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The Media Technology

Local News Anchor Feels Pain from Afar 549

In times when Clear Channel makes up "local news" reports from central studios and broadcasts them over radio stations around the country, it's worth asking the question: when does it cross the line into deception?
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Local News Anchor Feels Pain from Afar

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  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:19PM (#8009389)
    WBZ Boston is owned by Infinity Radio, WTTK Boston is owned by Greater Media... it's not just ClearChannel, everybody's doing it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:24PM (#8009431)
      it's not just ClearChannel, everybody's doing it.

      That doesn't mean it's ethical - or the right thing to do.
    • by Bryan Gividen ( 739949 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:37PM (#8009533)
      Everybody's doing it. Which is why it is also okay to do drugs, jump of cliffs, and buy Windows XP.
      • Everybody's doing it. Which is why it is also okay to do drugs, jump of cliffs, and buy Windows XP.

        I think you've got the order wrong. First you buy XP, then you do drugs to counter the effects, and finally jump off a cliff to end it all.

        Wait... you'd have to be on drugs to buy Windows XP, so it must be: drugs -> XP -> cliff.

        ...unless your injuries from previously jumping off a cliff required that you take pain-killing drugs, and while reeling from their effects...

        It's all circular, really.

    • by c1ay ( 703047 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:59PM (#8009679) Homepage
      Sure they are. Look at Darl McBride, not once has he informed us that he's reporting from the asylum. He still found a mountain of code, copied line by line from Unixware and he has the Linux developers trapped in their tanks retreating from the battle. What difference does it make where he says it from, he's still a nutcase either way.
    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:16PM (#8009787) Homepage Journal
      I may be the only person, but I didn't read it as saying "This story is about ClearChannel deceiving us", I read it as "ClearChannel have lowed the boundaries by doing X, here's an example of someone doing Y".
      In times when Clear Channel makes up "local news" reports from central studios and broadcasts them over radio stations around the country, it's worth asking the question: when does it cross the line into deception?

      "We live in times where Clear Channel makes up "local news" reports from central studios. Tsk? Eh? What's the world coming to. Here's another example of radio dishonesty, makes you wonder doesn't it? Where does one draw the line? Huh? Where? Makes you think. Oh, if you're asking, I'll have anuvva Guinness. Cheers."

  • by MissMarvel ( 723385 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:19PM (#8009392) Journal
    This is an excellent example of how easy it is to dupe the public into believing something that is not entirely factual. It also drives home the importance of our taking what we hear on radio/TV and what we read in the newspapers with a very big grain of salt.

    • by conradp ( 154683 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:23PM (#8009420) Homepage
      This is an excellent example of how easy it is to dupe the public into believing something that is not entirely factual. It also drives home the importance of our taking what we hear on radio/TV and what we read in the newspapers with a very big grain of salt.

      Exactly. Sort of like making the audience that believe that they're about to read an article about Clear Channel making up facts for local news broadcasts, only to find a link to an article about some guy who likes to vacation in Florida for a few weeks a year.

      • by janbjurstrom ( 652025 ) <.inoneear. .at.> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:00PM (#8009683)
        Meta-territory here, but was there a vote on bleating-acceptance I missed, or...? Didn't Nirvana's "here we are now, entertain us" attitude end a decade ago?

        Part of the problem could stem from casting oneself as "the audience". An audience passively consumes what it is served. I don't know, but shouldn't (being part of creating what is) Slashdot, be know, the opposite of wanting to be spoonfed?

        • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:11PM (#8009754)
          An audience passively consumes what it is served.

          So tell me, how much input do you get on which articles get posted and which rejected?

          We passively consume the articles, occasionally getting our suggestions accepted. But the real active part only comes *after* the article is posted, and we get to discuss it. Even if the vast majority of us agreed that an article was crap, and should never have been posted, we couldn't change it one iota.
          • Good point. I agree with the first part. Much could be done with the submission/selection/creation side of /. (precisely what I don't know, maybe something akin to the ingenious ideas and implementation of these collaborative discussion tools(?)).

