Just the facts ma’am, just the facts

October 19, 2009

At the gym this morning I was catching up with CNN HLN (Headline News) about all the world’s happenings. Of course “Balloon Boy” was their top story.

The anchor, Richard Lui, was reporting on the Heene family and the possibility they would have to make restitution for all the trouble they caused (and services wasted). That’s fine – every news and infotainment organization will be reporting the same. However it was his last comment that really caught my attention.

“And they should pay every last dime.”

Can’t argue with him on that point. After all, that’s exactly what I said in my blog. But my blog is OPINION. He is reporting the news. I don’t care about his opinion. If I wanted his opinion, I’d read his blog. But he is another symbol of exactly what is wrong with today’s news media, and why I only watch it at the gym (when they have nothing else on). What happened to “just report the facts”? When I was in high school and college and took journalism courses, “just the facts” was not only the mantra of every professor, but the first line in every text book. Yet today, it seems most so-called news “anchors” add their opinion on the stories they report.

I don’t want their opinion. I just want facts. Tell me what happened. I’ll form my own opinion and spew it to the world on my blog. We don’t need CNN or Fox News or ABC or NBC or CBS or anyone else forming my opinions for me.

Just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com


Balloon Boy’s parents are full of hot air

October 18, 2009

They wanted a reality show. Well, they got it!

Almost from the moment little Falcon Heene said “you guys said we did this for the show” almost everyone knew that the entire Balloon Boy incident was full of something (hot air or otherwise). When the Colorado Sheriff made it official today, I was happy to hear it. But now what? There’s now plenty of fodder for all the late night talk show hosts and media pundits everywhere. There will be discussions about what charges should be filed, what the punishment should be and so forth. And a lot of people will ask “why should we even care?”

And they are right. We shouldn’t care about Richard and Mayumi Heene. We shouldn’t waste one second more of our lives thinking about them. But we SHOULD care about their children who were unwitting accomplices in this and likely will be scarred from it. We should care about the all of the police, fire and other personnel who joined the mammoth search last week. We should care about the couple whose wheat crop was destroyed by the parade of vehicles (not to mention Black-hawk helicopter) that surrounded the downed balloon. And we should care for all the wasted tax dollars that went in to this perpetrated hoax.

I don’t want to see The Heenes go to jail. Why should more tax dollars be wasted on a couple so intent on attention. If it’s attention they want – give it to them. Give them the attention of the invoices for the police and fire services and the aforementioned helicopter. Give them a bill for all the headaches their neighbors have incurred after the incident with throngs of news crews camped out in their neighborhood. Give them the invoices for the psychiatric care their poor kids will undoubtedly need. But DON’T give them the TV show they apparently want so desperately that they would hijack the nation’s attention for their own gain.

What everyone really should do now is the one thing that will hurt the Heenes the most – IGNORE THEM. The attention is what they wanted from the beginning, since they were on Wife Swap (which I admittedly and proudly DO NOT watch) to this circus. If people are serious about punishing the Heenes, then turn off the camera. Turn off the attention. The media needs to leave their neighborhood. Every news organization should focus on REAL news (or at least whatever else they call news these days). And every blogger out there, yours truly included, need to stop wasting their precious time on a man who clearly has his own mental issues to deal with.

The balloon has deflated. Let’s hope the story deflates along with it.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com


What’s the :07 all about anyway?

October 6, 2009

The Baseball Post-season is finally here and once again my beloved Dodgers are in the thick of things, kicking off their Divisional Series against the Cardinals. Game 1 is Wednesday night October 7 at 6:37pm PST…

6:37pm PST? 6:35 wouldn’t work? And Thursday it is a 3:07pm start time. What’s with the :07 anyways?

The bigger question is simply the playoff schedule itself. The way MLB schedules games is precisely what’s wrong with baseball in the first place and why Football and Basketball are more popular in America today. The Dodgers are in one of the biggest baseball markets (and biggest TV markets period) and yet game 2 on Thursday of the series starts in the middle of the work day? Baseball’s desire to get every game on TV is penny-wise and dollar-foolish. MLB is losing out on audience because most of LA will have to work and won’t be able to watch game 2, or at least not the first 6 innings. And the same goes for all of the teams in this year’s playoffs.

What baseball SHOULD do, is allow more than 1 game to be on at the same time. Only a small audience really cares about watching each and every game anyway, and so they need to maximize the audience for the fans of the teams in each series. St. Louis, the Dodgers 1st round opponent is 2 hours ahead of the West Coast, so why not start each game at 5:15pm PST/7:15pm CST and both markets can watch the game? I’ll catch the Yankee/Twins and Rox/Phils highlights on SportsCenter. Instead, game 1 at 6:37pm LA time, means a lot of little kids won’t still be awake to see the Dodgers beat the Cardinals in game 1 (or if they are, they will be half asleep for school the next day).

Baseball is greedy, and nothing proves it more then looking at the start times of the games. Wake up baseball and start focusing on your REAL audience, not your perceived audience.

I’m lucky – I make my own schedule and I won’t miss a pitch of the Dodger games this week. Not everyone is in my situation though and now there are multiple losers… the fans who can’t watch the game because it is on too early or too late, and baseball who is losing out on audience.

As long as the Dodgers don’t lose, I’ll still be happy.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com