WSB-TV‘s Richard Belcher warned about *community pushback* over prosecuting the APS cheating investigation during a Sunday, July 17, 2011 TV special about the cheating scandal (as they’ve now branded it with special graphics and everything), up to that day’s point.
Go to 5:00 on vid for Belcher’s quote and avoid the audio dramatics at beginning.
I witnessed some of this at the community open house with new, interim APS Superintendent Erroll Davis on July 21, a man not the least bit stingy with his words and rhetorical side roads, highroads and by-ways.
I live-Tweeted during the July 21 community open house and Q&A session with Super Davis. One parent’s heartfelt remarks were powerful:
From my Twitter stream: *Parent in tears at mic over beloved #aps personnel who will no longer be there. People she felt, deeply, loved and cared for her kids.*
I think that’s pretty much what Belcher was alluding to in the TV special. And when that kind of raw (genuine) emotion gets fanned from the pulpit by preachers/emotion manipulators, well… hey, you’ve got yourself some good old fashion religion. A style!
I’m hoping MSM will visit some metro Atlanta churches so we can get their, uh, unique perspective. Because… nobody can play church like we do in the A.
I should also mention that security for the July 21 open house/new Super Erroll Davis was considerable. For good reasons too, I’d imagine.
There is no shortage of emotion-letting & vetting and general hand-wringing going on in Atlanta over the APS cheating matter.
And long-known local crackpots, trashcan media, assorted contract-seeking vultures, citizen journos, Joe Blows, MSM, national media, parents, onlookers, snake-oil sales types, very dubious leaders, people who kinda give a shit, you get the point, are all mixed into this civic stew still bubbling steadily along on the cooker.
Dish it up.
UPDATE: The second July 24, 2011 WSB-TV special on the APS cheating investigation is here.
Here are some suggestions:
- Alan Judd – Harry Potter
- Heather Vogell – Hermione
- Mark Winne – Ron Weasley
- Richard Belcher – Neville
- Bev Hall – Voldemort
- Cheating teachers - Dementors
- Sam Williams – Cornelius Fudge
- Renay Blumenthal – Wormtail
- Mayor Reed – Lucious Malfoy
- Tamara Cotton – Umbridge
- Mike Bowers – Dumbledore
- Ryan Abbott – Mr. Longbottom
- Richard Hyde – Snape
- Kathy Augustine – Nagini
- Shirley Franklin – Belatrix
- Vincent Fort – Mr. Weasley
- Jeff Dickerson – Filch
The above could use fleshing out with a brief explanation, as The New Republic did with each of their choices, but as I’m an unpaid blogger and not a paid journalist I’ll have to crowd-source out the rest of this fun job.
And WOW what an amazing transformation their social media game has undergone! Just in the last two weeks alone.
Suddenly, they are very responsive to the world around them. To their community here in Atlanta. They’re even dabbling in transparency and straight-up honesty too.
The live Tweets from @APSUpdate during a public forum with the new super Davis last week were very candid. And full of helpful and useful information.
What a difference a criminal investigation can make, eh? But the thing about social media, as any serious practitioner can tell you, social media is a garden; it only produces when meticulously tended.
Let’s watch and see. And participate, cultivate, in this transformation too.
Very quietly, that’s how.
After seeing some stuff in The Atlantic and on CNN (what’s a 10-foot turban?) about how Fox News/News Corp’s many American media outlets are being very quiet, ok almost silent, on the parental company’s, News Corp’s, Murdochgate scandal raging overseas, I got curious. (Every now and then curiosity will happen. Even to me.)
What kind of internal memos are being issued (and I’m almost certain there are memos being blasted out) across Fox News/News Corp’s vast American media farms right now on just how to cover (or not) Murdochgate stateside?
Being that one’s backyard is always a great place to start, and up to this point no one has fowarded me any internal communiques, I checked-in with the Fox News affiliate here in Atlanta, Fox 5 Atlanta. Or just plain WAGA, as us longtimers still call our TV news stations.
