June 12, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Reporters review TV news during the ice storm, respond to internal critic

5 min read
The Reporters Roundtable compares news topics regularly promoted by Sinclair Broadcast Group with those promoted by community radio KEPW 97.3 FM.

The KEPW reporters look at local media, starting with local television news during the ice storm, and responding to an internal critic at KEPW.

Todd Boyle: Nobody could get up the hill to the Sinclair studio at the elevation of 1,300 feet, way up there on Blanton Heights. And so we had a glimpse of the real nature of Sinclair Corporation that I’ve tried to warn people about.

Wow, what an eye-opener that was, to see The National Desk (TND) shoveling out one story after another to audiences all over the country, that they wouldn’t even dare to publish here in Eugene or any place that has any brains, you know. But oh my God, it was really good evidence of what’s going on in the national media outside of Eugene.

[00:00:47] And what they do is they always lean as hard as they can on the tiller to try to steer their news reporting towards Republican points of view and the Trump, you know, the usual list of attitudinal, deep psychological approaches. And so they’re doing exactly the same thing here that they’re doing in the rest of the country.

[00:01:08] What they’re doing in the rest of the country is, they’re pushing the envelope as far as they can, just like Fox News, while still being able to attract funding from advertisers and from viewers, view counts. And so what that looks like in Eugene is the Sinclair idea of how far you can push it here in Eugene.

[00:01:28] And I hear it every day, the dog whistles. It operates below the level of the actual facts of the story. It operates, you know, mainly in selection of stories and what stories not to report on, and then it operates on the selection of words that are chosen, and the underlying storyline, the narrative.

[00:01:49] But my point is that the National News Desk, it literally has one story after another that reinforces about six or eight of the main unconscious, or, let’s say, subliminal, sort of messages by which the right-wing media—I’m going to say right-wing, it’s not even right-wing, it’s a determined campaign to get people to vote for Republicans. That’s really what it boils down to.

[00:02:14] It’s a campaign to agitate people and to agitate their racist urges that still remain even after all these years; agitate their misogyny against women, and they’ve got six or eight of these themes, and what I really should do is aim the camera at the TV and let the News Desk run their diatribes and after I get about, let’s say, three stories a day, I would say, here’s the unconscious themes that they’re pushing, okay. Here’s a story about, ‘We were lied to about COVID.’

[00:02:41] What they’re trying to do is spread distrust against government, spread distrust against science itself, and thereby to get people to not want to fund government and to distrust anything like the National Institutes of Health. They want to defund health care. But there’s ten other themes.

[00:02:58] It’s really obvious what they’re trying to do.

[00:03:00] John Q: Another KEPW show producer criticized the news team, saying stories are chosen with the formula, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ The news team responded.

[00:03:11] Richard Self (KEPW Newsday): Curtis says I do ‘bleeds lead,’ but there is an entire process that I am doing because there’s entirely too many guns in this country, entirely too many guns. So if I’ve got a story of a four-year-old that shot their two-year-old sibling; if I’ve got a story about somebody shooting somebody over a parking space—

[00:03:36] I had a story the other week about somebody who got into a dispute with their neighbor about who was going to exactly clean up the dog poop. And one shot the other in the chest several times. This is all about guns and guns going wacky.

[00:03:52] And when things like that are happening, I’m going to report on them and I’m going to keep reporting on them and shoving it down people’s throats until people say, ‘You know, there’s entirely too many guns in this country.’ And until we get there, you know, for real, and these gun nuts start realizing that guns aren’t the answer, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, and I will continue to do so, because I think the overturning of Measure 114 about the guns was really a bad move by that judge.

[00:04:28] Apparently protecting the rights of gun owners is more important than children’s lives or anybody else’s lives.

[00:04:35] And so we continue on. There were eight people that were killed in 48 hours in Chicago, and then the gunman shot himself. And there’s entirely too much of this. I shouldn’t have this access to these, this many stories about guns. And when people are down to, ‘That’s my parking space, I’ll shoot you over it,’ we’ve got a problem. We’ve got a serious problem in this country. Everybody’s pulling out guns all the time for just about anything. And that’s not only terrible, but it’s scary.

[00:05:15] And locally last week, there were two groups of people outside a bar at about 1:30 in the morning, downtown Eugene. And each side, each group had guns, and they started shooting at each other in the 8th Street alley until police arrived, and then they only caught a couple of these people, and the rest took off.

[00:05:38] And, I just report ‘em, I just report ‘em as they come in, and that’s just one of many that come in even locally, mainly Portland that has the intense shootings all the time, but I report on them. But there are, it’s starting to trickle down here to Eugene and Springfield too, and yeah, there’s enough guns for everybody, apparently.

[00:06:05] So, when I see it, I’ll report it, whether it’s national or whether it’s local. And it’s just the idea that there’s too many guns, and there shouldn’t be this many guns with people. And that’s not a very popular opinion, but it’s my opinion, and I think it’s right: ‘Cause there’s just too many guns.

[00:06:25] So I’m going to continue to push that agenda until—and if somebody wants to call it ‘bleeds leads,’ they can do so. It is what the news actually is, and I just report it. I don’t make the news up. I don’t make it happen. I just report it.

[00:06:45] Therefore, if I’m reporting on guns and shootings and so forth, that’s because it’s happening. And if enough people are sick and tired of hearing about siblings of four years old shooting a two-year-old, and people shooting people over who’s going to clean up the dog poop, and people going to shoot people over a parking space, then I’m going to keep reporting it on and on and on, until people get it.

[00:07:19] It’s not ‘bleeds, it leads,’ it’s about what’s happening out there, and it’s actually happening. There are way too many guns in this country. This is ludicrous.

[00:07:30] John Q: KEPW reporters discuss local media and address internal criticism from another producer.

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