Seldom at a loss for words.

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A selection of words from my vast vocabulary, including the ubiquitous "the," the always versatile "and," and the more obscure "incontrovertible," arranged in frequently meaningful, sometimes profound, yet often pedestrian sentences and statements, designed with one goal in mind-- that being, to communicate; keeping in mind the oft-used bromide, "Never use two words when one will do the same job as two or more words would have done, unless you just want to take up space and sound important," which is, I must concede, too often a secret objective of mine indeed. And yet, now, the secret is out.

Who ARE these women?

© MMX Mattquist. Some Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Channel 12 News: First, Live, Loco

This won't take much of an introduction. Here's an email I sent to the FOX 12 Oregon news department, and some back-and-forth responses:
I realize that television news is a business (a fact that I believe many people just don't understand), but I really have to take exception to a "teaser" you had tonight.

At the 9:53 teaser, Wayne Garcia said "Could the Trail Blazers be moving north? We'll talk the to NBA commissioner about the possibility of moving the Trail Blazers to Seattle," in his effort to get viewers to watch the Ten O'clock News. (This false teaser was repeated during the newscast as well.)

Of course, there was no story. The entire CONCEPT was fabricated just to get people to watch the news-- it was just your reporter Matt Smith's question, not something the commissioner had ventured. (Oh, and his answer to what the chances are of the Trail Blazers moving to Seattle?: "NONE. NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER.") This was not a news story, this was your slick marketing.

I resent this disingenuous and insulting attempt to gain viewers by taunting them with misrepresentations. It's not much different from asking a hypothetical question, such as, "Did Queen Elizabeth slap President Bush in the face over an insulting remark he made about her hair?" and then when it's time for the story, simply saying, "No. That never happened... (but thanks for tuning in to find out!)"

Many months ago I switched from the Ten O'clock News to watch KGW's ten o'clock news on the CW (channel 3 on Comcast) because I was tired of the flashy hype peddled by your station in place of real news. Tonight I tried you guys out again, just to see if anything had changed. It hadn't; and I won't be back until you decide to return to real, credible journalism.

This prompted a response from Channel 12:
"Many news outlets in the Seattle and Portland have been discussing the possibility of Paul Allen [who lives in the Seattle area, already owns several sports franchises in Seattle, has his venture capital firm in Seattle] moving the the Blazers to Seattle once the Sonics head out of town.

We asked the NBA commissioner whether this could happen. It is a news story. We did not fabricate anything.

We are sorry you did not like how the story was teased."

To which I wrote back:
Thanks for responding to my comment. I would venture a guess that we're not going to see eye-to-eye on this, but I would like to respond to what you said.

I took the liberty to do a web search of "Blazers moving to Seattle," and found no news stories about it-- not even a mention of it in the Seattle media (unless you count a 1990 story), as you state. What I did find were some sports forums discussing the topic (from back in 2006) and one column (not a news story) talking about the speculation, on And actually, my biggest evidence that this was not a news story is that your own web site, said nothing about it at all. If it was news (and not just a topic for columnists and sports forums) then why wasn't this story even mentioned on your own news web site?

From my perspective the story did not qualify as news (and your web producer apparently agrees with me); it was speculation that would be more appropriate for a talk show topic. There was no news value to it at all-- its value consisted in taunting people to watch your broadcast. I still view that as disingenuous and deceptive-- certainly not qualities I look for in a news source.

The gentleman at channel 12 sent me some stories, but I did a little digging and found that most of the articles he referred to are years old. I responded with this:
Well, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the USA Today article is not from Portland or Seattle, as you claimed, and it was written three months ago. All of the other articles you sent are from 2006 or earlier-- long before the Sonics were poised to move to Oklahoma City.

But that's not my point. Sure, the idea of moving the Blazers to Seattle is a topic of discussion and speculation; I don't dispute that. What I do disagree with is how the Ten O'clock News "teased" it. The way the rhetorical question was posed was misleading. Again, if it really was a legitimate news story, why didn't your web site post the story?

Thanks again for your time. I hope my input causes some discussion down there at channel 12. I think it's something that needs to be looked at.

I really dislike news teasers that are misleading and misrepresent the facts. That's just not good journalism.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 3/06/2008 07:03:00 PM |


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