Last night after a horrible newscast of an Americans for Prosperity event here in Madison I sent this e-mail to Tom Bier, the station manager of WISC-TV 3.
Today, I received, well, a piss poor response to piss poor reporting...honestly, had you given this type of response at a testing station in United States Army basic training you would be told that "You are a NO GO at this station! Now drop and give me twenty!"
Jump below the fold for the response I received, and my rebuttal.
On 3/7/11 9:09 AM, "Tom Bier" wrote:
Thanks for the note and the comments. As you know, there are many complex elements to this story, the budget-repair bill and the budget bill. Our staff is working to provide the balanced coverage that is expected and they are doing an excellent job. I do appreciate you taking the time to write with your comments.
I am sorry but you are wrong. While this story is complex, you can still tell the truth. The balance that you are talking about does not exist. Your station, as well as a great deal of other media outlets, over the last few years have in the name of balance promoted false equivalencies. Just because two sides exist on an issue does not mean that both sides should be allowed to have a equal seat at the table. If I say Red is Red, you would not have someone on the air to counter my argument that it is actually blue. That is what you are doing today. Why have there been no stories about how the governor is avoiding the protests, why is he sneaking into hotels to meet with his supporters?
You also did not address my concerns over last evenings newscast. Americans for Prosperity is not a grass roots organization. It is funded and headed by one of the Koch brothers. Will you do a retraction or correction on that statement? It took me all of one minute to find out who is funding Americans for Prosperity, why didn’t your reporters do any research prior to giving that report? You also did not provide an explanation of why you would give a crowd total for the Americans for Prosperity group, yet you did not do the same for the opposition. You also failed to explain why the featured speaker of the event was unable to attend the event. This has nothing to do with balance and everything to do with factual reporting.
I swear, the news media today would fall over themselves to cover five tea-partiers standing on a street corner drinking coffee and would ignore the crowd of one hundred-thousand marching past them on the way to the Capitol demanding that the governor step down, and you want to talk about balance. The news media in the United States as a whole has gone done a slippery slope..I had hoped for better from the local news media. It appears though that Channel 3 is more concerned with with keeping up the appearance of “balance” than it is with actually reporting the news. Guess you just don’t want to tick off your corporate sponsors...because we all know that is what this is all about, money. Instead of being concerned with money and a few advertisers, take a stand! Do the right thing! Have your reporters actually research and report facts! Channel 3 is better than this, I have seen it in the past. You are doing yourself and your community a disservice.
Please write a letter to Tom Bier the station manager at WISC-TV 3 in Madison, Wisconsin and let him know what you think of the local media coverage. You can reach him here:
Updated by Kodiak54 at Mon Mar 7, 2011, 07:01:44 PM
I posted the link to this diary on Channel 3000's website...feel free to comment on their news reporting there.