Showing posts with label KETV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KETV. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2019

Omaha. Monday.

Click on map for full size
The trip from downtown Omaha to the town of Valley, in far western Douglas County, usually takes about 40 or 50 minutes, depending on traffic.

Correction. It usually took 40 or so minutes to make the trip across Omaha and across the Elkhorn River to the suburban town. Today, it took a KETV, Channel 7 news crew almost 4 hours in a backroads trek across a fair swath of the dry(ish) parts of northeastern Nebraska.

Then authorities reopened Highway 36, allowing motorists to make it to Valley -- probably in about an hour -- by following a State Patrol guide vehicle on the last leg of the journey.

West Dodge Road at 228th Street (courtesy Douglas County)
THIS IS the new normal. As water recedes on the major westbound routes out of Omaha, we're finding that what was multi-lane highway is now fractured, undermined and occasionally completely washed-away.

Or, as they say in New England,
"Ayah, ya can't get thayah from heayah."

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Brown Plague Report . . . or News Down the Rabbit Hole

If I never see Michelle Root on television again, it will be too goddamn soon.

In January 2016, Eswin Mejia rear ended Root's daughter, Sarah, on L Street in Omaha. He was driving a pickup. She was in a car. She was slowing down or stopped. He was street racing.

She was sober. He, say authorities, was drunk as a skunk.

He also was 19,  from Honduras, had no license and no papers. The judge set bail, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement wasn't interested enough to take him into federal custody when he left the state's.

Mejia, for his part, wasn't interested in a future as a guest of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He skipped bail and, presumably, the country. All political hell broke loose. And the Root family has been poster children for "doing something about them fuckin' Mexicans" ever since.

Hondurans? Whatever.

The bottom line is the Roots have immigrated to the local TV news . . . and the pages of the Omaha World-Herald . . . and they won't leave. Because now they're activists for "immigration reform." And whenever somebody with brown skin and no immigration documentation does any damn thing that somehow impacts a regular white American, it's lights, camera . . . MAGA!

MEANTIME, regular white American drunk drivers who fatally plow into regular, sober white Americans are feeling a little ignored. Not-as-regular black American evildoers are thanking their lucky stars they're not Dominican.

And Michelle Root can be found on television sympathizing with any other regular white American who's had a regular white American child hurt or killed by One of Those People (TM). That is, when she's not found on television campaigning for Donald Trump . . . or onstage at a Trump presidential rally . . . or at the White House or otherwise protesting the Brown Menace.

Facts are facts: The Root family, with Michelle right out front, has been exploited by Trump from Day One. Michelle Root has become such a pro-Trump and anti-immigration fanatic that, to my mind, she's completely tainted as a news source.

And that's completely apart from the ethical and media issues that present themselves when shallow reporters -- particularly the TV variety, who always have been and always will be suckers for this sort of journalistic cheap grace -- put their brains in neutral and set their jerking knees to 11 anytime a Latino without papers does any damn criminal thing.

This is the laziest form of bullshit, stereotypical journalism there is. It plays into the hands of demagogues -- like the one Americans elected president -- and it will get someone killed.

You don't have to be a journalism professor, a philosopher or an ethicist to be outraged the 10th time some lazy reporter or editor tries to foist this sob-sister act on the public (which, naturally, will eat it up), much less the hundredth time the Roots pollute my TV screen with their grief-soaked vendetta.

IS NO JOURNALIST curious about Michelle Root's Twitter feed? About the retweets of posts from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group that not only advocates against illegal immigration but also against most legal immigration and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center?  Retweets of extremist Iowa congressman Steve King? Retweets of missives by Arizona's "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio?

Listen, any normal human being grieves for, and with, any parent who loses a child. But that cannot and does not give the press license to turn a blind eye to reality for sentimental reasons, nor does it give the reporter license to become, in effect, a propagandist. In this case, we have local reporters who cross that line every time they run to the Roots for another bong hit of tragedy and aggrievement every time an illegal-alien Latino hurts somebody somewhere.

