Friday, March 27, 2009

Jim Shella of Channel 8 is under fire for hit piece on taxpayers

Originally published by Melyssa at Hoosiers For Fair Taxation:

Channel 8 and Jim Shella under fire for hit piece on taxpayers!
Jim Shella sure must love the taste and feel of lobbyist boot across his tongue, for he's getting a lot of heat for the bootlicking he offered them on Wednesday. Shella ran what is being described as a "hit piece on taxpayers" on the 6pm news and he's not backing down from his claim that his story is fair. He says the report is fair even though he offered no mention of the issues discussed by speakers or interviewed either attorney Paul Ogden or me as the event's only organizers.

Paul Ogden spent a day composing his thoughts and wrote directly to Channel 8 news Anchor Eric Halvorson today. Chris Spangle, former producer of Abdul's morning show and no political or media novice, also spoke out against Shella's unneccessary attack on taxpayers.

Yesterday I telephoned Kevin Finch, Channel 8 news director and the guy ultimately reponsible for everything that goes on the air. He emphatically backed Shella stating that he had no problem with the story and that it was completely fair reporting.

He even went so far as to inform me that the term "fair and balanced" is not a journalistic standard. (It is a term used by FoxNews). He could not tell me what the credo or the standard for Channel 8 is. Evidently they don't have one or know what it is.

Kevin Finch also told me that that the event was organized by The Libertarians. I asked which Libertarians and he could offer me no proof other than it is what they "heard".

Is the reporting of rumor or hearsay a journalistic standard at Channel 8?By the middle to the end of the 10 minute phone call Channel 8's news director was yelling at me. He was both AGGRESSIVE and overly defensive at the same time.

As soon as I got off the phone with him, he called Ruth Holloday because I referenced the fact that she reported Channel 8 employees accepted a junket to an all inclusive boozy getaway at a resort in Cancun from Herb Simon. It was also reported the guests on this trip received jewelry and gifts, even though Herb Simon the owner of the Pacers, says he's broke and needs a $15 million bailout by the taxpayers for his sports franchise. The piece Ruth wrote is called "Pacers at the trough".

Finch denies news employees were on the junket. The proof he offered is that he approves vacation time. Everyone wants the names of the Channel 8 employees that took that junket.

Yesterday afternoon one of the email lists I read began suggesting that Channel 8's advertisers be targeted for a boycott. They will likely pick on Marsh Supermarket since Marsh supports both the Pacers and WISH TV 8. Marsh Supermarkets is featured prominently on the front page of WISH TV's website. I sell advertising and I feel for the account exec who handles the Marsh account if these groups decide to take action and Marsh cancels.

These citizens are on the same email lists that caused Missouri to issue a public apology this week for its state police targeting Constitution defenders as "terrorists".

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