Friday, August 19, 2005

DON'T LOOK TO PITTSBURGH FOR THE NEWS

Pittsburgh has the worst news organizations in Pennsylvania, and probably the country. It does not matter if you get the news from a newspaper, which probably means the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, or from the four Pittsburgh TV-stations--they are all disgusting, if you are a quality-seeking news-consumer.
Recently, a water-line broke in the Pittsburgh business section, and TV-watchers
were saturated with "live" coverage of water flooding businesses and basements. Regular programming was stopped, so WTAE, WPXI and KDKA could show the world this very shocking and important event--water was flooding the streets. Viewers just tuning in could be forgiven for thinking that the President had been shot or another 9-11 happened, by the way these stations' reporters were acting.
For some reason, Pittsburgh has the worst people running the news media. It is quite common for new-watchers to learn there is "Breaking News," which almost always is either a minor car accident or a minor fire. Who are the news directors of WTAE, WPXI, KDKA and FOX 53? Do any of them have college degrees?
Recently, two men shot and killed a person in a Pittsburgh section of town, and the police were hunting for them; they were on the loose. The TV-news directors did not lead their broadcasts with that information, which the public should have been told for its safety. No, Pittsburgh TV- news people broadcast 5-minute stories about a new player for the Steelers, first.
Let's see, what is more important, news directors, sports or public safety? If you live in Pittsburgh, it's sports, the hell with the public's safety, you can almost hear them saying.
For readers of the news, it is no better. Although Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is now available for readers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is considered that city's paper, which most city-people buy. It is a liberal newspaper, but its publisher and editor-in-chief, John Robinson Block, likes to hint that it is objective, but it is not.
The PPG has the worst writers, and they are "writers," not reporters. Reporters know how to write a "lead sentence," which is the first sentence of news story that tells readers everything about that story in the first paragraph. The writers of the PPG think they are composing novels, and readers of that paper's news-articles will not learn the news, until about four paragraphs from the start.
But what do you expect from a newspaper run by "Blockheads." That is what members of the Block family are called by some of those who work in the news media. Blockheads were two characters on the "Gumby" children's show, who acted stupid and always got into trouble. Well, many news-media employees call John R. Block; PPG chairman Allan Block; and vice president and general manager, Diana Block--Blockheads. And it is a fitting comparison, considering the liberal mush that the PPG prints.
So, don't look to Pittsburgh for the news. Try cartoons, you'll learn more.

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