            But even today, I believe it is working quite well. As you say, the weak "articles" are quickly scrutinized, the initial slants, etc. are - if substandard/false - discarded, and the discussions yield insights, perspectives and opinions no one could foresee. (Unf
          • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @08:14PM (#8010541) Homepage Journal
            When I asked Slashdot about a user (subscriber?) moderated story submissions queue, their reply (thanks!) was that such participation causes "social problems". They're experts, but I'd like to see a way to experiment with that social dynamic, so we can solve the social problems, instead of avoiding them. Sure, we could hack user moderation into the Slashcode story submission queue, and launch "OpenSlashdot (TM)", but without the large experienced community, the experiment won't work so well. Meanwhile, many story submissions disappear into an unaccountable black hole, while many other reposts appear weekly.
    • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:45PM (#8009590)
      This is an excellent example of how easy it is to dupe the public into believing something that is not entirely factual.

      Bollocks. Has anyone posting here actually read the article? (stupid question).

      The guy is tele-commuting!, that's about all this story is. For two weeks per month in the winter, and two weeks over the summer, he works from home.

      How may people here do the exact same thing? What would be a better /. story would be "technology advances make it possible to record professional TV shows at home" or something along the lines of how this is done.

      And where is this grand deception? He made a "brrr it's cold remark", while he was in warmer climbs? That's it? Fuck me, call the A-Team!! Frankly, I'm more worried that the news networks feel it's neccessary to put bullshit fluff like that on the news in the first place.

      He's a news anchor. He turns up, looks "nice", reads someone elses story in a news-caster voice. That's all they do and it's hardly a secret. We know they aren't pounding the streets for stories themselves.

      • by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:01PM (#8009695)
        So what if Dan Rather, instead of travelling to the middle of a hurricane to report live, just used a blue screen and a wind machine, and had someone off screen throw a tree branch or two at him? Is that ok too?
        • by Gojira Shipi-Taro ( 465802 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:22PM (#8009832) Homepage
          Only if they hit him with the tree branch ;)

        • Only if he's talking to Drew Carey and he has to guess where he is. And then only if he gets a thousand points for doing it.
        • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:26PM (#8009866)
          When was the last time Dan Rather traveled to be in a hurricane? He used to do that years ago, but now, he sits at his nice calm anchordesk in NYC, and introduces some kid who's actually in the storm area.
        • by alphaseven ( 540122 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:29PM (#8009888)
          So what if Dan Rather, instead of travelling to the middle of a hurricane to report live, just used a blue screen and a wind machine, and had someone off screen throw a tree branch or two at him? Is that ok too?

          Cokie Roberts tried something similar (putting on a coat and reporting in front of a blue sceen of Capitol Hill) years ago and got reprimanded for it. I think she may have made a remark about the weather there too. If she got reprimanded I think the radio reporter should too.

          And funny you should mention Dan Rather, he got in a controversy too for reporting in front of a digitaly altered Times Sqaure, link [].

          • Cokie Roberts tried something similar (putting on a coat and reporting in front of a blue sceen of Capitol Hill) years ago and got reprimanded for it. I think she may have made a remark about the weather there too. If she got reprimanded I think the radio reporter should too.
            The difference here is that Cokie didn't tell the bosses what she was doing in advance, Gary's remote setup was promised to him as a perk in his contract. He agreed to anchor from Florida a few weeks a year instead of insisting on havi
      • No one has a problem with people tele-commuting. But people DO have a problem when you LIE. That is exactly what this guy did. I don't care where you are. But if you say you are this or that, and you are not, then I DO care. Why does he have to lie? Why is he lying? Well, the answer is pretty simple. He is trying to manipulate people. If he is lying about such a little thing, maybe he is lying about all sorts of other things. You just don't know--and that's the point! He lost ALL his CREDIBILITY with that lie. I don't know who this guy is and I don't care about the weather. BUT can *I* be sure that he isn't going to lie and say that a medicine is safe because he took it (when in fact he didn't)? Or when he says that you cannot be charged for speeding less than 10km/h over the speed limit (when in fact he may be wrong)?

        It's just unfortunate that you still give him the credibility that you do. I think it would be better if you became a little more sceptical. No wonder the majority of people fall for politician's lies. If people didn't fall for it, politics would be 100x better.

        Sivaram Velauthapillai
        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          Hi again.

          How exactly did he lie? In other words, what exactly did he say that was false? Like he said, defending himself, he never claimed he was there, he just never said he wasn't.

          Lie by omission? Isn't that a little tenuous?
      • by antiMStroll ( 664213 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:07PM (#8009734)
        Nice simplifiction, valid only for cubical drones who communicate to hundreds of thousands daily. If telecommuting isn't an issue why not be up front about it on air? Why dissemble? The story is about deception, not telecommuting.
      • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:09PM (#8009746)
        Forgot all the angels on pins arguments, all the quibbling about telecommuting and whether or not everybody is doing it. Forget ALL that. Cut to the chase.

