Why we need reporters

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

A judge in Tarrant County, Texas, got excited by the notoriety that came his way when the pandemic forced courts to conduct business by live-streaming. When courts resumed in-person hearings, Judge Alex Kim kept posting his trials on YouTube, gaining one million viewers and $9,000 in ad revenue (which was returned to Goggle by the county). Kim enabled real-time video comments and insisted that kids’ names and faces be part of the videos.

Reporter Nichole Manna published a detailed story Sept. 6, 2022, in the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram. The judge told an incarcerated 12-year-old that he could not take phone calls from his mother because she had failed to appear in court, disrespecting the judge. “I need my mom,” the kid responded, crying. “You kinda making me more stressed out.” Kim told the boy that as a child, you’re supposed to be disappointed.

Manna reported concerns about racism in Kim’s courtroom when a consultant’s report on overcrowding in the juvenile detention facility on June 27, a sample day, showed 107 juveniles were people of color, and nine were white.

The judge says he is the boss in his own courtroom. The reporter will continue writing.

Right, first and fired

Chris Stirewalt was part of the team at Fox News that projected election results in 2020. The team called Arizona for Biden at 11:20 p.m., well before the other networks. The call infuriated Trump aides who demanded that Fox retract it. Fox did not retract and ultimately it was clear. Biden had won Arizona. Stirewalt was laid off in a post-election “restructuring.”

Chris Stirewalt

In his new book, Broken News, he writes that media are dividing America for profit. “Even in the four years since the previous presidential election, Fox viewers had become even more accustomed to flattery and less willing to hear news that challenged their expectations,” Stirewalt writes. “Me serving up green beans to viewers who had been spoon-fed ice cream sundaes for years came as a terrible shock to their systems.”

Chris Stirewalt – he was right, first and fired.

Now Tandy Radio Shack is gone and with it, this phone. Ad ran in 1989.

No literature here

After failing at acting, modeling and writing, Jacqueline Susann wrote Valley of the Dolls, and pretty much everyone agreed that it was trash, writes Garrison Keillor.

Gloria Steinem wrote: “For the reader who has put away comic books but isn’t ready for editorials in The Daily NewsValley of the Dolls may bridge an awkward gap.” Truman Capote said on The Tonight Show that Susann looked like “a truck driver in drag.”

Of course, the book became a best seller: 350,000 copies in hardcover and 8 million in paperback. Susann said, “I don’t think any novelist should be concerned with literature.”


Front Office Sports reports: Today, student tickets went on sale for the Tennessee-Florida game in Knoxville, and the website crashed within two minutes. Now, all 101,915 seats have sold out. Florida is ranked 7th in the SEC East.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc. This Friday column is a mishmash of random thoughts about media in 2022 (and other stuff).


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