It's not only wrong, it's horrible journalism. The victimized Michelle Root the Omaha press portrays is a simplistic and deeply misleading portrait. It's sanitized. People who should know better are engaging in some real "fake news" because, one suspects, they figure the public can't handle the truth . . . and neither can their ratings or circulation numbers.

Reality in this case is a lot messier, a lot uglier and a lot sadder. I think it's also a lot more interesting, but there's more profit in playing to people's prejudices than in piquing people's interest. Always has been, always will be.

IF YOU'RE a reporter tempted to lazily saunter over to the Roots for yet more pathos and dire warnings about the Brown Menace, just ask yourself this: "Would I dare do this kind of story every time a white person is killed by a black person? Would I dare do it every time a Gentile gets offed by a Jew? If I would, exactly why would that be?"

I think we all know the answer to that question. So does Donald Trump. So did Adolf Hitler.

And isn't propaganda nothing more than telling the same misleading, incomplete story over and over and over again? That's where the Omaha press is now with the Root family. We hear all about the tragedy of Sarah's death. We hear all about criminals with brown skin and no papers.

We never hear a fucking thing about the rabbit hole you followed Michelle Root down into so you could do the same damn interview you already have done -- or so it seems -- a thousand times before.

I, for one, eagerly await the next Michelle Root PR availability when, say, a Norwegian who overstayed his visa slits an American's throat or drinks a fifth of Jim Beam before turning some young woman's compact car into a sheet-metal accordion.

I said I eagerly await it. I didn't say I'd be holding my breath.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Why they call it Counciltucky

In the Age of Trump, we Americans live in a giant tinderbox. And we're fighting over everything.

Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. All hell breaks loose when Blue Lives shoot unarmed Black Lives. These skirmishes break out amid the larger struggle over the strategic crossroads of race and inequality.

Also in these fraught times, the battle over the Rebel flag and Confederate monuments still rages, and Lost Cause aficionados still cry over their spilled "heritage" as they wave the Stars and Bars in the face of civilized humanity.

Sometimes, one stumbles into a situation where two or more of these things converge, which today quickly could become a Situation.

So . . . welcome to an impromptu pro-police demonstration in Council Bluffs, Iowa, following the fatal shooting of a Pottawattamie County sheriff's deputy -- white -- by an escaping inmate -- black. The gathering along Broadway Avenue consisted of members of a Facebook group for off-road enthusiasts -- at least two of whom also are enthusiasts for something else not usually associated with Iowans.

Iowans, that is, who aren't Republican congressmen named Steve King.

THE GROUP of Counciltuckians -- and displays like this are why people across the Missouri River call Council Bluffs Counciltucky -- waved at least a couple of Blue Lives Matter American flags, a couple of regular Star-Spangled Banners and. . . .

I swear to God, I didn't even know this was a thing.

. . . at least two Confederate battle flags that had been Blue Lives Matterized. In Iowa.

Again, by people not Steve King.

Are you seeing where this could all go horribly wrong? Are you sensing that at least a few of these folks, in addition to saying police lives matter, might be saying that black lives do not? And that one of the Molotov cocktails we Americans so love to use for a pepper game -- when you win, you lose -- is somehow part and parcel of cop killings.

I don't know about you, but my inclination is to ask the Rebel-flag wavers "What the hell are you thinking? Why the hell do you think this is appropriate? What exactly are you saying here?" I'm curious that way. I imagine the Blue Lives that these people seem to think Matter might like a bit of insight, themselves.

"Intelligence," I think they call that kind of information.

MANY REPORTERS might like to know, too. Then again, maybe not.

Too many journalists today operate under the same "narrative pressure" local TV reporters face at times like these. Dead cop. Ordinary folk show their love and support. Tears. Respect. Cue somber outro music. Fade to black.

Even so, I don't know how a reporter ignores the flag flying right in her face, but there you go.

Confederate flags do not fit The Narrative -- at least not in the Midwest. And I suspect that even in the former Confederate States of America, there would be hell to pay if they did. The descendants of slaves tend to get touchy when white folk celebrate a society predicated upon their ancestors' suffering.