        Both the anchor and the radio station don't want the audience to know. Therefore they know they are being deceptive and that it is wrong.
      • by -tji ( 139690 )
        Exactly.. All we have here is an older guy who got tired of the cold winters in the NorthEast. The station was nice enough, or valued him highly enough, to work with him and allow him to broadcast remotely.

        This is not the same as the other trend of local stations outsourcing their news to same generic centralized national news network.. Eliminating any local/personal perspective and using the radio equivalent of USA Today to save a few bucks.

        The fact that they hide this from their listeners is a bit q
      • The guy is tele-commuting!, that's about all this story is. For two weeks per month in the winter, and two weeks over the summer, he works from home.

        Yes, I did read the article. Why did his station choose to conceal the fact that he was telecommuting? They could even have made some news out of it, for goodness' sake--their own live newscasts from their man-on-the-scene in Florida. Might add a bit of spice to their otherwise dull and drab weather reports. Heck, he could just have avoided making any co

      • Insightful, but whether he is telecommuting is not relevant in this case. Frankly, if I want to hear somebody complain about how farcking cold it is where they are in Boston, they really should be in Boston.
    • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:55PM (#8009655) Journal

      This is an excellent example of how easy it is to dupe the public into believing something that is not entirely factual. It also drives home the importance of our taking what we hear on radio/TV and what we read in the newspapers with a very big grain of salt.

      I think what irritates people such much about this is that this time it was the PRESS in a BLATANT attempt at disception. People like to believe that even though commericals are filled with lies and deceipt and politicans' televised speeches are full of fabrications that somehow the press is above all this and has a responsiblity to be as open and honest with their audience as possible. Now, you and I and most slashdotters know better. But the average person really trusts the media to keep them informed. Sure, this is a relatively small breech of trust. "Who cares?" you might be tempted to ask. And, yes, the actual location of some TV personality doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. However, the very idea that this station is involved in deception and, when caught, claim there is nothing wrong with what they are doing is what upsets people so much.


  • just like when they pretend to have a "live" interview with a sports celebrity - but the answers were pre-recorded hours in advance. or when the presidents "live" broadcast starts to skip ..

    these days its hard to believe anything you see on tv.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.

      (588 MB download) []
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:43PM (#8009577)
      Of course this process can also be intentionally manipulated for comedic effect:

      John Cameron Swasey: Laybird, I understand you are a great student of history. Tell me, what were the first words the Indians spoke to the Pilgrims as they landed on our shores.

      Ladybird Johnson: Welcome to the LBJ Ranch!

      That's one's always been one of my favorites.

      Of course in retrospect some of these early comedic manipulations of live interviews can take on a sad irony.

      JCS: Bobby, it's rumored that your brother Ted is going to run for president. How do you feel about that?

      Bobby Kennedy: Well, if he wants to join me where I'm going, I'd be glad to have him along.

      That was pretty funny circa 1965.

      I remember sitting in front of a little B&W television all day watching reporters talk about the assasination attempt and the, ultimately futile, attempts to save Mr. Kennedey's life.

      There were reporters sitting in the studio talking to reporters outside the hospital where the surgery was taking place. I always knew which were which. There was never some guy standing in front of a blue screen in the studio while a picture of the hospital was added behind him to simulate on the spot reporting.

      Maybe I'm just turning into an old fart, but yes, I think that sort of thing is when you start going too far, even if you haven't "lied." It is still an intentional deception.

      Knock it off.

  • nothing new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trmj ( 579410 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:20PM (#8009398) Journal
    Clearchannel has been doing this for years. They even have a hand pick^H^H^H^H counted localized top 10 songs lists with the guy's voice from TRL.

    They call it "enhanced broadcasting technology." I call it decieving people into spending more money on the artificially "popular" music.
    • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog&gmail,com> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:47PM (#8009603) Homepage Journal
      Local Clear Channel stations make their own music decisions. We all share our local research, but the company NEVER dictates which songs we play. Period.

      Those who say differently are lying, guessing, or wishing.

      Other companies have their own policies. But that's how we do it at CC.

      • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:52PM (#8009634)
        Local Clear Channel stations make their own music decisions. We all share our local research, but the company NEVER dictates which songs we play. Period.

