Thursday, May 17, 2007

GOTCHA! Journalism

At the Hal Daub press conference earlier this week, here was the first question out of the box from KMTV’s Joe Jordan, with the following exchange with Daub:

Joe Jordan: Mr. Daub, do you have to give up your (Republican Party) committeeman's job?
Daub: No.
Jordan: But doesn't part of that job entail recruiting candidates?
Daub: It does!
Jordan: So, how can you recruit candidates if you might be one?
Daub: It looks like we might have a lot of candidates, and there may be very little need to recruit in the Senate race.
This question did not serve the least purpose regarding Daub’s campaign, his views, or anything else. Jordan viewed it as (one of) his BIG chances to say “Ah hah! Gotcha!”

This is nothing new for members of the press, but Jordan is certainly one who just luuuuvs to get a politician to slip up or contradict himself. And what does this serve? Well, nothing. Of course, it’s fairly hilarious that Daub POWNED Jordan (as the kids like to say) on this question.

But the Gotcha! Questions didn’t end there. We heard from someone in the back of the room (not positive who it was, so we won’t say), asking about Daub’s “Listening Tour”:

Reporter: I’m recalling 17-18 years ago, when you ran against incumbent Senator David Karnes. At that time, there wasn’t a listening tour where you just challenged the incumbent. What’s different now?

Daub: On the contrary, if you go back and look, I had been recruited to run for the Senate seat against the incumbent (Senator Zorinsky), and had actually done a statewide tour in the months of November and December before the Press Club Ball (at which Zorinsky collapsed and later died).
Kind-of, sort-of a relevant question there (though not really). But of course the statement made by the reporter was not true. And while it gave Daub the ability to correct a false assumption, we’re willing to bet that exchange didn’t make it into the reporter’s story.

So now, back to Jordan:

Jordan: Mr. Bruning has a poll that says he beat you 55% to 18%. If it's not wrong, how do you overcome that?

Daub: …I suppose someone could have asked Governor Heineman that question when he was told he was forty-one points behind one of his challengers in his race for Governor.

We’ll give this one to Jordan that this Gotcha was at least slightly relevant. And we should also give it to Daub that he smacked another one out.

Finally, Jordan again looks to stir things up between Daub and Chuck Hagel:

Jordan: A couple of days ago Senator Hagel said the Republican Party had been hijacked in effect by extremists. You have a role in the Republican Party, do you agree?

Daub: I do not.

And this response was as much as Jordan used on his TV news report. But Daub actually went on to say:
Daub: And that’s not to say anything disparaging. I think I know what he means, but I’m not sure, so I think you should talk to him about that. And I really don’t want to put words in his mouth and try to interpret what he means by it. I think he might be, over the next few weeks, finding some ways to elaborate on what he means by that, and I hope so. I’d certainly like to hear more about his views on that particular subject.
Now to his credit, sort-of, Jordan put part of that answer on his blog. But Jordan also describes Daub’s answer -- “I do not” -- as taking “a shot at his ‘good friend’ Senator Chuck Hagel.” Taking a shot? Really? We’d say “taking a shot” would be something along the lines of “he’s not a real Republican” or “he doesn’t even live in the state”. Interesting that Jordan believes responding to a question that you respectfully disagree with someone is now “taking a shot”. But of course, now he can say, “Gotcha!”


And as long as we’re on the subject of opinionated journalism reeking through “news” stories, how about this intro by Todd Cooper in the OWH today about the “O!” campaign art pieces:

“The masterminds of the incessant O! campaign throughout Omaha have sued Shelton, Neb., manufacturer Patrick Keough in Douglas County District Court, saying he didn't produce the O!s for which he was paid dough.”

(Omaha chamber, Bemis sue over missing O! sculptures – OWH – 5/17/07 - Italics added.)

So you’re not crazy about the O! campaign, huh Todd? Thanks for sharing. How ‘bout just the news next time. Thanks.


OmaSteak said...

After seeing how Joe Jordan operates first hand, I've advised interview subjects to both video and audio record any/all of an exchange with Joe...that way there's a record of what was really asked & answered just in case there is any later dispute about Jordan's creative editing/analysis.

tom said...

Joe Jordan has been doing this crap for years.

I (nor anyone else in Omaha) watches his channel's news anymore; I'd forgotten he is still on.

He passed irrelevancy quite some time ago.

'Sker said...

SS, well done. I enjoy reading your posts because they are well thought. The media ought to thank you (or at least the owners of the media), because you're holding them accountable. In the fast pace of everyday, it's easy to miss the bias. Not being sappy toward you here, just thankful. BTW, Hal Daub is a man. Joe Jordan is a boy. Daub probably contemplated 10 responses as Jordan and the other person you metnion were spitting their single question out.

momathome said...

On the OOOhhh? campaign, I thought only libd liked to use the power of the plaintiff's attorney to make money? It's fairly obvious that the Bemis people are libs-just look at them, but what about the business people at the
Chamber. They should all remember that what goes around, comes around. What I want to know is if the guy in western NE could have delivered with enough time to complete the project like he said he could.