Monday, February 13, 2006


I would say my rivercats question has a pretty good chance of getting asked in "what's up with that" this week in the sacbee due to an email I received from Heyamoto. I would never print a private email without someone's permission but let's just say I think she's been reading and she's not amused. This town is too small. And getting smaller all the time.

P.S. and please don't use this little post to begin a slambook on her. I think her writing has been pretty fairly critiqued but there's no need to be mean.


Anonymous said...

Part of learning to be a journalist is to take yourself seriously. Geraldo Rivera proves my point. Most are just like him only they write or are better actors so it's not as noticable.

The journalists I've met, and that's been a helluva lot, almost all have that problem. That's the reason I stopped being a journalism major and buried my head in the sand. How else can you ask someone, "Your husband and kids were burned up in a fire 10 minutes ago. How does that make you feel?"

There's a few that can laugh at themselves and an even smaller amount that can laugh at their own work. A main point of why I don't take journalists seriously when I'm interviewed.

I'm really honest but I have no problem at all about lying to journalists about even minor things such as "what do you do for a living". Luckily any of my interviews aren't run by a fact checker.

Stephen Glass said...

Part of the thing in the news biz I've found is learning to take it all just seriously enough. Those who take it too much so end up with percodan addictions and the vilification of their peers and nothing to to show for their labors; those who are just there to goof off and watch the clock until it's time to go home (and there is no 5 o'clock bell in this line of work) are invited to find something else to do with their lives.

Anonymous said...

Oh Smitty.

Most are just like him...

Did you do a survey? Yeah journalists have to take themselves seriously in order to build up the confidence to declare themselves an expert on the day's topic. That is, after all, their job. And we depend on their work all the time, so we benefit from that process.

How else can you ask someone, "Your husband and kids were burned up in a fire 10 minutes ago. How does that make you feel?"

I worked as a journalist for 6+ years, and I never found myself saying anything like that. Funny how you make blanket statements about reporters, but you choose Geraldo as your archetype, as if there were anyone else like him! No wonder you "dropped out" of j-school.

Anonymous said...

I went pretty far through the Sac State program before I said screw this and moved to Anthropology to deal with that mess. There wasn't enough room to breath with the huge egos of the Sac Bee journalist professors.

Journalists build up confidence to report on things that are mistake ridden. Have you ever had anything you've been involved with reported on? It's like watching Rashomon. There's something off about every story I've read when I was at the event. Which is the point of Rashomon if you haven't seen it.

I depend on their work for their "honesty" like the NY Times not reporting on the phone tapping for a year and having Miller push the war. I've got almost zero trust in media. Even for local news.

The Bee and local stations are okay at finding out local news, but they're not even great at that. I don't care about the 500th Starbucks in Arden Mall, but I'd like to know when someone is bashing heads in midtown. The Bee doesn't even report on all the murders in the Sacramento area and you have to hear about the rash of midtown muggings from people.

I think most reporters have a large degree of Geraldo that they don't seem to recognize. And you, Mister Murrow, working for 6+ years without noticing reporters asking heartless and pointless questions, supports that point.

beckler said...

when did miller push the war? i mean, sure he does have a tattoo that says "kill 'em all and let god sort em" out but that's just to balance out the "semper fi" tattoo he got on his other pec, which he only got to cover the taz tattoo that he got when he was drunk in vegas. dude, remember vegas? good times.

beckler said...

i realized how dumb that was in the middle of writing but i posted it anyways. blah. as cher says "if i could turn back time". or should i just trash it? let's put it up to a vote!

Anonymous said...

Without wanting to defend print journalism, it should be pointed out that it is hard work. I think there are many journalists out there who do the best they can within the constraints of editors and advertisers and so on. Even friends of mine whose stuff I have been partly the subject of contained what I would call "errors," but, in general even the Bee gets the gist of a story across. My reaction to that is BFD? One, they rarely write about stuff that I care about, and two: Much of the content isn't even written in-house. The Bee is still around because it is the only daily in the region. AGAIN, BFD? Reporters shouldn't be patting themselves on the back for doing what they're supposed to be doing in the first place.

As for the journalistic cowardice being hinted at, go ahead and blame the people who actually do the stories if it makes you feel superior. Decisions on what stories to run largely aren't made in the newsroom. If you think differently, you probably think radio station djs and managers have a say-so about playlists too. (I'm pretty sure the people who push the buttons at the stations can't all be huge Beyonce/Britney/Ashley/JLo fans, but I don't listen to the radio much, so start your flaming now.)

I had no idea Geraldo was known as a journalist. Just because Fox News says he is doesn't mean that the consumers of actual news agree. Then again, here is a quote from a few years back:

"I like Bill O'Reilly."

-Archbishop "Smith


Jayson Blair

Anonymous said...

I should add that journalism is going the way of the passenger pidgeon and the do do bird. The funny thing is, my fictious news stories weren't even the start of it. I just helped push the car a little further towards the cliff. Now, all our news will be gotten from Bogs For Bush and Heckasac, which will bring about a slew of new problems. It'll be a huge game of telephone.

I'm looking forward to the day the only way Americans can get any local news will be from the BBC.

--Jayson Blair

Stephen Glass said...

Sadly, Jayson's correct, I'd wager about the general future of print journalism. The organizations, institutions and the infrastructure of the well-established, better-recognized and savvy will soldier on, but the future is increasingly all online and also meshing, for good or ill, with the blogosphere. And 'ere I am still in this line of work. I guess I should've stuck with my first impluses in life and been a cop, forest ranger or a cinematographer...

Anonymous said...

How can you not like Bill O'Reilly? He's like Geraldo and that blonde lady who's always talking about the 'bama girl who got killed on that island.

Even if you've never seen or heard about O'Reilly it takes half a second to understand him.

Yes, journalism, especially print journalism is hard. I'm not looking to "feel superior" either but helping to squash a story about phone tapping while you write a book about it is el sucko.

If you think I'm thinking otherwise, I'd say you don't know me. Although the "Bill O'Reilly is great" comment means you've been stalking me.

Police have been alerted.

Anonymous said...

How can you not like Bill O'Reilly? He's like Geraldo and that blonde lady who's always talking about the 'bama girl who got killed on that island.

You mean Nancy Grace? But at least she's funny. Like her comment that people in NO couldn't possibly bbq with no electricity. (In that, she might be from the same test tube as O'Reilly: him=a priviledged college boy playing working class hero. her=a robot who pretends to be a southern belle who managed to not know squat about bbq.)

As for BOR, he's a Sean Hannity with a rage addiction. Nothing to like there. Maybe back when Clinton was prez, but now he's a lapdog with dripping fangs. No, nothing to like there. At all. Period. I await stories of him getting attacked by Nazis in an airport mens room and eventually dying of cancer.

Oops. Been done. Seen it. He and John Stossell in a faux (faux?) gay flag-waving, buddy movie? Yeah. Rivera can be the ultimate bottom.