        Yep. People are all up in arms about the DJs being from out of town, but DJs have had little to no say in what songs get played for years. The computer generates a playlist, with maybe a few holes for requests or DJ selections... any deviations from the computer-asigned schedule are logged and subject to review by the PD after it happens, override the schedule the wrong way and the PD will want to have a talk with the DJ...
      • by Monx ( 742514 ) <MonxSlash@expand ... .com minus caffe> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:59PM (#8009680) Journal
        the company NEVER dictates which songs we play. Period.

        What about the refusal to play "Imagine" for a while after 9/11? Or the ban on playing the Dixie Chicks.
        • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:48PM (#8010013)
          Clear Channel never put out a "Banned Songs List" from corperate. What sparked that rumor was the fact that local PDs started contributing song names on a "Songs that it would be a bad idea to play right now..." thread that formed on their intranet message boards. That thread circulated as PDs were rushing to reprogram their computers to avoid playing songs that would either be too depressing or had gained a second meaning because of 9/11. A parellel list of songs that were better to play also got spread arround, and some instant-hits such as a remix of Enya's Only Time with news quotes inserted got created and spread as a result.

          There wasn't any order from corperate as much as there was an online groupthink session among the people who had all been tasked with the same responsiblity.

          The "ban" on playing the Dixie Chicks was requested by their own fans. See, they lost a lot of fans when their lead singer made a dumb comment in Europe that got reported stateside. Requests and album sales plumeted immedately, and as a result of those drops, they started falling off of radio playlists. You can't be on a Top 40 station if there are 40 songs more popular than you...
        • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog&gmail,com> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:58PM (#8010064) Homepage Journal
          You are referring to an informal, non-binding, and rather oddball list circulated by a few CC programmers shortly after 9-11. It had no weight at all, was not issued by the company, and was rather ignored by virtually all CC PDs (including me).

          In any case, al lot of folks sort of lost their minds after 9-11. I don't fault the PDs who made up the list. They were really trying their best no to rub salt into listeners' wounds.

          As for the Dixie Chicks, Clear Channel NEVER banned them as a company. Many stations pulled their records after getting hundreds or thousands of listener complains. My stations chose to keep playing them, but we've backed off in recent months. The music research comes back looking horrible. But that's the decision of our listeners, not Clear Channel.

          I can think of at least one radio company which *did* officially ban the Chicks: Cumulus Media. Go picket THEM.

  • by r.jimenezz ( 737542 ) <> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009400) must not be funny for Boston area residents that listen to him every morning. People tend to develop sort of an emotional linkage with their routine, and a news anchor is definitely part of the daily routine for many. I usually listen to music instead of live radio when I commute, but I know I'd be pissed off if it were me listening.
  • what?? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dreadlord ( 671979 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009402) Journal
    a /. story with only one link?
    Hasn't hell frozen over yet? :)
  • Radio Contests (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stealie72 ( 246899 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009403)
    The "local" DJs on most small town radio stations are "voice tracking" from bigger cities, but acting like they're broadcasting from downtown.

    So I don't think they'd have any problems decieving you where you local television personality is broadcasting from. And I'm not sure it is a problem. I've lived all over, from Youngstown, OH to Boston to Los Angeles, and it doesn't matter where you are, because the local news always sucks.

    As a side note, CC has gotten into some trouble with consolidated contests on radio, where they make it seem like your local station is giving away a million dollars, when in reality, it's every station they own giving away the million dollars, so when you call in, you're competing with a whole country worth of callers.
    • Re:Radio Contests (Score:2, Interesting)

      by stealie72 ( 246899 )
      Whoops, I missed the fact that they were talking about WBZ radio, and not WBZ television. There's two of them.

      Based on that, this isn't even a news story. This was a much bigger deal IIRC a year or so ago when a bunch of rural midwestern stations didn't mention tornados coming through town, because not a one of them had a local broadcast on, and might not have even had a human at the station.
    • Yeah, Clear Channel can "cross the line" when Jane from Houston who actually wins the contest gets reported as Jane from Orlando on another station. I don't quite understand why they bother to do that... what's wrong with saying that the "Kiss-FM Radio Network" is what's actually giving away the million...
  • Weapons of Mass destruction? Nada... Step up the warining level every few months? Sure? Biological Attacks warranting duct tape and plastic sales? Nope... Recent bombings and terrorist attacks other than our own government? Still nothing.. With headlines like these, does it really matter if the newsanchors arent where they say they are? Not like anyone was expecting this "honesty" from them to begin with...
  • by shiafu ( 220820 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009406)
    Tom Tucker: In other news, an accident caused the Quahog cable television transmitter to be knocked out, which will prevent broadcasting to the entire city. Actually, no can hear this, so it doesn't really matter what I say. I'm the lord Jesus Christ. I think I'm going to get drunk and beat up some hookers. How about you, Diane?

