The [Thursday] Papers
When Geraldo Rivera and Mark Fuhrman are laughing at your loose ethical standards on Hannity & Colmes, as they were last night, you know you're in trouble.
"A no-brainer," Rivera said last night of the firing of Channel 5 news personality Amy Jacobson. "Absolutely pathetic. Not even a close call."
Goose and Gander
Paging Tim McNulty!
"There is a line that journalists, both print and broadcast, must keep between getting in good with a source and getting so friendly that your news judgment is impaired. Swimming and hanging out at a newsmaker's house doesn't just cross that line, it roars 3 miles past it."
"I'm very good friends with Lisa Stebic's family," Jacobson revealed. "I'm friends with Lisa's family because when I'm on a story I don't want to get beat."
It's not clear to me whether she was friends with the Stebic family previous to the story, but in either case this is violation enough to warrant firing. You don't cover stories involving your friends or befriend sources while covering them. That's Journalism 101. It's that simple, and the fact that we have to have this debate says something far worse about the media than Jacobson's actions.
Beyond that, was Jacobson really going to the Stebic home to do some reporting? Jacobson told O'Dell that Craig Stebic's sister invited her over because "she wanted to talk to me. She was upset about something Channel 2 had aired."
And she knew she had a friend in Jacobson who would listen.
And call me naive, but Jacobson also made an allegation that even I find hard to believe: "Channel 2 took extreme measures to get me off the story."
Yes, the next break in the Stebic story is going to make or break the local news wars!
I also find it amusing that Jacobson is angrily accusing Channel 2 of doing the exact thing that she does for a job
Finally, Jacobson said: "If a tape didn't exist, I know I would still have my job."
In other words, if nobody found out what she'd done, she'd still have a job. Not the best argument for the defense.
I particularly heard from writers and editors who are also mothers and found Jacobson's behavior, as one put it, "the most appalling and completely indefensible fact of the Amy Jacobson case. Why in the hell would she bring her kids to the home of someone who is clearly a suspect in a possible murder case?"
The Beachwood's Natasha Julius adds this: "I thought Zorn was incredibly off-base with his sexism comments. I think he's responding to what he sees as the insinuation that she was trying to ingratiate herself with a male newsmaker by showing up in a bikini. That's a really old-fashioned reaction that says a lot more about Zorn than it does about Amy Jacobson's former employers. The one thing this analysis fails to account for is the inexcusable presence of her children. Think about it: if a male reporter had shown up at the home of a possible spouse abductor - male or female - with his two small children in tow, he would've been pilloried in the press. There would've been calls for police intervention and WMAQ would not have hesitated to can his ass. Because Jacobson is female, however, she somehow gets a pass on her awful parenting skills. If that's not sexist, I don't know what is."
Good Career Move?
"Sneed hears a number dialed by Washington, D.C., Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, whose headlines have sent top politicos scurrying for cover . . . is at the Chicago TRIBUNE!
"Hmmm: Reporting or risque behavior? What does the Tower of Truth have to say about this?"
I think what they have to say about this is that THEY BROKE THE FRICKIN' STORY TWO DAYS AGO ON THEIR OWN BLOG!
And Editor & Publisher, among others I'm sure, noted it at 1 p.m. yesterday.
So when Sneed says she's "heard" something, does that mean someone stopped by her office and told her what they read somewhere?
Shouldn't she be on trial instead of Conrad Black for stealing a paycheck from the company every week?
"Muhammad Salah, 54, was also fined $25,000 by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
"Telling the truth is the bedrock of our judicial system and a slap on the wrist will not provide a deterrent," U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve said.
A) The Bush administration immediately moved to fire her.
"If Reilly doesn't come up with alternative developers with the resources and commitment to preserve the current building, he can please the developers and still play the good guy - 'Hey, I tried,' he can say, as the wrecker's ball crashes. The stand he took today proves that he's brave. The next two months will determine if he's effective."
My sources tell me Reilly's latest move is less about bravery and more about him trying to navigate the tremendous pressure brought to bear on him to save the Lake Shore building while retaining credibility on the city council as a pro-development alderman whom his colleagues can count on.
"Reached Wednesday evening on her cellphone, Troutman . . . said she was driving and could not talk."
Wouldn't want to get a ticket.
Note to County: I'll do it for $29 an hour.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Now accepting Kwik-E-Tips.
Posted on July 12, 2007
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