Thursday, November 1, 2012

Can Be Unreliable

According to a segment on a local newscast, that image of a shark swimming past the front porch of a house in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy was actually taken in Puerto Rico a few years back.  Therefore, it is obviously a fake.

The segment about how information gathered from social media sites can be unreliable included many other images that were supposedly [faked], and I suppose I should be a lot more appreciative of their efforts.  For it certainly appeared to be a very well produced piece.

The thing is that it was produced by one of our local news teams.  In fact, the anchor introducing it reported in another story a few weeks ago that the scorpions around here in southwest Missouri are not poisonous, but that their sting can be rather painful.

WHAT?????????  For it is true that their venom is not normally strong enough to kill someone, but it is most definitely poisonous.

Oh, and this is the very same news team that was reporting that a fight between two brothers down in northern Arkansas resulted in one shooting the other with a shotgun while another local news team was reporting that it was a .45 automatic pistol.  To bring this into full view, these two news teams share the same facility—if not different parts of the same studio!

Perhaps I really am expecting too much.  For it seems reasonable to me that sharing notes with others reporting on the same story (maybe while passing them in some hallway?) during the fact-checking process and then at least acknowledging that there appears to be some discrepancies on just what weapon was involved at the time if one comes to light, but what do I know?

In all fairness, I should point out that it is not just with our local news teams that I often take exception.  A prime example of this happened when several national news outlets were [reporting] on the great tragedy of the tiny community of [Breezy Point] being almost completely burned to the ground while Sandy blew through.

Yes, I understand that close-knit neighborhoods can exist within the boundaries of huge cities, and in comparison to other such neighborhoods, Breezy Point appears to be much more of an entity unto itself.  Nonetheless, how can it be honestly reported that any part of New York City is tiny (except for maybe many studio apartments)!

It is, of course, a matter of perspective, and someone like me is more inclined to scoff at such a place as Breezy Point being described as being tiny when they cannot tell when it ends and another begins without seeing a sign.  For to me, [Bethlehem, Missouri] is tiny, with just a small feed mill, church and a couple of houses between two signs at the east and west boundaries on MO Highway 76 when I had a place around a mile to the northwest of it.

No, I do not want to believe that the national news outlets were trying to make a horrible situation sound even more tragic to draw a larger audience.  For that would mean that even their reporting can be unreliable, which would surely start [Walter Cronkite] a-spinnin’ in his grave, and this is something that none of us want—trust me.

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