    Diane Simmons: Well, Tom, I just plain don't like black people.

    Director: Uh, guys, we're still on in Boston.

  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009407) Journal
    "When he's talking about how cold it is, that's not news, it's entertainment. It's cosmetic," Harrison added.

    That sounds like a lot of so-called "news organizations." Their #1 purpose is to entertain, lest they lose a large chunk of their audience. Actual news content is secondary.

    "It's no more a lie than putting makeup on a TV anchor to make them look younger. The main thing is that his information does not deceive the public."

    One more step in virtualizing the whole world. How soon can we have virtual war, where nobody dies?
  • Who submitted the dealie?

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009410)
    WBZ's weather reporters never experience our weather either. Gary is the main anchor, he always gets his weather information from an AccuWeather personality, and AccuWeather is centered in PA.

    There is another major weather-radio service called Weather Services Corp. That's based out of the Boston area, which like AccuWeather provides weather forcasts delivered by personalties who don't ever actually visit the station's studios, but they never use a national-trademark brand, and they will call their studio anything the station wants them too, such as the "Kiss-FM WeatherDesk".

    So, this has actually been going on for decades, it's just that nobody has noticed...
    • Many media conglomerates do the same thing with traffic reports. Here in Memphis, one company handles traffic for all of the CBS/Viacom/Infinity radio stations, and even has a live TV studio set up in their building so they can give traffic reports to the NBC TV station.

      No, I don't understand why NBC and CBS are working together in this regard, there's something weird going on. The contact info for one local radio station [] gives email addresses, but check the postal address, 1960 Union Ave. They br
  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:21PM (#8009413) Homepage Journal

    Of course he's in Boston during his broadcasts. I saw it on TV.

  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Apro+im ( 241275 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:23PM (#8009416) Homepage
    So who, exactly is he harming? He's telecommuting - and he's not claiming to investigate these things. It's not like those journalists who fake stories that happen in places they've never been. He's just reading a weather report off a computer, which every radio news anchor does, anyway - it's not as if he's claiming to be out there with a thermometer. And to say things like "when do we get a break" does not constitute lying - it's not as if he said "I'm here in Boston, reporting on blah-blah-blah".

    I have many issues with ClearChannel, but frankly, this isn't one of them.
    • Yep, he's been a reporter in the past... but last week he was functioning at an anchor who is never expected to see things first hand, just process and present the reports that other people are producing to make a complete show.
  • by mistert2 ( 672789 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:23PM (#8009417) Journal
    it is not India....yet.
  • by sfbanutt ( 116292 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:23PM (#8009424) Homepage
    I mean really, does it?

    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:29PM (#8009478)
      I mean really, does it?

      Nope. Gary's rarely in the same room with most of the reporters he talks with on his morning show, the sports reporter works in another room in the same building, the traffic reporter is somewhere accross town, the weatherperson is from AccuWeather in PA, and any field reporters are of course out in the field.

      The content decisions are still being made by editors in Boston... and there's no need to hand pieces of paper to the lead anchor anyway because it's all done on computers anyway. The technology exists to push all of the "data on his desk" to Florida, and for him to send back his voice in high quality...
  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:24PM (#8009427) Journal
    He is making a very personal connection with his viewers, a connection that is built on deception. I'm sure that he has won his fair share of viewers this way.

    I doubt anyone really cares in the end, but his actions do lack integrity, and he could win points by admitting his wrongs and conducting his broadcasts appropriately. Basically, just stop pretending, because now that the cat is out of the bag, everyone will just think he's a retard when they see him "freezing".

  • by iCharles ( 242580 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:24PM (#8009432) Homepage
    "Where he's reporting from is irrelevant. I'm not wasting my airtime to tell people where Gary is."

    I a standard my mom taught me probably would let him know: if you can't admit what you are doing, then you probably aren't doing the right thing.

    In the article they make statements like "location doesn't affect reporting," and "the DJ never actually says he's shivering."

    OK. If you don't think it makes a difference, take two seconds to say "my name is John Deaux, and I'm coming to you from Northern Florida. In Where-ever-you-are, USA, it's a bone-chilling five degrees..." If you are afraid to make that little disclosure, then you are implicitly admitting that it does make a difference.

