ABC News fails at journalism in Ark Encounter segment

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December 8, 2010

Sure, they’re not alone. You can lump the New York Times and Lexington Herald Leader right along with them. But this segment on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer is the pinnacle of sloppy, lazy journalism:

There is zero mention of the fact that this park will demonstrate the “scientific fact” that a human herded dinosaurs onto a boat a few thousand years ago.

They trumpet in giant numbers scrolling across the screen that Ark Encounter will bring in 1.6 million visitors and $250 million in revenue in the first year, without noting that the “independent feasibility study” that they are citing is from Ken Ham’s own fundamentalist buddy/business partner.

They receive an answer from the Ark representative saying that 10,000 pairs of animals were on the ark, without noting for the viewer that there are roughly 30 million different species alive today (such a short time after the flood, and all…).

And lastly… THE PUNS. Good frackin’ God. It burns.

Thank you, Diane Sawyer. Everyone is stupider for you having shared this story with America.

Shocker: Wolf Blitzer commits an Act of Journalism

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November 18, 2010

On national TeeVee, no less!

BLITZER: In our brand new poll we asked about the bush tax cuts, should they continue at the current rate? All Americans 35 percent, families making less than $250,000 49 percent, no one 15 percent. So only a third according to this poll want all the tax rates to continue as is. You’re not listening to the American people, right?

SCHOCK: Well I can only speak about the district that I represent in the center part of the country in Midwestern Illinois. The message we heard in this election was we don’t want anyone’s taxes going up in a down economy.

BLITZER: And when you said do you want millionaires and billionaires to continue get the same tax rate, they said yes please make sure they get only 36 percent federal income tax rate as opposed to 39.6 percent?

Total Invasion of the Bodysnatchers stuff, here.

And here I thought Mitch McConnell was telling us the truth when he said this the day after the election:

The Courier Journal’s Shame

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June 20, 2010

Back when I was teaching, if a student would have turned in the Courier Journal’s “print exclusive” they ran this morning, I would have given him an automatic F in the course and turned him in to the Dean.

The article is a history of Rand Paul’s wacky statements, written in a way to lead the reader to believe that the author uncovered all of this work and research himself. He did not specifically cite a single person/paper/blog/blogger/source of any kind that originally did the work to uncover these statements over the past year.

This is just a horrible travesty of journalism. Andy Wolfson is the Milli Vanilli of KY media, and the Courier Journal should be ashamed of themselves.

WHAS’s Joe Arnold and WaPo’s Dave Weigel have a cat fight over treatment of Rand Paul

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May 25, 2010

The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel (a Libertarian) took a swipe yesterday at WHAS’s Joe Arnold for giving a softball interview with Rand Paul a few days ago:

Kentucky TV reporter Joe Arnold, who ran some of the most glowing stories about Rand Paul’s U.S. Senate campaign in the run-up to last week’s primary, is the only reporter who got Paul on video after the subsequent Civil Rights Act blow-up.

The short conversation is well worth watching to get a sense of the questions Paul was used to before becoming a national star. Josh Green suggested that the media in Kentucky was unusually toothless, but I didn’t see much tougher coverage coming from the national press. The difference now is that the local press can get access to Paul by not jumping on the bandwagon.

Joe Arnold shot back at Weigel late last night:

On that last point, Weigel owes me an apology. He implies that the local press, namely me, has some agreement with Paul as to what questions I will ask, or that I am unwilling to ask tough questions.

My view of my performance is certainly biased, but I believe that I was persistent in seeking both clarification and comment on the Civil Rights Act controversy, while also seeking some new information. By the time I got to Paul on Friday, he had already clarified his Civil Rights Act stance on both CNN with Wolf Blitzer and on ABC’s Good Morning America. I could have exhausted my limited time with Paul for what would have essentially been a repeat of those other interviews, or I could try to break new ground.

For instance, I sought an indication of how Paul’s limited government view would affect specific bureaucracies, such as the Department of Education. Some real news to come out of this interview is that Paul backed off his earlier stated position that the Education Department be abolished. But, in the clatter of the firestorm, that point was lost on most critics.

If Joe Arnold honestly thinks that was a hard-hitting interview, letting Rand Paul make claims that he knew were false without calling him out on it and pressing him on it, then let’s all drink a toast to the death of journalism in Kentucky.

Stenography outbreak in Henderson, KY

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April 29, 2010

You might never find a finer example of stenography in a newspaper (writing down talking points without fact-checking, rebuttal, etc…) than this.

The funny thing is, when people ask Frank Boyett what he does for a living, he probably says he’s a “journalist”. And I’m a pirate.

(h/t Gay Skeletor)

Sad News

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March 10, 2009

Veteran WHAS reporter Chuck Olmstead has passed away at the young age of 60. My sympathies go out to his family and friends. There is no doubt that he will be missed by colleagues and fans alike. (h/t: The ‘Ville Voice)




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