And just like those who embrace the Rebel flag must let go more important things to take up a tainted standard, journalists who stick to the feelgood, feel-bad Narrative are, in their own ratings- and circulation-driven manner, doing exactly what Confederate enthusiasts do in the South and -- one presumes, because Counciltucky -- elsewhere. They whitewash fact so we might live an alluring lie where we all love the cops, the cops all love us, and everybody does it out of the goodness of our June and Ward Cleaver hearts.

In The Narrative, communities are good, communities pull together and no one scapegoats, stereotypes or has ulterior motives. Never mind those people waving the Rebel flags, banners the Channel 7 reporter seems to think will cease to exist if just she ignores them hard enough.

It would have been such a simple question: "The Blue Lives Matter American flags, I understand. But why the Confederate flags?"

It's a simple question that wasn't asked by reporters for the Omaha World-Herald, either, even though the newspaper made note of the flag-waving off-roaders and even ran a picture of them.

Sans Rebel flag, of course.

Perhaps the answer is the fewer questions you ask, the better off you are in post-truth Tinderbox America.

Until, of course, you aren't.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

7 can help . . . revive a landmark

Wow. Just wow.

In 1898, Burlington Station was built to make a big impression -- there was a world's fair going on in the young city on the Plains, and the message to Trans-Mississippi Exposition visitors was to be singular from the moment they stepped off the train.
Everything is up to date in Omaha.

A century and change later, steam locomotives have gone the way of  T. Rex (both the dinosaur and the band), and old Burlington Station has been something of a fossil itself. The last Burlington Northern passenger train pulled off into the sunset in 1971, and then-new Amtrak abandoned the depot in 1974 for much smaller, cheaper-to-maintain digs next door.

So there it has sat for almost 40 years . . . alone in its faded glory.

Likewise for the last four decades, Omahans have driven down 10th Street, glanced over from the viaduct and thought "Somebody really needs to do something with Burlington Station."

WEDNESDAY, somebody stepped up to do something with Burlington Station. KETV announced that a renovated Burlington would be the new, bigger and state-of-the-art home for Channel 7 in a couple of years.
Ariel Roblin, president and general manager of KETV, said Wednesday that the television station has been at 2665 Douglas St. for 50 years, a time of significant change for broadcasting. Station officials, looking for a larger, updated facility, considered several sites and were attracted by the chance to bring a historic building back to life while gaining more operating space.

The project represents a multimillion-dollar investment in Omaha, she said, but she declined to estimate the total cost.

“It allows us to move with the technology,” Roblin said. “We looked at all kinds of options, but this one really made sense to us because it exemplifies what we do. Bringing back an old building to something beautiful and used and honored is important to us.”
KETV's plan calls for restoring the building's exterior to its historic appearance, Roblin said, which may qualify for preservation tax credits, and installing the newest technology inside.“One of the things that rang the most true was everyone's memories of being in this building,” she said. “We haven't finalized the plans for the interior yet, but we do have in mind that there is probably going to be some area that people will be able to access so that they can experience what we've done and may take a trip down memory lane for themselves.”

The news operation would be on the building's first floor, with administration, advertising and other departments on the second floor. The site has ample parking. Roblin said plans for the 2665 Douglas property are uncertain.

Constructed in 1898 and extensively remodeled in 1930, the limestone and brick depot has been vacant, while the Union Station just to the north was restored and turned into the Durham Museum, housing historic Omaha artifacts and related exhibits.
WOW. Just wow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sob-sistering toward Gomorrah

I hate sob sisters. Sob sisters will lead you straight to hell -- but only after a rest stop in Gomorrah.

I hate uncritical reporting. I hate it when sob-sister reporters jerk the tears so hard that they forget to ask a few fundamental questions that, oh . . . everybody would like answered as they watch the values-neutral, fact-agnostic schlock that passes for news today.

Local television is the worst. It just is. Local TV reporters will rot your capacity for critical thinking. And then they'll send you to hell. As a moron.

