News, news to show government overreach / needless laws, or just lazy reporting, which is it, you decide.
Is “journalism” dead?
It is clear to me that often we assume what we read or hear in the news is based on truth or at least some. If it is in writing, it must be accurate.
Ordinarily I should concentrate my first blog on the personal property appraising world. However, I was angered on Friday by a news report that I believed to be accurate but turns out to be a “Nothing Burger”.
I got so angered by the following story that I called the mayor of Gardendale to express my outrage. (I guess I had nothing better going on for me on Friday!) What I found out made me reevaluate talk radio, as for ABC news, well they don’t count. Their ratings show that they will not be long for this world.
On the Dr. Thompson show (stand in for Glen Beck on Friday), a popular conservative talk show host, went on and on about how Gardendale was punishing teens and siding with big lawn companies who were responsible for a law being passed to make teens pay $110 for a lawn cutting license. It was a long rant which caused me to pick up my phone and reach out and express my anger to the bureaucrats of Gardendale.
The Thompson show basically took an ABC article and ran with it as if it were the Gospel. The piece had the headline: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Teens in Gardendale are in for a rude awakening this summer when it comes to cutting grass. According to the city’s ordinance, you must have a business license …
You can see the complete ABC story that was featured on Friday.
The calls to the radio show were an indication that many others were angered as well. Comments such as “How dare the “gov” take this type of action against teens who are just trying to make some extra cash during the summer.” Mostly we hear the stories on TV or radio and get angered because we believe that it is honest and truthful and do nothing. We think reporters certainly verify prior to putting something in the newspaper! Furthermore, morning talk show hosts have a staff that they would also do some fact checking. Not the case.
Being angered by the report that I thought was truthful; I searched for the contact information for the mayor of Gardendale and phoned them. It took me one minute to find the right numbers. When I phoned, they could not have been more delightful. I was planning on expressing my outrage but that was not necessary. They indicated that they were aware of the article but they told me that the law regarding getting a $110 business license does not apply to teens cutting grass. The woman I spoke to indicated that the article and publicity surrounding it was a result of a facebook post on a teen taking away one client from his landscaping business. She indicated that the police would not be approaching any young person about a grass license. She indicated that the law has been on the books since the 1980 and does not pertain to teens. No teens are being cited or will be cited for mowing lawns without a license.
What is pathetic about the whole thing is that no one bothered to even call Gardendale. It took me 10 minutes to verify that the story was at best embellished to make a point or cause one to think negatively about local governments. I am embarrassed that the news article and the talk show rant on the topic hoodwinked me. The take away for me is that I need to not be so lazy and verify information before taking a stand. Don’t be a sheep. This was a relatively minor incident of pathetic reporting both by ABC and talk radio. Unfortunately, I believe that reporting news is long gone. The “reporters” are making the news as they go. Most politicians and reporters feel the public is too stupid to decide for themselves. The reporting news outlets as well as politicians feel the need to guide your thought process. It is very sad.
Current information. New York Times is eliminating there watch dog editor which was created a number of years following a scandal. Follow this link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/the_nyt_is_wrong_to_eliminate_its_public_editor.html
What is the real reason for the New York Times eliminating a department or people responsible for vetting stories for accuracy. Maybe honest journalism is not the goal anymore. Maybe outrageous or very bias reporting “Trumps” real journalism?Is “journalism” dead?