So I went to the Atkinson event earlier tonight, and it was a blast. He was upbeat, energetic, enthusiastic, and on message. The crowd appeared very eager to support him. Yard signs were given out. KEZI news was there. In theory.
I just watched the 11 o'clock news on KEZI. Before the news started, the announcer said "watch tonight to learn more about the candidates" or something to that effect. So I watched. It started out looking good, because it was the lead story. Then...
Well, here is how it went:
Anchor: "With the primary a few weeks away, many voters want to learn more about the candidates. State Senator Jason Atkinson was in Eugene. Let's hear from the Infobabe."
Infobabe: "Thank you, Anchor. Jason Atkinson spoke to a crowd in Eugene."
(screen shows footage of people in the crowd, but not Atkinson; if you look carefully, you can see the thinning hair on the back of my head)
Infobabe: "Some voters are still undecided. This voter came here after listening to Kevin Mannix earlier."
Voter: "Atkinson is less of a career politician than the others seem to be."
Infobabe: "Atkinson said he was proud of his grassroots support."
(screen shows footage of Atkinson talking, for about a half-second)
Anchor: "Thank you, Infobabe. And now, let's spend the rest of our remaining 28 minutes talking about sports and the weather."
Seriously... that was about the sum total of the coverage. Now, I'm not going to say how a "non-partisan" television station should or shouldn't cover campaigns... No, wait! Yes I am!
If you want to provide your viewers with actual INFORMATION, try showing more than a micro-blurb of the guy in the lead during an important election. Play him SPEAKING, instead of talking over the video, babbling your own inanities. Let your viewers know about his positions on the issues. Interview some of the many enthusiastic supporters, and ask them why they are sold on this candidate. Break some new ground in the way you cover a grassroots conservative candidate. That way, when he is Governor, people will be impressed that you were there documenting the campaign. Instead, you are going to wake up after the election scratching your head and wondering "who the hell is this guy, and why didn't we know about him or report on him?"
Just a word of advice for you folks at KEZI: evolve, or go extinct. After all, people who want to actually LEARN something about the candidate can get a lot more out of a blog post like this one than from your vapid Barbie-Doll-Wannabe and her useless "reporting."
Evolve. Or go extinct.
While uploading the above, the TV was still on in the background, and I saw my first Ron Saxton commercial. In it, he touts his experience on the Portland School Board or whatever it was he did (having never been, you know, like, a Representative, or Senator, or anything), then claims that he can fix all of Oregon the way he fixed Portland schools. Oh, yeah. That's what we need. Flush the rest of the state down the crapper. If my best achievement in life was "fixing" Portland schools, the last thing I'd do is campaign on it.
But then, it's probably the best thing for Ron to run on, since "I am a good friend of child-rapist Neil Goldschmidt and gave money to Bill Clinton" isn't going to win over many Republican primary voters...