Channel 7 in Omaha devoted all kinds of time Tuesday to a woman who just couldn't see why the cops had to shoot her fiancé to death when all he was doing was threatening officers with a couple of weapons -- one of them a shotgun he aimed at them while using his 3-year-old son as a human shield. Here's a less tear-soaked account from today's Omaha World-Herald:
Tyree Bell
An Omaha man was mentally ill and suicidal when he pointed two guns at police from his front porch, prompting four officers to open fire in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday that one of the man's guns turned out to be a pellet gun; the other was unloaded. But police couldn't determine that until Tyree Bell, 31, had been killed in the Police Department's second officer-involved shooting in five weeks.

“We still have to treat that weapon as being loaded,” Schmaderer said.

The standoff at 3727 N. 42nd St. began at 4:11 a.m. Tuesday with Bell holed up in the house with his girlfriend and twin 3-year-olds. The children's mother escaped as officers arrived to investigate a domestic disturbance involving an armed person. Bell later let his daughter run to the safety of officers who surrounded the house.

After nearly two hours of negotiating, an armed Bell emerged from the house – his son in his arms to serve as a human shield.

Officers “were in peril, as they could take no action for fear of harming the 3-year-old,” Schmaderer said.

It was about 6:20 a.m. Bell had become more agitated, Schmaderer said.

He returned to the house, put his son down and reappeared on the front porch, pointing both guns at police, the chief recounted. That's when the officers fired “numerous” times at Bell, Schmaderer said.

Bell died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly after he arrived at Creighton University Medical Center. His son was unharmed; he toddled out of the house after the shooting and was swooped up by an officer.

Bell at no time attempted to surrender, the chief said. Alcohol and drugs likely compounded his suicidal behavior, Schmaderer said.
Frame from video recorded by a police-cruiser camera

IDIOT COPS.  His girlfriend told them the gun was unloaded.

And if you can't stake your life on the word of a woman possessing the good judgment to shack up with -- and have three children by -- a felon who had a three-page rap sheet, outstanding warrants and numerous convictions, including several firearms violations, on what exactly can you stake your life?

From the decidedly tear-stained report by KETV television Tuesday night:
Levette Spracher’s new year starts with the unthinkable.

“It wasn't right,” Spracher said. She talked to KETV Newswatch 7’s Natalie Glucklich just hours after her fiancé, Tyree Bell, 31, was shot by Omaha police during an armed confrontation.

Spracher says early Tuesday morning, she and Bell had an argument and, for Bell, a painful discussion about the future.

"He cried and I [could] see it in his eyes, it's like, he was giving up,” said Spracher. “I mean, I actually looked and I felt his pain; he was giving up.”

Spracher says her fiancé struggled with depression and schizophrenia. He’d been convicted of terroristic threats and assault, among other crimes. Spracher says Bell assumed the worst after someone called police to their house near 42nd and Pratt.

“He was like, ‘Man, they’re going to kill me, they're going to kill me,'" said Spracher. “I was like, ‘No, they're not, no, they're not.'"

Spracher says she ran outside to tell officers her fiancé was armed with a shotgun.

“I said, ‘It’s not loaded,'" said Spracher. “It wasn't loaded.”
BECAUSE someone that right about men couldn't possibly be that wrong about whether a gun was loaded or not.

Listen, I'm sorry Spracher and her kids are traumatized. I'm sorry she lost a boyfriend and three children lost a father -- even a whacked-out, felonious one.
I'm sorry Tyree Bell made such a terminal mess of his life. And I'm sorry that Bell is dead and that four cops will have to live with killing someone -- even justifiably -- for the rest of their lives.

What I'm most sorry about, though, is that contemporary journalism, just like contemporary American society, finds itself completely unable to deal with uncomfortable facts. Like, for one, that this poor woman made some catastrophically bad choices involving men -- or at least a man. That she compounded her error by shacking up with that massively troubled individual who had no capacity for obeying the law, then gave society a gift that is likely to keep on giving by having three children with him.