    Of course, I've been thinking that Clear Channel is evil for a while now, for totally different reasons.
    • "My name is John Deaux, and my presentation tonight will be a little forced, because I've been constipated for a week...."

      What makes your version something that must be said and mine something that must not be said? (Of course, you may think that my version is something that should also be said, but I think most listeners/viewers would disagree.)
  • by Sophrosyne ( 630428 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:25PM (#8009440) Homepage
    It must be a slow news day... because this has to be one of the most pointless stories around, whether on slashdot or any other news site.
    --Wow some guy broadcasts a news show from home...big freaking deal- The former prime-minister of Canada had a vacation house in Florida as well, and he managed to "run the country" while he was away.
    Look at the logo: News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.
    Someone enlighten me, why should anyone care?
  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) * <bc90021.bc90021@net> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:25PM (#8009448) Homepage
    ...and how much is enough to be providing accurate information honestly.

    This will happen more and more - the recent financial industry news about dishonesty in companies, mutual funds, is just the beginning. As it becomes easier to do things virtually (ie, they have the capability now to edit live braodcasts, and the capability to replace existing ads with digital ones (see Spider-Man)), guideliness will have to be drawn up to make sure that what people see is actually real. If it's not actually real, people should be informed so that they can make decisions based on actual facts, not supposed ones.
  • so how long will it be until a remote radio personality makes a slip up similar to the traveling musician? Something like this:

    Band Member #1, near the end of a concert: Thank you Detroit! We love you!!!
    [crowd goes into surprised silence]
    Band Member #2, whispering to #1: Hey bro, Detroit's tomorrow.
    • Re:how long? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *
      Such slips happen all of the time with small-name radio personalities on small market stations. The most common slip-up is when a planned major event gets canceled at the last minute, while the DJ has already locked-in comments about how great the event was. Really messed up when the DJ says how great a concert was when everybody who had tickets knows it didn't happen...
  • Not quite relevant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:28PM (#8009464) Homepage
    This isn't actually relevant, but it amused me.

    On friday was running an article about the upcoming Iowa democratic primary. Attatched to this was a photo, labelled as being Dean supporters busing to Iowa from another state, of four or five people standing on a bus and a big guy asleep in one of the seats with a "DEAN FOR PRESIDENT" t-shirt.

    Also that day, was running an article about how republican supporters were busing into the areas of democratic primaries to hold pro-Bush rallies in an attempt to blunt the effect of the media attention the democratic primaries drew. Attatched to this article was a picture labelled as the pro-Bush supporters busing in. The picture was the exact same one as from the other story, but with the guy in the "DEAN FOR PRESIDENT" t-shirt cropped out.

    I found this funny.
    • Actually they both probally hire out from the same "Rent-a-Rally" service.
      • by mcc ( 14761 )
        Actually they both probally hire out from the same "Rent-a-Rally" service.

        I wonder how long it will be before we have political rallies populated chiefly by virtual "extras" created by digital compositing techniques such as those used to create the armies in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

        It would certainly be a big win from a convenience standpoint...
    • by FleaPlus ( 6935 )
      Oh wow. Do you happen to have links to the articles you mentioned? I tried to find them on cnn, but wasn't successful.
  • by axolotl_farmer ( 465996 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:29PM (#8009476)
    This is apparently nothing new.In "In the Beginning was the Command Line" [] by Neal Stephenson is this passage on Ronald Reagan pretending to report live from ballgames in the 30s!

    When Ronald Reagan was a radio announcer, he used to call baseball games by reading the terse descriptions that trickled in over the telegraph wire and were printed out on a paper tape. He would sit there, all by himself in a padded room with a microphone, and the paper tape would eke out of the machine and crawl over the palm of his hand printed with cryptic abbreviations. If the count went to three and two, Reagan would describe the scene as he saw it in his mind's eye: "The brawny left-hander steps out of the batter's box to wipe the sweat from his brow. The umpire steps forward to sweep the dirt from home plate." and so on. When the cryptogram on the paper tape announced a base hit, he would whack the edge of the table with a pencil, creating a little sound effect, and describe the arc of the ball as if he could actually see it. His listeners, many of whom presumably thought that Reagan was actually at the ballpark watching the game, would reconstruct the scene in their minds according to his descriptions.
  • it has become common practice for on-air personalities across the industry -- such as Rush Limbaugh -- to anchor programs remotely.

