Thursday, February 14, 2013

L.A. TV News Coverage of Christopher Dorner Manhunt was Beyond Lousy

Los Angeles, CA—Fired LAPD cop Christopher Dorner was on a rampage but the TV news coverage was limited to chasing official police information officers around to tell the story.  Frankly that just didn’t cut it. 
The police agencies involved could be counted upon to only release self-serving information and nearly always that information is far less than candid.  Additionally the information is always meticulously influenced by the political slant of the persons appointing the police chiefs.
What are the reporters and producers supposed to do?  They need to let their least experienced or capable people chase the worthless public information officers.  The real reporters and producers need to scour public records and find people to interview that could shed important light on the story.  Litigation records of the players involved would have revealed lots of names that deserve follow up interviews.  They could have broadcast a much better and in depth profile of Christopher Dorner but did not. 
When the standoff at the Big Bear area cabin was in progress TV news showed stale video and the anchors began a redundant line of babble throwing out those overused terms of inane police jargon.  Rather than summon experts to interview that could intelligently explain the probable efforts at hostage negotiation and SWAT tactics the news directors chose to let their anchors look really ignorant and downright foolish. 
The use by police of tear gas and volatile CS gas and the resulting fire was easily predictable.  Did the officers who were using the gas releasing devices anticipate the fire?  The answer of course is yes!  But the fire was a surprise to the news anchors and they did not have a clue that the fire was intentional except after later reviewing captured police scanner traffic.
Was setting fire to the cabin justifiable under the circumstances?  The answer would be yes as long as there is no reason to believe that there was an innocent hostage in the cabin.  Remember the raiding cops were under fire and since Dorner refused commands to surrender and that did not end his resistance.  Setting fire to the cabin with CS canisters was reasonable and justifiable to end the deadly barricade situation. 
There was only one reasonable thing to do with our TV screens and that was to turn down the ridicules anchor chatter and wait out the siege. In recent years TV news has deteriorated at every level.  Viewers have become news refugees seeking their information elsewhere particularly on the Internet.  TV news personalities are not an acceptable replacement for real news.   They are exactly what’s wrong with today’s TV news!

Live TV news to breaking events has never been so pathetic in a major TV market. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gangs of Los Angeles?