CBS2 News, Chicago's WBBM TV an Embarrassment to Television Journalism (Video)

You may have thought these days were past us but clearly they are not.  A TV news crew using racial fear mongering to enhance a story that was a complete lie. When people say that local TV news stinks this is an example.

Most times when I tell people I worked for CBS for seven years of my career, it’s a proud mention.  I probably would not be where I am had it not been for my days at CBS.  After reading this story, well this is one of those days where the mention of CBS and the call letters of WBBM Television in Chicago sicken me.

WBBM Television news is clearly in the toilet, sent there by whomever is running that department of that formerly fine TV station.  The news director and everyone involved in this incident that you will see in the video should be removed and banned from ever managing or broadcasting news ever again.

Yeah I thought this type of human being no longer existed.  Well clearly, once again, we see and example of the mediocrity of America.  Using a child to harbor racial insensitivity in Chicago, where if you look at crime statistics in that city, it’s not really needed.

WBBM is CBS2 in Chicago.  And recently did a news broadcast about a drive by shooting in a local neighborhood and broadcast a segment which the TV station has now apologized.  First apology should be for the person who interviewed a four year old boy.  What TV news stench would interview a four year old boy?  Then the tragedy is not even the drive by shooting.  The tragedy is how some idiot in the editing bay misconstrued the content of what this child said to the news crew.  Watch the video first, and then more of my take.


And here’s the apology, courtesy of Gawker, from WBBM.

“We accept responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired. As soon as news management identified the problem, they took immediate steps to ensure that the video would not air in subsequent newscasts. In addition, we have followed up with our employees to make sure that we all have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

Unacceptable.  To twist the words of a four year old boy who really wanted a gun because he wanted to be a cop is disturbing.  Senseless, irresponsible journalism for CBS2 Chicago and more important, for CBS News.  The so-called Tyfanny Network when it comes to news has lost it’s shine.  People who have no sense of the history of CBS News in the Walter Cronkite and William Paley days are running the show and even TMZ could boast better content that what was delivered by CBS2 News Chicago.

This is a true embarrassment for this station and network.  But to whore out a four year old child and make him look like a thug is without question gutter, garbage journalism.  We expect that from TMZ.  Not from CBS.

The Maynard Institute released the actual footage to the world once this horrible broadcast effort was exposed.  Bob Butler wrote a great article about the so-called journalistic integrity of CBS2 Chicago saying “it clearly leaves the viewer with a negative image.”

No kidding.

Don Maynard, President of the Maynard Institute told Butler “this appears to be overtly criminalizing a pre-schooler.”

Once again no kidding.

This is a sad example of the low-level hiring of talent in local TV news.  Those who were in the TV news business that made the move to get out to salvage their integrity and career are no doubt not surprised.  And this writer, me, is one person that stayed away from the business for many years because the hiring of talent and behind the scenes people in television was extremely suspect.

Even at the management level.

Clear example of the need to keep an eye on these so-called journalists.  Again, you expect this from TMZ. Covering Jersey Shore on Entertainment Tonight, you know exactly what you’re going to get.  But you don’t expect this from CBS News.

WBBM used to be what we called “legendary call letters in broadcast journalism.  My have those days gone bye-bye.


Rick Thomas

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