thank video tape. Have you noticed his obsession with crime tape? Every time there's an incident involving police putting up crime tape, he'll make sure viewers are aware that crime tape was to be found.

Cogitor said...

Yup...he certainly does. He's so stilted it's almost funny! Just about everybody loosens up after a while. Heck, Baltes was robotic when he started, and I think he was doing pretty well when he left. But Latham and "smooth: appear never to meet. Put him out on a beat, and get someone who's got some camera presence to match Caitlin (and who doesn't thank tape after every story).

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