    Umm, I'm the last person you'll ever meet that would stand up and defened Rush Limbaugh, but isn't what he does known as <fingerquotes>syndication</fingerquotes>?
  • Come on now... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henry Stern ( 30869 ) <> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:35PM (#8009521) Homepage
    Aren't there more constructive ways of spending energy than complaining about a guy who is lucky enough to be able to work from his vacation home?


    P.S. What does Clear Channel have to do with this, anyway?
  • Hey Michael... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:37PM (#8009530) Homepage
    Just a quick question. Since there is absolutely nothing in the linked article about Clear Channel or anyone else making up news from central studios, would you care to post us a link to THAT story too? It sounds like a good one.

  • Clear Channel uses *real people* in their broadcasts?!
  • by robnauta ( 716284 )
    It's simple, journalists must broadcast verifyable facts and speak the truth. Or else they are columnists and should identify themselves as such.

    I'd recommend everyone to watch the movie Shattered Glass, it's a good thriller about a reporter who gets caught on a minor error and then sees his house of cards he built by going further and further by inserting false facts and bogus stories into the magazine he wrote for, untill his fall. He was eventually fired on the spot. It's based on a true story.
  • Here in Columbus, (one of) our ClearChannel stations, WTVN [], has a morning weatherman, Pat Pagano, who comes to us from... New York City or thereabouts. The morning jock, Bob Connors, also seems to have daily talks with this or that ABC News reporter. I've known about Pat being in New York for many years now; Mr. Connors has always been in Columbus. I consider it a matter of using the available talent that you have, wherever they may be./p

  • When does michael's paranoia cross the line into just plain annoying?

    Oh, wait, it already has, hasn't it.

    Guess it's time to go play with the story filters. Either that, or we can get an RFID chip stuck on him, and convince him he needs to live in a lead-lined room for the rest of his life.

  • by ip ( 115666 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:43PM (#8009580)
    As ghastly as it might seem, this issue has been tested in court. When Akre and Wilson sued Fox in Florida under the Whistleblower act, for altering an rbgd story, after initially winning a $425K judgment, they lost an appeal because the Whistleblower Act only protects people resisting employer crime, and it was deemed that distorting the news, and falsifying news stories is not a crime.
    It seems to me that pretending to be local is a far lesser offense. ff .cfm

  • Tour of the station (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) * <> on Saturday January 17, 2004 @05:45PM (#8009591)
    A few years back I took a tour of KDGE here in dallas. The Edge is probably one of the biggest stations in the DFW metroplex, and there are a few other stations based out of the same offices.

    Well, as we went into the booth for the 'oldies' station the DJ started talking to us and mentioned that he was recording the morning show for Phoenix that would air tomorrow. He also said that he was the voice for something like 6 other stations, just with different names, personas, etc.

    Also, back in my small hometown the local Clear Channel station ditched the local morning guys and decided to go with some syndicated bullshit that is generic for ANY market; Think of them saying "Man, it sure is cold!" "Hell yeah!" and of course all of the call-in stuff is BS to the extreme. Call the number, give the `DJ` your request and it may be considered by the CC people if its requested in enough numbers.

    You know what's a lot more satisfying? What lets you listen to the song a bunch of times, even on your iPod? Fucking KaZaa. Download music. Why would you request something then wait 4 hours for it to come on the radio?
  • Since nearly all media are controlled by private entities under capitalism, and since my theory is that free markets will result in oligopolies and monopolies, I think it is fair to say that this is just the start of the takeover of "news" by corporations. If you ever thought the media was responsible for the truth, you are sadly mistaken. The media has never had anything to do with the truth. In the past, the government controlled media* was nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the--you guessed it--government.

    Nowadays, the media is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the corporations. Don't get me wrong. The government still has massive influence. One just needs to look at how the US government has manipulated television, movie studios, or print media since 9/11. At least 40% of what came out of US media in the last 2 years have been disinformation. Anyone wonder why the majority of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was an Al-Qaida member? Ever wonder why no one bothers to find out WHO cooked up the fake documents relating to plutonium in Niger? And best of all, ever wonder what happened to the Anthrax Assasin? Yes folks, the Anthrax Assasin, who incidentally killed more innocent Americans than Saddam Hussein, has dissapeared. And it does not stop with USA. I mean, just pick your favourite country and see how the media manipulates information. One needs to look no further than France and how the French government is manipulating the recent ban on religious ornaments as passing it off as liberalism. Clearly, this has nothing to do with liberalism. After all, liberalism is consistent with multiculturalism and banning things takes society even further away. Yet the French government is claiming it is the liberals who wanted it (this is kind of interesting given that Jacques Chirac is a right winger (Gaullist I think)). Of course, if you want the ultimate book on how the people's opinions are shaped, you can check out the highly acclaimed Manufacturing Consent [] by Noam Chomsky. Or you can check out some books by Nazis (they were the ultimate propagandists).

