Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Open Letter To Local 4

Ok, Local 4 WDIV, we have accepted the fact that you are the big event television station in Detroit. When we want to feel like we know everything there is to know about the Detroit Auto Show – it’s Local 4 that we turn to. Local 4 – I’ll even go as far as saying that no television station in the Detroit area can bring us closer to the fireworks and the Thanksgiving day parade than you – and with that said I have but one request – class up your act a little bit and get the hell out of Haiti!

Local 4, there is enough tragedy and pain in Haiti right now from the earthquake. Please don’t insult this country and its people by using them as a back drop to promote your news team. It’s one thing for Dr. George to go to Haiti and help to heal the people – but does he have to do everything in front of the cameras? Dr. George’s reports aren’t enough – you literally have to beat the fact that he’s reporting from Haiti with the same thirty second promo running at least three times in one-half hour news segment that I watched recently.

And, it wasn’t enough for you to send Dr. George to Haiti – now Carmen Harlan is on her way to Haiti. Why? Is Carmen Harlen’s presence in this country really going to accomplish anything more than another “event” for your promotional department to exploit. Carmen Harlen is not going to ease the pain of that little boy or girl who’s parents were found underneath all of the rubble and are now buried in some mass grave. More mouths aren’t going to be fed and the clean up and rebuilding of homes, hospitals and schools is not going to happen any faster just because Carmen Harlen is there – so why send her? If it’s because you’ll be able to send back thirty second promos of her down there to air throughout the day – then you should be ashamed of yourself.

If you’re going to exploit this tragedy with promos featuring Carmen Harlen – what’s next? Can we expect Chuck Gadica forecasting a “cuddle alert” while feeding an infant left orphaned by the quake? Maybe you can do an “Earthquake Weekend At Bernie’s” during the sports – anything’s possible, right?

It's probably costing the news department at Local 4 a pretty penny to send Carmen and Dr. George to Haiti. It’s probably costing you as much or even more than what it would cost to have paid to have another local reporter in your newsroom -- like the ones that you have had to let go due to budget cuts – which is why you’re using your traffic reporters as anchors and reporters in your newscasts now.

But who are we to tell you how to do your business -- we're just viewers -- and you're just a local television station with another tragedy to exploit -- and you'll go to all ends of this earth to do it.

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