Those three children's long odds in life just got a lot longer, thanks to being witness to a human spectacle that's just about as ugly as they come -- a trauma that will likely torment them all their lives, a torment they're apt to endure absent the kinds of cultural and mental-health resources they so desperately need.

What I want to know is where that story is? You know, the little story that tells the big story of underclass deviance (in the sociological sense), and how it makes every noble program government can devise and every good deed and heroic effort by pastors, teachers, charities and social workers -- let's be honest here -- an absolute crapshoot, more likely to spectacularly implode in fantastically expensive futility than not.

AND HOW about how our culture not only eggs this sort of deviance on, but now is being driven by it? And where's the story about how inner-city black folk were just the canaries in the coal mine, and that this kind of foolishness is turning a lot of working class white folk into poster children for social anarchy, too?

There are two big reasons why you won't see those stories on the 6 o'clock news, or in the Daily Blab. For one thing, they're hard, and journalists are lazy -- and budget constrained. And for another, we might see too much of ourselves as we peer into the dysfunction within the Proles' District.

That will definitely harsh your mellow, man. Sin, after all, is short-term enjoyment, and we are a short-term people who love us some enjoyment. Consequences be damned.

What? You think the bat-sh*t craziness of Congress came from nowhere?

More after these words from our sponsor. Buy some stuff; it'll make you happy. Practice safe sex. Take Plan B if you don't. Be aware of your surroundings. Lock your car. Keep valuables hidden in your trunk. Avoid certain areas after dark. Film at 11.

Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Genius is fleeting, stupidity persistent

You know how I was telling you earlier about how dumbth has overcome local TV news?

Well, Channel 7 here is nothing if not persistent in its ignorance. Here's a brand new promo -- with the main-man anchor, no less -- repeating the same idiotic error on tonight's upcoming antibiotic-resistant "virus" story.

Consider that a news promo has to rely on information from the original reporter, who got it wrong. It then is shaped by a promotions copywriter who didn't know any better than the reporter.

Then the Cro-Magnon mess goes to the TelePrompter operator, who sets it up for the "talent" --
the ones who do other promos telling you what great journalists they are . . . "the ones you trust" -- who also don't know a Petri dish from a pot to piss in.

THEN IT gets put together by an editor who also doesn't catch the glaring Biology I error, and then (presumably) gets signed off on by some "grown-up" at KETV.

And there you go . . . you're sitting in front of the boob tube, beer in hand, watching boobs tell you about those scawy, scawy "viruses" that antibiotics can't put a dent in.

In other words, the idiots are ascendant and we are doomed.

TV news . . . for dummies, by dummies?

This is a partial transcript of a news promo aired on an Omaha TV station Sunday night:
"Microscopic . . . and deadly. A new virus that's resistant to almost every antibiotic."
A new virus that's resistant to almost every antibiotic is a piss-poor virus, indeed. What, is Barack Obama going to launch a No Virus Left Behind initiative?

Repètez après moi: Antibiotics are for bacteria; antivirals are for viruses. I think Bert and Ernie have a ditty that explains that to your average 6-year-old.

I DON'T KNOW what to say about the future of democracy when "professional journalists" are about on the ball as your average high-school dropout. And I am pretty much despondent about the state of American education, being that the vast majority of these nincompoops came to ActionNewsWatchOnYourSide with college degrees.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of dumbth . . . I will be scared spitless. For the idiots are with me. Thy rod, thy staff, they provoke prurient giggles during the happy-talk segments of
ActionNewsWatchOnYourSide. Because somebody said "rod." And "staff."

My cup runneth over.
Film at 11.

Monday, January 31, 2011


An Omaha man, covered neck to God-knows-where with tattoos, complains that he can't find a job in his chosen profession.

KETV television in Omaha has the stunning exposé here:

Michael Mitchell is a 30-year-old college graduate, but he's still trying to nail down his dream job.

"Right now I deliver pizzas for a living, but I'm a personal trainer," Mitchell said.

He's found the creative expression of his tattoos are hurting his chances in the job market.

