By Gerard Braud –
The media love their gadgets. They also love promoting their gadgets.
At KSLA 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana, LifeEye12 was our mother ship. That is why I laughed so hard when the opening scene of the movie Anchorman shows Ron Burgundy stepping out of his helicopter. I’m not, however, laughing at CNN’s disgraceful coverage of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.
Disgraceful, I say, because of CNN’s coverage of their drone video of an empty bridge.
Flashback to the 1970’s and 80’s — a news helicopter was the epitomy of status and the gadget of all news gadgets. At KSLA, it was
so important for us to mention and show the helicopter that I was almost fired as weekend anchor because I failed to show our anchorman landing in LifeEye12 at a local festival. Silly newsman and journalist Gerard Braud thought it was more important to report on the four different stories involving fatalities that day than to feature our helicopter. CNN is the latest sinner. CNN is using a drone and they are supporting my premise of the media making it all about them. (See Chapter 3 of my book Don’t Talk to the Media Until…)
Jon Stewart did a brilliant job of calling out CNN for their excessive coverage of the fact that they were using a drone to photograph the Edmund Pettus Bridge, even though there were no people on the bridge. If you haven’t seen it, watch this clip four minutes in. He calls out their sin better than I can even dream to.
The lesson for all of you is that each day it becomes harder to get the media’s attention. CNN would rather spend valuable airtime talking about themselves and their drone than reporting on the issues of the day. And because media copy media, you can expect to see valuable airtime on your local television station wasted as your local media praise themselves for buying, owning, and using the same toy that all of us have access to.