Saturday, June 17, 2017

Does NBC Believe in Journalism?

Does NBC believe in journalism?  Megyn Kelly's interview with Alex Jones should answer the question.


Journalism is about holding those with power and influence accountable.   If you're not doing accountability journalism, it's not journalism.

Will Megyn Kelly hold Alex Jones accountable?  If she does, it can be a highly worthwhile program. 

If she doesn't, then NBC should simply ask the entertainment division for a laugh track to add to her show.  And NBC should apologize for its lack of standards.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Time to Change the Climate at the Networks

Any citizen concerned about climate change should send three letters, three emails and make three phone calls, one each to ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Ask one question:  why hasn't your network ever done an in-depth piece of reporting on climate change?

Report what you find on social media.  

There's really no need to ask the "who do you hate today network," Fox News anything. Climate change reporting would require something that Fox News has no interest in:  real reporting.   

When journalism fails, bad things happen. 

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

President Trump Needs to Shake Hands With Media Reality

Here's a great paragraph from today's New York Times article on Trump berating the media.

“Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names,” he wrote on Twitter, “it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”

The President needs to ask the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Guardian if he can sit in on an editorial review session for a major article so he can understand just how rigorous editorial review is.   The Times and the Post and the Guardian don't just make it up.
Unlike the White House, they have ethical standards.  


There is good reason to berate the media.   The President can legitimately berate local television stations for not questioning their members of Congress about climate change.   The President can legitimately berate local television stations for not asking their Republican members of Congress why the Republicans had no workable healthcare bill ready to go following years of complaining about Obamacare.   The President can legitimately berate local television stations for ignoring what's happening in their state legislatures.  The President can legitimately berate ABC, NBC, and CBS for never doing any in-depth reporting on climate change, healthcare, the wars, the risk of offshore oil drilling, student debt and every other major problem confronting the country.  

But when the President berates the media for using anonymous Washington sources, who if named would probably lose their jobs, he simply demonstrates what he's demonstrated every day of his presidency, that he does not understand how Washington works.   

Unfortunately, he continually demonstrates he doesn't understand that professional journalism like you see in the Washington Post and the New York Times and the Guardian is absolutely essential to a democracy.   He continually attacks the primary institution required for any democracy to remain strong.  

The President's insults of the media demonstrates the President is an insult to democracy.


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Friday, April 21, 2017

FOX NEWS - BIGGEST FAILURE EVER

The network's biggest star is a serial harasser.   What did FOX do years ago when associate producer Andrea Mackris wouldn't tolerate the harassment and filed suit?   FOX paid millions to keep her quiet.

Review some of the material in the court record available with a click on your favorite topic
at the Smoking Gun to get a true flavor of just how despicable O'Reilly's behavior is and ask one question:  would any responsible corporation with any ethical standards keep Bill O'Reilly employed?    No, of course not. 

But this is FOX.   



So when FOX decides to finally fire a disgusting individual who should have been shown the door after harassing his first female victim, its memo announcing the departure of a serial sexual harasser demonstrates the leadership of the corporation has zero regard for women.

FOX's Announcement

‘‘We’d like to address questions about Bill O’Reilly’s future at Fox News. After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.
This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.
By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news.
Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect."

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FOX doesn't say one negative thing about its serial sexual harasser.   That's not really surprising from a corporation where since its founding a serial sexual harasser, Roger Ailes, ran the place like it was boy's club from the 50's.  

What could possibly be more disgusting than the FOX statement on Bill O'Reilly?   Ah, you're thinking President Trump's support of Bill O'Reilly?   No, one sexual harasser supporting another is not disgusting; it's just the state of affairs in America in 2017.   What's more disgusting than FOX's statement is Bill O'Reilly's.

O'Reilly's Statement

“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
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Nobody pays millions to settle allegations that are totally unfounded.   
It does, however, make sense that the number one anchor on the network that has demonstrated since its founding absolutely no regard for the profession of journalism, that its main star attraction would put a bold face lie in his closing statement.  
FOX and Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes:  there's never been a trio more insulting to women or to journalism.    Send a message to FOX.   Turn off the "who do we hate today" channel. Turn off the "verifying facts prior to broadcast doesn't matter" channel.   Turn off the "it's fine to pay millions to men who harass women and who in turn them pay the victims millions to keep their mouths shut" network.  Turn off the "we have no regard for professional journalism" channel.   Turn it off.   
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What Do Fox Affiliate General Managers Say about O'Reilly?

There is an astounding sentence that's hard to believe in this New York Times piece on Bill O'Reilly.  

"And inside Fox News, three women who work in the newsroom said that the continued support of Mr. O’Reilly by Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, led them to question whether the company was committed to maintaining a work environment “based on trust and respect,” as executives had promised last summer after the network’s founding chairman, Roger E. Ailes, was ousted."

Why would the women question whether 21st Century Fox is committed to a work environment based on trust and respect?   Of course it's not.   That's obvious.   If the corporation were committed to a work place based on trust and respect, Bill O'Reilly would have been fired long ago.  

What do the general managers of Fox affiliates across the country think?   Are they complaining to corporate?   Are they telling corporate to fire O'Reilly?   What do women and men in Fox newsrooms all across the country think?

Are local Fox general managers going to take a stand against sexual harassment?  If so, they'll complain to corporate.   That's what should be happening.   More than likely, the Fox affiliate general managers will be quiet.   They won't want to stand up for women, not when money is involved.   

As the parent company has demonstrated since its founding with serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes at its head, it doesn't care about sexual harassment.  It cares about money.  

Here's an easy worthwhile local story.   Call your local Fox GM.   Has the GM complained to corporate about Fox failing to fire O'Reilly?   If not, how come?   What do women in your local Fox newsroom think should be done with O'Reilly?  What do the men think?  

Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in any workplace.   It will persist as long as everyone stays quiet and does nothing.    Will O'Reilly continue on at Fox?   Most likely.  Attorney Lisa Bloom aptly and accurately describes Fox News headquarters in New York as the "Bill Cosby of corporate America."   
Attorney Lisa Bloom (L) with client Dr. Wendy Walsh
Will the parent company take substantive and strong deliberative action to change that?  Probably not.  It doesn't care about sexual harassment.  If it did, Roger Ailes never would have been hired in the first place,  and O'Reilly would have been fired long ago.   Fox IS the Bill Cosby of Corporate America.   For viewers who think sexual harassment is wrong, turn off Fox.   Turn off the station that supported the candidate for president who thinks it's ok to grab women.   It's not.  Not ever.  Sexual harassment is wrong.   It's always wrong.   It should never be tolerated, and neither should corporations who allow it year after year after year after year because the harasser has a show with high ratings.    Turn off Fox until Fox turns off Bill O'Reilly. 


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