The three local stations chose to lead their 5 p.m. newscasts with the Michael Jackson verdict. I don't question that there is considerable interest in this case, though I do wonder why. I would question the judgment of KODE and KSN that it should have been the top story on their newscasts. When reporters Courtney Cullor for KSNF and Dan Tjordman for KODE have a major development in what has been one of the biggest local stories of the year, reward them with the lead story, don't make them play second fiddle to a washed-up alleged pervert. People who were interested in the Jackson story, already knew about the verdict. I can't believe anyone would have switched to one of the other channels to find out more about Jackson...not if the stations had led with the Joplin police story.
The story has not died in the months since it took place. Every time the Globe runs an article about it on its website, it receives one comment after another. Most people do not take the time to write letters to the editor, unless it is part of some organized campaign. This situation has brought out the letters, as evidenced by the Globe's full-page of them devoted to the subject a few weeks back.
Perhaps a better approach would have been to simply say, "We will have news about the Michael Jackson verdict later, but first the FBI has opened an investigation of two Joplin police officers," or something like that. Never underestimate the intelligence of the viewer.
It was also a much better mix tonight on KSN's "Live with Gary and Tiffany." Before it got to the Michael Jackson story, KSN led with Gary Bandy's weather, which, considering the storms we have had today, was the proper decision. There was little nonsense and I doubt if anyone turned the station because they weren't getting their daily dosage of Gary and Tiffany's witty banter.