Sh*T-for-Brains Yellow Journalism: WFTV, Barbara West, Bob Jordan

26 10 2008

(Update I)


To the General Manager of WFTV

Your interview Thursday with Joe Biden was not a tough interview, as many have held.  It was an ambush interview. Perhaps Barbara West and Bob Jordan learned how to be Journalists from Bill O’Reilly‘s sprititual forefatherJoe Pyne.

Not simply an ambush, this interviewer’s questions were not simply woefully uninformed as the Obama camp would have it, but they were outright insulting to the intelligence of any reasonably educated and informed Viewer.

Ironically part of the title of the above video feed on YouTube says “Real Reporter Asks Real Questions.”  Neither characterisation is true, judging from the content.

First, the questions about ACORN.  Both candidates have a history with ACORN.  So?  Would not a balanced interview follow up with a question about GOP efforts to remove voters from the rolls in multiple states?

You seem to want to make something of the so called “redistribution” of wealth.

Excuse me, WFTV, what do You think the US Tax Code is?  Both Democrats and Republicans have had a hand in it’s design.

Little wonder Biden thought it might be a joke.  To a real Journalist it would have been.

Pre-2008 Collapse - Effect of Bush 2001 Tax Cuts on National Debt

Pre-2008 Collapse - Effect of Bush 2001 Tax Cuts on National Debt

What do You think the immense 1.8 Trillion dollar tax cut was, when Bush was forced to sue to get into the White House in the 2000 attempted election?  Does this Biden interviewer know who got most of that money?

Does this interviewer know anything about the corporate loophole filled US Tax Code?  Does this interviewer have any familiarity at all with Republican legislation for the past eight years in this regard?

Ask them who benefitted the most from Bush’s tax giveaway of our surplus.  If they don’t know, fire them for nonfeasance.  If they DO know, fire them for ignoring the facts and preparing a set of interview questions intentionally false to fact.  Karl Marx indeed.

According to Hal Boedeker’s blog on the Orlando Sentinel,  the Obama campaign cancelled a second interview with Biden’s wife.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, … “Mr. Biden didn’t like the questions,” Jordan said. “We choose not to ask softball questions.”

Jordan added, “I’m crying foul on this one.”

Cry whatever You want, Bob.  If You think these were “hardball” questions, You should probably should go back to whatever You were doing before You decided to try Your hand at the news business.  Because based on this interview, You don’t know what the hell You’re doing.  You are either disingenuous, or actually do know nothing about recent events with regard to tax legislation, corporate lobbying, or what has passed for social policy under republican governance.  And You need to know about such things to be a news director, Bob.  You really should.

Here is how the interviewer, alleged “veteran Journalist” Barbara West, responded to the reactions to her encounter with Biden:

I think I asked him some pointed questions. These are questions that are rolling about right now and questions that need to be asked. I don’t think I was rude or inconsiderate to him. I think I was probing and maybe tough.

So, let me get this straight, Barbara, veteran that You are:  You choose Your questions based on what is “rolling about right now?” What does this mean?  That You mindlessly parrot whatever questions other equally uninformed talking heads are mindlessly parroting about now?  Or that You choose Your questions based on what Your uninformed “news director” hands You without any actual research into the subjects of the interview on Your part?

I am a Journalist.  And I am insulted, appalled, and aghast at the prospect that Your station, WFTV, would have the temerity to represent this “interview” as anything remotely resembling responsible, researched, informative Journalism. As a thoughtful, reasonably intelligent Citizen trying to do due diligence in informing myself about the important issues facing our country, I’m insulted.  Looking at this interview, I couldn’t blame any Journalist or Journalistic Blogger who cares about the integrity of their information for wanting WFTV‘s hide for a doormat for such a breach.

It wasn’t decent Journalism.  As a thinking being, I can assure You that it was not.  It was an attempted hi-tech lynching (apologies to Clarence Thomas).  It was crap.

As much has been made of Joe Biden’s tendency to be verbose, or commit gaffes by shooting from the hip, his performance in this encounter belies that.  Biden handled himself beautifully, in the hands of an obviously non-thinking and ill infomed questioner.  I think he was much kinder than was deserved.

This bubble-headed interviewer needs to get some research practice.  Both Parties just gave away all of the tax revenue the US Government hopes to derive from the next 3 or more generations with this so called economic bailout, and these are the best questions You can come up with?

Shame on WFTV.  In the interest of honesty with Your Viewers and professional due diligence, perhaps You should either forgo doing news, outsource it to a professional staff, or hire some talent.

For what it’s worth,

David C. Manchester


My preliminary research suggests that WFTV‘s corporate parent, Cox Enterprises, is a good example of much that is wrong with the Fourth Estate today, in terms of media concentration of ownership, and a $1.5 million lobbying agenda.

Cox Enterprises 2008 Lobbist Expenses Reported at $1,500,000.00

Cox Enterprises 2008 Lobbist Expenses Reported at $1,500,000.00

If You would like to write to the owner of WFTV about this shameful and unprofessional episode, here is Alexa’s information about them:

Cox Holdings, Inc.

1400 Lake Hearn Dr. NE
Atlanta, GA
Phone: 404 843 5327 404 269 1437
Fax: +1 404 572 1801
CoxTVsURL [at]

(Update I)

I am not alone in this assessment. -dcm

Sphere It!


How Markets Work

11 10 2008

It’s been a dramatic day topping a dramatic week for world markets. Never before have global markets been in such a freefall.  In my dogged pursuit of understanding, I found this clip.  These gentlemen have provided one of the best and clearest explanations seen so far…

Of course, we know they’re just joking.  And it is a difficult subject.  Maybe I’ll have a better grasp of it if I could see a simplified explanation, in cartoon form, accompanied by some decent music …

Ok.  So now that I understand this a little better, it’s a bit easier to grasp how it would be time to celebrate if I worked for AIG, the mammoth insurer who just recently took an $85 billion bailout from the US.  I might even go out for a weekend at a fine hotel, with a spa.  That’s what some executives of the AIG Group did last week.  The tab?  $443,343.71 – but the spa charges only amounted to a little over $24 thousand.

Here is the economic bailout money at work:

St. Regis Invoice for AIG Exec's Spree Celebrating Govt Bailout

AIG Execs Celebrate Bailout

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