If You Did This, May You Rot in Hell!, Can’t See the Forest for the Trees and Spraypainting Dead Animals on the Road.

May he rot in hell!”  That’s not something you normally hear from a news person on the TV or the radio.  But that’s basically what was proclaimed by a news type in St. Louis who was reporting on a local crime.  Here’s the story from St. Louis.  Granted, the crime was horrendous.   A six year old girl was murdered and a 24 year old guy has since admitted guilt to first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed criminal action and attempted forcible rape.  But it was final words of the reporter on the newscast who said

And of course we cannot convict Johnson without a trial — he’s innocent until proven guilty — but can I just say,” as he put his right hand over his heart and then extended his arm outward, “editorializing, which I can’t do –whoever committed the crime, this horrible, terrible crime, may he rot in hell.”

Well, let’s not sugar-coat it or hide our feelings here.  Go ahead and tell us what you really think.  The comment prompted a lot of response from viewers, most of it in support of the reporter and only a handful opposed to the supposedly unplanned comment.  Now the general rule of thumb is that news people are supposed to be unbiased when it comes to reporting.  They’re supposed to do the Sargent  Joe Friday thing and go with “just the facts ma’am, just the facts.”  But as a growing number of people have found, just the facts can be boring and don’t prompt much response from viewers.  Go ahead and put your personal spin on it.  After all, some news people are on a mission of self promotion and if you can figure an angle, then do it.  The sad thing is that this may boost viewer ship for that station but I think it also causes a bit more undermining of the supposedly unbiased mission of the news business.  Truly give just the facts and let the viewers decide.  Personally I think the perp of the crime SHOULD rot in hell.  But I don’t think I’d ever actually say that on TV if I was reporting on the crime.

DJ sent me a blurb on a go-get-’em reporter in L-A (the city, not Lower Alabama) covering a crime story.  It’s easier to post the link here than to tell the story.  After you read the story, I think your reaction will probably be the same as mine.  “She’s headed for the networks!”

And finally on this Friday morning,  Ken S. shared a link with me on a story by a former reporter/anchor at WMC who is now in the Windy City.   It’s kind of a funny story and Ken wanted to know if perhaps something like this has ever happened in Memphis.  Ken, I can only say that if it hasn’t yet, give it time and it will.

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2 Comments on “If You Did This, May You Rot in Hell!, Can’t See the Forest for the Trees and Spraypainting Dead Animals on the Road.”

  1. Doug J. Says:

    1. Understandable anger, if inappropriately expressed.

    2. Headed for the networks? Yes!

    3. Lie in the road, expect to be painted over. They’re painters, not a clean-up crew. And just the story for a former Memphis reporter.

    I think you’ve hit a rare trifecta of media experiences. Perfect way to close out a week.

  2. radkill eater Says:

    i can’t believe the news media waisted time and space on this so called story…it’s roadkill to many dinner for a few. the citizen in the report needs to get a life. it must have been a slow news day.


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