Friday, October 19, 2012

From The Mailbag: Tales Of Intrepid Journalism

Reader writes in with a story:

So I'm listening to Steinberg and the abortion on the way home tonight because they are interviewing Neidermayer about being inducted into the Canadian sports HOF. They both make a big deal about how they HAD to ask him about his views on the lockout because it was their job as journalists. At the end of the interview, with nary a lockout question, who should show up but good old Ken King. Scared to ask a player's view of the lockout?  Methinks so.

First things first. RTPIC for starting the story with a 'So'. When I see that shit, I need to call the doctor. It's gonna be more than four hours.

Second, I didn't hear the interview myself and it is not up on their audio on demand, at least when I checked. I'm going by what the reader says happened.

Third, well, if you're a reader of the site, you know what third is. I don't want to repeat it for the millionth time, but it bears repeating. Ken King has his tentacles in everything, and I don't think that, to borrow a phrase from the empathy farting current POTUS, is optimal.

To be even clearer: The organization wouldn't have to be so obsessed with message control if it was run properly.

But let's get off my particular white whale and back to the story as presented. I think it's... just delicious that Steinberg and...what would you call Bryn? He's kind of like a sidekicks sidekick...would make a stink about their journalistic duties when a) they have knowingly spent their entire careers at the FAN960 being shills for the company that pays the bills, the Flames management, b) have on more than one occasion referred to themselves not as 'journalists' but as 'reporters' (I didn't spend my 5th year at college at J-School so I don't get the distinction either) and in the past have acted like this difference makes their salesman antics ok, and c) have in the past said that they pre-screen their questions with their guests to make sure they pass a 'good decorum' test (recall the Giordano interview where Steinberg admitted, ON AIR OF ALL PLACES(!) that they gave the Flames organization a list of the questions they were gonna ask Giordano as a condition for the interview itself.)

What makes the whole scene buttery good, of course, is that after "they both make a big deal about how they HAD to ask him about his views on the lockout because it was their job as journalists" they, of course, don't. 

Lulz. They really respect that audience of theirs, don't they? 


Ken King showing up at the end of the interview, if the hearsay is to be believed and I see no reason why it shouldn't be because it fits the narrative I've been building (wink), is just so Manchurian cherry on top. I wonder if he explicitly told the hosts that they shouldn't be asking a players opinion on the lockout, or if they have been so well trained down at the station that his mere presence inhibits their behavior. 

My guess is that is the latter. 


The point of this whole rant is 'What Is The Point'. As in, What Is The Point of listening, if what you get is pre-screened, pre-approved agit-prop? You may think I am being crazy or anal or whatever, but you should at least understand that the currency of a news organization, even if it is only sports news, is in it's ability to convince the audience that it is conveying actual news, and not propaganda. If people just wanted prop, they can go to the Flames homepage, for instance. 


People know the difference between salesmen and journalists  When they see people call themselves journalists and then act like salesman, it cheapens the brand. People notice. Check out what happened to Newsweek. 


Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

1 comment:

  1. King didn't actually speak at the end of the interview but Pat said hello to him.

    On the twitterz Pat suggested they just ran out of time and that I bring my "pompous condecension and derision elsewhere." Aslo, apparently I'm "arrogant".

    Of course, both Bryn and Pat had time to ask "just one last question" puff piece before wrapping it up. My point was, if they really wanted to ask about it, they could have.

    I didn't really feel that they needed to ask a former player about his views on the lockout on a night that was celebrating his career but then I wasn't the one going on and on about how they just HAD to ask him either.

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