Tuesday, August 17, 2004

This Just In

So I'm the car last Thursday, listening to Channel 6's coverage of Jim McGreevey's resignation. I hear a reporter -- Cathy Gandolfo or Nora Muchanic, I think -- mention that there have been rumors of the governor's switch-hitting for a while now, but that Action News tries not to report rumors.

And I hear anchor Jim Gardner, his immaculately trimmed mustache bristling, cut off the reporter and say with barely contained righteous fury, "Not only do we try not to report rumors, we don't report them."

Had I been drinking something at the time, I would have executed a world-class spit-take onto the interior of my windshield.

Only among the good folks in WPVI's marketing department is Gardner considered some sort of scrupulous, ethically upstanding paragon of journalistic integrity. How many times in his career do you think he's begun a sentence "Sources tell Action News ... "? In fact, the missus reported that not long after Gardner's snippy correction, he passed along an unconfirmed report about a potential sexual-harassment lawsuit against McGreevey. That the report was later confirmed doesn't change its status as, yes, a rumor at the time Gardner delivered it.

Broadcast journalism traffics in rumor-mongering. Without it, those pretty men and women on camera might have to attempt something they're professionally incapable of doing -- actual reporting.

5 Comments:

At August 17, 2004 at 6:19 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Gardner is a tool. He sits in his comfy chair with that smug grin on his face while he reports the "big stories" of the day, convincing himself that he is a "journalist." Most of the talking heads at that station are the same way. A few years ago, I was working the Puerto Rican Day parade, running from shooting to shooting with that newsvan following us the entire time. Pompous, blow-dried pretty boy Matt O'Donnell then had the temerity to report that the parade (and the "after riots") went off "without incident." Tell that to the dozen or so people who were being treated for gunshot wounds. Matty didn't mention that because it wouldn't be P.C. Nice.

"Respected television news journalist" - now there's a contradiction in terms.

 
At August 18, 2004 at 8:40 PM, Blogger gr said...

i met jim gardner back when i was working corporate golf tournaments in sunburban philly in , like, '99. he's a humorless prick and a close-talker.

 
At August 19, 2004 at 6:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I've heard for years that Channel 6 uses bullying tactics to try to get a story. I remember one story where David Henry (who may have the cheesiest moustache in Philly news EVER) berated someone who lost a relative because she decided to interview with someone from Channel 10 instead.

On a related topic, Gary Papa took a karate course that my cousin was in. My cuz said he was a pompous ass who needed a serious asskicking. He also said that other students laughed at him because he walked around class like he was king of the world.

I've also heard Monica Malpass thinks her shit don't stink.

 
At August 20, 2004 at 8:42 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Hey, Hey, Hey! Not Monica! (Although I have heard that she curses like a sailor among friends). What newswoman (and that includes Larry Mendte) does think her shit stinks? And what sportscaster isn't a pompous ass?

Just do what I do: stop watching these police report rundowns, watch ESPN for the sports, the Weather Channel for the weather, and catch the news in tomorrow's paper.

 
At August 20, 2004 at 6:52 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I don't disagree that most/all newscasters are pompous assholes. I just thought I'd add my 2 pennies on what I've heard about them. I get most of my news from KYW 1060.

 

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