I found a few links on the My Fox Five (hey, it’s mine, so let me see what’s going on inside) website’s International section, the latest being a scrubbed-up piece about the Murdochs now agreeing to testify in the British Parliament. But that was about it. Anyone heard anything on their broadcast product? If so, let me know in the comments here. I could have easily missed it.
Creative Loafing used to, moreorless, be on the e-blast list every time Julia Wallace issued one of her now-infamous memes to the AJC staff about how great they all were but they were getting the ax. And thus I (we) could tune-in to Cox Plantation internal maneuvers that way.
But that, er, two-way street isn’t quite as wide open in Fox News/News Corp Land – Atlanta. So I gotta get out a machete and hack around a bit. Make phone calls and stuff.
As of 2:45pm I called the VP of News at WAGA and got that person on the phone, and, once I explained that, yes, I guess you could call me a reporter, although I’d rather be called a blogger, I asked if reporting *guidelines* on Murdoch and co. were being circulated there on Briarcliff Road.
I was politely referred to, conveniently with name and contact number, the Fox News corporate PR person in NYC. A Claudia Russo, a familiar name actually, although I can’t place where I’ve come across it. Likely Mediaite or some other TV news blog. Or maybe she used to be with GMA? Every time I can’t place a name in corporate news I assume they worked for GMA – a people-churner if there ever was, but I diverge.
I put in a call to Ms. Russo, left a message, and never expected to hear back from her. Ever. But, get this, I just did. Russo referred me… on down the line. Sigh.
Will keep at this little endeavor in media bureaucracy and let you know what I come up with. But should I ever get someting, and that’s doubtful, you’ll get it first and faster on Twitter. Of course.
Or someone with My Fox Five Atlanta WAGA Whatever could just forward me any internal memos! I promise not to tell where I got ‘em from.
As I’ve died and gone to Atlanta media circus heaven lately it’s been hard to break away to play ringmaster by providing the necessary, critical blog posts. Facebooking and Twitter alone are about to do me in.
Honestly, I’ve been having too much fun sitting back with my peanuts and cotton candy watching from here in the cheap seats. But someone’s gotta play local TV news farm media critic in this town, other than @RichardsDoug; and there is, of course, no one better qualified to do so than me.
Thus, let me take a moment to pry open the laptop and reflect on just last night’s Atlanta local TV media hightlights and lowlights before I go back in for more. (Thank goodness for that new, 4-5pm block from Channel 2, eh?)
Last night WSB-TV, or WizBee or Death Star Two as it’s called in the biz around here, was on disjointed fire! When they open a 6pm with longtime, hysterical crime reporter Mark Winne (his Facebook fan page is here) rest assured we’re going to be served drama.
The local TV news station that can’t do ‘em some news drama, in a city as ragingly dysfunctional as Atlanta, is just dead to me. Otherwise, why bother to exist? Anyway… getting to the point.
Winne led-off with pretty good shrieking over the hilariously mule-headed refusals by a few implicated (now kinda sorta fired) APS school administrators to… go down without a public fight. I think they were bellowing for a publicized *hearing*, whatever the heck that is. Good luck with that tall order.
The best part was a replay of Winne grilling, weeks ago, one of the most mule-headed APS admins fingered in the whole royal cheating mess, Tamara Cotman.
Low and behold, Cotman was, once again, right up in our living rooms. Still looking slouched down and bloated from all the investigatory stress and educator cake she’s been consuming over the years, defensive and sliding down a slippery conference room leather chair slope of no-where-else-to-go prayer.
Cotman was posed in the classic ATL local TV media perp tableau – lawyer on one side, Mark Winne leaning in with a question on the other. Talk about media places you never want to be seen in this town.
Bless her tired, stressed, cake-laden heart. I almost felt sorry for her, as, so far, Jesus has yet to come to her emotional or otherwise rescue. Maybe next year. Keep those prayers and cards and letter coming, Atlanta!