    Now, my comment is about capitalism. There have been countless stories that were not aired, or countless people who were fired, for simply telling the truth that had a potential to damage their parent corporations. Next time you watch NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, or National Geographic, and notice how it never criticizes G.E., you know why. This is just a tame example (clearly organizations like Fox News and Washington Post are more propagandist). You don't need me to tell you that. Just look around and you'll see. Something like 11 companies control 90% of all media in USA. For the smaller countries, it's even worse (2 or 3 companies control 95% of the media).

    It doesn't get any better. People in "liberal" societies think that their news is diverse and comes from many sources. Oh, how mistaken they are. The vast majority of news (probably 80%+) comes from two sources (in North America): Reuters and Associated Press. Sure, there are hundreads of newspapers. Flip through them and you'll see that most news comes from AP and Reuters. Needless to say, AP and Reuters are for-profit entities who only care about making money.

    All of this will just get worse and worse. The only thing keeping some of these media companies from merging with each other creating even larger multinational corporations are anti-trust laws and nationalistic laws (eg. laws preventing foreign ownership). Once those legislation are weakened (capitalism calls for the elimination of them), the final stage will be complete. Rest assured. Unless you lead a high-risk lifestyle, it will likely happen within your lifetime.

    Welcome to the future world... where all news comes from the Associated World News Network (with its 'your only news source' slogan) versus FuX News Network (with its sloga
  • by painehope ( 580569 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:11PM (#8009757)
    "I don't think it's being disingenuous," he said. "I'm not lying to anybody."

    The definition of a lie []. Merriam-Webster [] has a more detailed definition, but no direct links.

    So yes, jackass, you are lying to your listeners. That's all it boils down to.

    Of course, some people ( of which I am one ) would argue that almost all media has been lying to us for quite some time.
  • Outsourcing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phr1 ( 211689 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:12PM (#8009758)
    I don't know why but that article made me chuckle "heh, Boston outsources its news/weather reporting to Florida". It's reminds me of how Indian phone center workers are sometimes trained in different regional US accents to create the illusion that they're local to the US customer.
    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @06:50PM (#8010022) Journal
      It's reminds me of how Indian phone center workers are sometimes trained in different regional US accents to create the illusion that they're local to the US customer.

      That's nothing... It's the naming thing that gets to me. Just a few weeks ago I was talking to a phone-support person with a deep, scratchy voice. The name given was (no joke) "Emily".

      What was just as funny, was hearing "Emily" freeze for about 15 seconds when I asked for her to spell it. :-)
  • As a side-note... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ziggy_zero ( 462010 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @07:21PM (#8010222)
    Sage Francis [] and the Non-Prophets are going on a Fuck Clear Channel [] tour this year, so if you want to stick it to the man and listen to some damn good music at the same time, I highly suggest you hit it up.
  • Talking heads. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday January 17, 2004 @09:46PM (#8011002) Homepage
    The quality of the news being broadcast is in no way being impaired because he's not gathering it. He's a presenter.

    They have a point. They're called "news readers" in the UK, and "radio personalities" in the US.. Talking heads. They're not journalists.

    That whole job can be automated anyway. Check out Ananova []. A few more years of improvement, and we'll be able to ditch most TV celebrities.

  • by El Camino SS ( 264212 ) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @12:20PM (#8013484)

    They're idiots.

    Anyone who wants to cover local news from a distance is insane. There are major setbacks to doing it, but living in the environment and seeing what is going on with your own eyes is ESSENTIAL.

    This will all soon sort itself out.
    No one will listen to local news set far away when they have local news from real locals sitting right next to them on the dial. It is only a matter of time before the people will realize this when they say something wrong on the air repeatedly, and then the other guys will be at the big event news when it happens across the street. The public just assumes that you are local when covering local news. The public will notice this soon enough, and when it does, they will lose market share that will not make up for the cost losses.

    This is a new thing. I predict it will not be a very long thing. It will be over in a year and a half when the corporate nimrods bong-rip ideas like "we could do local news cheaper across the country!" die a horrible, horrible death.

    News is exteremely competitive. They just replaced their personal insight with a phone call. This is NOT a smart move.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk