Monday, August 13, 2007

Who's Zoomin' Who

CNY Insider offers up a little local media criticism.

But that doesn't matter to WIBX's First Look Host and now News Director Dave Andrews. As is custom Dave becomes the best friend of whomever is sitting in front of him. This morning he gave Betcher ca rte Blanche to sound off on each and every point he wanted and did not challenge him one bit. At one point he even asked Betcher to "give him the facts" as if in this situation Betcher owns the rights to the "facts".

Now, this beef has little to do with the topic, because truthfully I do not know enough to say one side's argument is better than the other. What I do know is that an issues newstalk show, which First Look claims to be, is worthless if the host does not take a few minutes to read a newspaper and come up with one or two probing questions that force the interviewee to prove his or her point. If I was interested in only hearing Betcher's side of the story, I'd read the propaganda on his web site.

I think Insider pretty much hits the nail on the head- nearly every member of the local mainstream media is incredibly lazy. The bar for reporting in Utica is set amazingly low and with a few exceptions, usually staffers at the O-D, most of them are looking to crank out enough copy to fill up their assigned slot with as little work as possible.

There's also a case to be made that the local media is far too chummy with the political class. In some cases they are, quite literally, in bed with the very people they're reporting on. In Mr. Andrews case he was a government employee of one sort or another until fairly recently, when an unfortunate incident, or incidents depending on who is telling the story, brought his career as head of the DARE program to a screeching halt. Then we have Ryan Nobles, who managed to parlay his job as a reporter into a political career while his girlfriend, now his wife, was still slaving away under the hot lights of the newsroom. And lets not forget the seemingly endless stream of interns and talking heads from local broadcast outlets, usually but not always female, that ended up doing the horizontal monkey dance with some of the very politicians they were covering.

Well, they were still "covering" them, but a bit more carnally than journalistic ethics normally allows.