Volume 1, Number 07
23 May 1999

Just My Opinion

18 May 1999
Michael Snead reported in her Sunday column in the Sun-Times that WFLD's Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are getting married in June after dating for two years. Sirott's divorce became final a couple months ago and Murciano has been divorced for a few years now. I only saw about 10 minutes of today's show and saw Bob giving Bruce Wolf the evil eye as Wolf teased about "big news" then told about his new car. Sirott, who made his mark here as an entertainment/feature reporter doesn't like it when his private life is reported on, making him slightly hippocritical considering the stories he has to do in his position.
Hey Bob! So what if you started banging Marianne while you were separated--not divorced--from your wife, don't get publicity shy...it comes with the job.

19 May 1999
I saw a tease on Monday about their special report on seatbelts and how they can hurt you. Tuesday night, Katherine Bliss presented a story about a woman who got "abdominal seatbelt trauma" in a car accident--the seatbelt saved her, but gave her internal injuries. This report was NOT done by anyone at WBBM, this was a canned report done by a third party which WBBM bought among a package of reports. This is the first red flag that tells you the journalism in the report is going to be suspect. Bliss re-did the voice-over and inserted a bit with her in a car. She introduced the report by saying that all seatbelts in every car may cause injuries, then went on to VO this story that had no comments from the NTSB, NHTSB, any automaker or any auto safety watchdog group. She gave no statistics. She didn't stress the auto that the woman was in was an SUV (notoriously not as safe as cars). She made no mention of whether or not the woman who got injured had an airbag (probably not). At the end of the report, Carol Marin said she never heard of this problem and asked if any national organization was tracking it. Bliss said that no one was keeping records of those injuries which is probably not true or not without reason. Wednesday at 4:30, she's going to have a follow-up and supposedly a response from the auto industry. Considering the lives that seatbelts save and the efforts to make cars safer, I hope the follow up salvages this awful and irresponsible report.

20 May 1999
Bliss did the follow-up today, and I still have to classify this as irresponsible, shoddy journalism. No statistics of any kind--except that they called 30 hospitals and found that they all have seen cases of this abdominal trauma. No statements from the NTSB, NHTSA or any government agency. The suggestion of the report was to implement cross-seatbelts which race car drivers have. Considering most people don't use the current seatbelts, this recommendation is silly. The only statement from a carmaker they got was in response to the question about using the X-belts, and Ford said that they are always looking at making their cars safer. No direct question about the abdominal seatbelt trauma, though. Crappy journalism. The woman in the piece who had been injured stated that in crash tests, the dummies are all the size of an average male, which is not coorect as they do use dummies of all sizes.
Since Katherine Bliss put her name to this, I must conclude that she's a shoddy, lazy journalist--What else am I to think? That piece was awful and her name is attached to it. Just my opinion.

Viewer Musings

I need some submissions--especially from WBBM, WMAQ & WFLD viewers and Tribune readers.

Publisher's Rant


About The Chicago Media Muse
The Chicago Media Muse was inspired by (but not limited to) the sad state of Chicago TV News. Whether it's lazy MOS (Man-On-the-Street) segments, silly live reports from the newsroom (a whopping 10 feet from the desk), insipid morning "news"casts or poorly-written newspaper articles--this is the place to sound off.
I want to hear your opinions and would be happy to include them here.
Just send mail to chicagomuse@hotmail.com (remove "BLOCK-" before sending the e-mail).

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The Chicago Media Muse is published by John F. Kuczaj
All opinions expressed on this site are just that--opinions. They belong to those people who they are attributed to and should not be considered as fact. Do not confuse the ruminations and opinions posted to this site with facts. Anyone who feels that some of these opinions should not be published should make a trip to the library, apply for a card (don't forget 2 forms of I.D.) and check out the US Constitution...specifially the stuff on "freedom of speech."
Copyright © 1999 John F. Kuczaj (chicagomuse@hotmail.com)All Rights Reserved