Thursday, July 12, 2007

Credibility Matters

It's about credibility...stupid
Amy Jacobson got what she deserved

Chicago can't seem to get enough of Amy Jacobson. The recently fired Channel 5 reporter went from negotiating a contract renewal to getting a pink slip in a matter of hours. That's what happens when you become part of the story you are covering.

For those of you living under a rock or are still waiting for Live Earth to start, Jacobson was a reporter for the NBC affiliate in Chicago, assigned to the story about missing suburban woman Lisa Stebic. The Plainfield mother of two has been missing since April 30th. Since her disappearance, information has been revealed showing that Stebic and her husband Craig may have been ending their marriage. Craig has also been reluctant at times to cooperate with police and has never made a public plea for his wife's safe return.

This past week CBS affiliate Channel 2 Chicago, released a video of Jacobson in a swimsuit with her children at the Stebic home. She and her children were using the pool and Craig was there as well in his swim trunks. Conflict of interest? Duhhhhhhhh!

When the video hit the airwaves, local and national media jumped on the story like Sen. David Vitter at a whorehouse. NBC Chicago first stated they had no comment, the situation was under review. Definitely the responsible approach. Within a few hours it was announced that Jacobson was fired. Also the right thing to do.

Since then the story is the talk of the town. However, breathing life into the saga is Jacobson herself. The unemployed reporter has been interviewed on radio as well as print media, but not to apologize. She says she made a "horrible mistake," but she won't say exactly what that mistake was. She also claims that her lack of judgement was not worthy of a firing.

Sorry to break it to you Amy, but firing was the only option your employer had.

She claims that it was her day off and she was taking her kids swimming and Stebic called saying he wanted to talk. If that is true, tell your assignment editor or producer what you are doing. Also, use that pretty head of yours and drop the kids off. As a parent there is no way I will bring my children near a suspected murderer or a person of interest in such a case.

It must also be noted that neighbors of the Stebic's claim Jacobson has been seen at the house "frequently" since the disappearance of Lisa.

The fact is that if her employer knew what she was doing and how she was going about getting the story, there would be no credibility issue. Journalists often display a side of friendship to gain trust in order to get the facts. This was not the case.

Sorry Amy, your integrity and credibility is shot as a journalist. The good news that you are now qualified to work for the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle or any of the major networks. Good luck as you move up in the world.

Keep Your Eyes Open
Summertime chatter cause for concern

I have never thought that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was the sharpest tool in the shed. I don't have much to base my assumption with the exception that every time he opens his mouth, nothing intelligent comes out. Chertoff continued confirming my belief when he told the Chicago Tribune this week that his "gut feeling" was that the United States faced a heightened risk of attack this summer.

What the Hell does that mean? Do you know something? Had a dream? Warned by aliens from outer space? What's the deal Michael?

Chertoff tried to clarify his comments when he told NBC on Thursday: "We don't have any specific information about an imminent or near-term attack on the homeland. We're looking at the strategic picture over the next six months to a year. We're evaluating where that is."

I have learned that when you are searching for answers, don't ask idiots for their thoughts. So instead of listening to Chertoff, I found my answer during a Fox interview with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who is a member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.

King confirmed that there is no specific threats. However, he said that there is a lot of chatter and that always cause for concern.

The fact is that the United States has done a fantastic job in thwarting potential attacks against our homeland. However, the enemy only has to be successful once to cause great harm. At some point, odds are we will be hit again.

Since 9/11 Americans have become complacent. To our credit we don't allow the Islamic Extremists to scare us into hiding. We go on with our daily lives. However, we must always remain aware of our surroundings and report anything suspicious.

To all my readers, especially those that reside in urban areas, don't hesitate to report suspicious activity. A package or briefcase left on a train or bus. A similar item left alone on a street corner. If you see a man or woman, especially in Islamic garb, wearing a backpack with wires coming out going into the persons clothing, walk away. Keep an eye on the person and try to find a cop.

In others words keep your eyes open, your head in the game and use common sense.



At 7/12/2007 11:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does any one not take note of the counter installed at the bottom of the find lisa stebic website. It was installed on May 1st. Seems funny the family had already contacted an outside source to design the website within hours of her being reported missing. What happens to the reward money if she shows up with some story about being kidnapped or something of the like? Some thing just aint right


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