Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WOIO: A "scoop" with more holes than a sieve


Violating the most basic rules of Journalism 101, the Cleveland Internet outlet declared Mayor Plusquellic to be "DUI" in the headline above a report of a 911 call from a source only identified as "Melanie". According to the Beacon Journal's follow-up of the station's fiasco, an officer who stopped the mayor's car on the basis of the anonymous calls to police found nothing that would indicate the mayor was driving under the influence.

Although television stations that spend as little as possible on their news departments (they're loss leaders) love to parade their "exclusives" past their audiences, WOIO laid an egg the size of a Halloween pumpkin. The BJ quoted WOIO executive producer Brian Sinclair as lamely explaining that he didn't know who the so-called informants were. I suspect the next time, he will. But maybe that's giving him the benefit of the doubt.

It's no mystery that the mayor, in his battle with the firefighters union, has become a marked man in public. That's the context that should alert everyone - most specifically the media - to look both ways before crossing the street into a mud pit. The station has a lot more explaining to do for its amateurish behavior. Fat chance. Right, Melanie? Whoever you are.

1 comment:

Mencken said...

WOIO is to news as Velveeta is to cheese.