Green Room

Dumbasses In Mainstream Media

posted at 5:53 pm on February 12, 2013 by

The Christopher Dorner manhunt shifted into high gear this afternoon as the fugitive was spotted and engaged in a gunfight with deputies and other law enforcement on Bear Mountain in Southern California. KCBS/KCAL, two sister stations that share reporters and resources, decided to go with the editorial decision to broadcast live from the scene, instead of using the standard delay.

One of their reporters was on a cell phone while the shooting began, and after a few F bombs hurled his way, the reporter got the hint that law enforcement was requesting in the strongest possible way that for his own safety, perhaps he could relocate with all haste to a vantage point that might not get him killed in the crossfire. As a media person myself, I noticed that ten seconds of running the feed through a delay was not going to deprive the viewing public of learning what was going on in the story, and there really is no good reason not to use the delay.

But after that call, about 30 minutes later, the mistake was compounded by whoever isn’t directing the ongoing news story, when the anchor broke into the phone call of the same reporter on site to bring you this important piece of information:


For those of you who wonder why radio shows screen phone calls, or at least try to, this would be why. KCAL, next time, hit the delay and count to ten, and then tell us what you want to tell us. No one’s going to care who was first by how many seconds when the story is over, and you won’t look anywhere as foolish. And you won’t owe the feds quite so much in fines.

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Remember when forbidding showing pregnant women was prevalent…we are just around the corner from “F-bombs” being the norm….see Hollywood, pro sports figures, rappers, etc…we are one morally bankrupt country, as well as financially…thanks Libiots…

hillsoftx on February 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

I like how they try to justify their own stupidity by citing today is a “serious day” in LA. As if that makes the prank call somehow worse and their dumb decision to jump at the first thing they can as a good thing.

ButterflyDragon on February 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Dumbass vs jackass. May the best ass win!

Stoic Patriot on February 12, 2013 at 6:29 PM

They could go from reporting the news to being the news.

LizardLips on February 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Quite the snark DP.
While applying a seven-second delay to audio in the radio world might be commonplace – it’s not at all the case in television. I’ve worked at numerous stations, and have directed live newscasts at each of them. I can tell you that not one of the stations would consider running their broadcasts thru a delay. Hence, our anchors would constantly remind our viewers that we were taking a live feed, or that we were watching raw, unedited video. As a director, I was keenly aware that we would need to dump the video or audio source if it became too unsettling, or became evident that we had a prankster on the line. (Think of the shots of people jumping from the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11 – we saw that because the national television media was taking the feeds live). Yes, by the time we switch to another source, it’s too late – but you’re being dishonest if you don’t think that being first to deliver a story isn’t important. I’m sure that I don’t need to explain how ratings translate into dollars.

Hill60 on February 12, 2013 at 6:36 PM

hill, 8 seconds don’t cost you dollars. “live” sporting events are run through a delay all the time, becuase of the unpredictability of classless athletes and/or fans who like to cuss on an open mic. there’s no reason they couldn’t have built up delay in between the f bombs and when the prank caller got on. kcal got the scoop because they had the reporter on a cell phone in the middle of it. they were the only one who had it. 8 seconds wouldn’t have cost them their scoop.

Duane Patterson on February 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I feel that all the delay devices on radio and TV are a form of nanny stateism.
We hear all this language in music and regular talk every day. Why should some entity of govt decide that we should be protected from ourselves in this matter?

Let people be heard for what they are.

kh6zv9 on February 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM

Running a delay on a live sporting event, covered by a network that has broadcast exclusivity, is no comparison to live news coverage.

I agree with you regarding the reporter on the phone – nobody else can “scoop” them on something like that. However, I’d encourage you to ask around, I think you’ll find that most TV stations are not set-up to run a delay – even the O & O’s.

Hill60 on February 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I heard the CBS airing live and thought it was very good journalism. The reporter stated the obvious after advised by several deputies to leave that he was pinned down and had nowhere to go!
The reporter remained calm and provided a very good accounting of the activity at the scene. He retreated when afforded a safe exit point.
As for the dummy caller I believe the anchor did the best she could do under the circumstances.

FireBlogger on February 12, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I can name two instances, where in the 80’s I saw people shot to death on live feeds, on on CNN.. and an oops.. from the news directer doesn’t help if you have children watching..

I vividly remember going to see a film with my dad at 16, some throw away horror film, Grizzley.. and having been raised on TV in the 60’s and 70’s.. when the camera showed a man’s arm ripped off, I felt sick,.. now, I walk into a room filled with my kids, nieces and nephews, and catch them watching some sickening horro slasher film, where the scene in question, had a young naked girl screaming as she was burned to death in a tanning bed.. I lost it, ripped my 13,14 year old nephews for putting the damn thing in the DVD player.. and worse.. LAUGHING as she screamed her guts out.. the younger children sat there wide eyed.. scared, confused.. and I forbad them to touch the DVD player unless I saw the films and approved..

Mt sis in laws think I’m being a dick..

But when you close your eyes, and remember the screams of real death, 8 hours my mother screamed in stage four cancer, before the mercy of a coma, then death claimed her.. through a straight morphine drip..

I have NO tolerance for laughter at death.. none…

Life will scar children soon enough.. we do not need to speed up the process. Ten seconds kills no one, and spares the innocent the images you cannot unsee.

mark81150 on February 12, 2013 at 9:36 PM

sorry if that is too personal, but I will not change my mind on this..

What happened to letting the imagination fill in the gaps?.. Horror films used to be scarey, now they are a gross out slaughter fest.

and the news shows stopped being responsible a long time ago.

mark81150 on February 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Well, the guy got one thing right, she was a dumbass.

manwithblackhat on February 12, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Given the situation, I’m going to cut them some slack. I saw all this live while I was eating my lunch. Out of all the local channels I selected KCAL because they had the only live person on the scene, even if it was only by cell phone. I was not offended by the f-bombs and the sound of the firefight was chilling. Makes me even more appreciative of the brave men and women out there on the thin blue line.

As for the crank call, yeah sure they deserve your ridicule. That was 100% avoidable.

Captain Kirock on February 12, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Dumbasses In Mainstream Media

Seems to be a rather redundant headline.

Bitter Clinger on February 13, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Seriously? At “Ronnie, the limo driver”, the reporter/journalist should/could have broken off the live broadcast to confirm the call was legit. In the media’s quest to be “out in front” of the competition, this is a great example of the over-zealous frenzied media running head-on into reality. Too bad Ronnie didn’t have a couple of spare 30-round clips.

Rovin on February 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM

In my view, dumbasses and mainstream media are synonymous concepts.

platypus on February 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

“Is this Mr. Tower, of the Fish and Game Department”

“Yes, it’s Mr. Tonger”

“We believe it was Ronnie the limo driver who fired at Mr. Dorner. We believe that he hit ’em. He was on his way to a block party when he got caught in a fight-out, uh, fire-out.”

“You’re a real dumb-ass, you still don’t know this ia a prank call”
– the most accurate piece of news that day.

williampeck1958 on February 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Makes me even more appreciative of the brave men and women out there on the thin blue line.

Captain Kirock on February 12, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Even the ones who shot at several innocent people? Including one they couldn’t see when they fired?

GWB on February 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

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