Leslie Griffith, was a local real journalist. Leslie was an award winning anchor woman on Channel 2, the now local FOX affiliate. She worked there for 20 years, the last 10 years as an anchor. She started there back before the days of the FOX network and back when Channel 2 had the best news department and team in the San Francisco Bay Area. When they became a FOX affiliate I started to watch another station’s news, Channel 4. In the beginning, the news on Channel 2 seemed the same but the FOX influence then moved in. I was recently wondering why Leslie was suddenly gone a year or two ago and Goggled her and learned a little more about what happened. As it turns out she was fired. As far back as 2003 when Bush twisted events such that Osama became Saddam and Afghanistan became Iraq she was acting like a journalist, looking at what happened, asking questions and reporting. Evidently she recognized the problem with Bush on the day of his 2003 State Of The Nation speech and wanted to discuss it on the newscast. For fear of being fired, nobody else there was interested. Evidently she had a long term contract because she didn’t leave until mid 2006 and either won a law suit against the station or they bought out here contract but she never returned. In reading about the events as she describes them on her website, it is a perfect description of what is wrong with the media now that it is corporate based rather than locally owned. Hopefully, some day, we’ll pass some realistic laws to protect the Fourth Estate and not allow multiple ownership nor network control of stations and other local news media. If not, we’re in very serious trouble and the future of our freedom is in extreme danger. We’re living in the days of the chain store media and need to move back toward the farmers market media.
Now as to the station I changed to, Channel 4. They had a good independent news group. They evidently were not responding appropriately to the Wrong Wing News according to NBC. NBC dropped their affiliation and bought a station in San Jose, a supposedly different TV market. NBC bought some votes at the FCC, as well and moved San Jose to San Francisco and Channel 11 became the local NBC affiliate with a bunch of newly hired talking faces as the reporting staff. Too bad. Channel 4 remained mostly independent but the big bucks were gone and the news quality has been slipping because of staff reductions. Too bad!
Another example. Last week, all three major network news anchors, Brian Williams (NBC), Katie Couric (CBS) and Charles Gibson (ABC) were on the Today show. They were asked how they thought the news media did covering the Iraq war. Williams and Gibson thought they did well. Only Couric was bold enough to say that the news media did a terrible job and failed to ask any questions. When Couric came to CBS when Dan Rather was fired, I thought it was the end of real journalism at CBS. While they still did not ask the questions, at least she recognizes that they didn’t. I wonder how much longer Couric will be with CBS?
Finding honest news and real journalists has become very difficult.