"It turns out a lot more people have a problem with my tattoos than I thought 10 years ago," said Mitchell.

He said a recent job offer to be a personal trainer was revoked. He said the reason is written all over his body.

"It's not like they're discriminating the color of my skin, because I chose to do this," said Mitchell. "I understand they have the right, but maybe they should get with the times."
AND WHILE tattoo dude is waiting for employers to "get with the times," I'm going to hold him to that 30-minute delivery guarantee.

Really, is it really so hard to limit your "body art" to those areas easily covered by a shirt and pants?

Monday, January 10, 2011

A child care thing goin' on

Parents: It's 6:30., do you know which cafe Mrs. Jones and your children are at?

Are they holding hands? Making all kinds of plans?

While the jukebox plays their favorite songs?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Afternoon TV

It's the fall of 1987 in Omaha. You're a vidhead.

What to watch, what to watch on TV this afternoon?

Well, you can watch this.

Or you can watch that.

Friday, March 12, 2010

You may have a drinking problem if. . . .

An Omaha man may have made a slight strategic mistake when he showed up for sentencing on second-offense aggravated drunken-driving charges.

HE HAD a few -- OK, a lot of -- pre-sentencing drinks before showing up at the courthouse in Papillion, Neb.. The Sarpy County authorities didn't take it so well, according to KETV television:
Authorities said a drunken driver showed up for his sentencing hearing drunk again.

Jason Botos, 30, was driven to court by his father and investigators said he was so drunk that he had to be helped inside and wasn't able to make his court appearance.

"He was unable to get himself out of the vehicle, he was so intoxicated," said deputy Sarpy County attorney Ben Perlman.

Investigators said Botos' father asked deputies to help carry his son inside the courthouse.

Botos was scheduled to be sentenced for a drunken driving offense in September 2009. He was driving near Highway 75 and Cornhusker Road when his car jumped a curb and smashed into five other vehicles, critically injuring three people.

"Because he failed to appear for his court appearance, a warrant was issued," said Perlman.

Deputies arrested Botos in the parking lot.
TO GET this story in all it's bizarre glory, make sure you watch the video at KETV.

I'm no chemical-dependency counselor, bu I think it's possible Botos has a drinking problem. I could be wrong . . . but probably not.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

More Google art

The other day, I was doing a virtual drive through my hometown, during which I discovered the artistic -- the virtual photographic -- possibilities of the "street view" option on Google Maps.

Tonight, I thought I'd do the same with my present home, Omaha., Neb. Likewise, I thought I'd try the same subject matter -- the original transmission tower outside the studios of one of the city's venerable television stations.

So, here's the "street view," artistically selected, of KETV, Channel 7, at 27th and Douglas Street in downtown Omaha. I call this photography for the Facebook age.

AND I DO THINK there are possibilities in this for developing students' "artistic eye" in the classroom . . . and for photographers planning cityscape shoots before they get to the city and have to shoot "scapes."

On a personal level, though, I find I can just go to Google maps and virtually do what my late father-in-law did tangibly more than half a century ago when crews were erecting the Channel 7 tower, now the station's auxiliary transmission site.

OMAHA was a smaller place in 1957, television still had a large element of the whiz-bang to it and -- face it -- pleasures largely were of the "simple" variety. At least comparatively.

Back then, as a promotional thing, the future Channel 7 started the KETV Tower Watchers Club, and Dad was "hereby admitted to the circle of those who regularly observe the rise at 27th and Douglas Streets of this newest addition to Omaha's skyline."

I probably would have joined, too.

After all, I am the guy coaxing virtual art photography out of the functional, "how the hell to I get there" world of Google's "street view" gizmo.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let's play Omaha Storm Slam!

It's summer in Nebraska . . . and the spring storm season never left.

What's a body out here on the Plains to do?

I'M GLAD you asked! It's time to play the Midwest's newest and craziest TV game show . . . it's time to play Omaha Storm Slam!

Here's how we play: Keep a close eye on the Channel 7 live radar (click on the picture above). Soon enough, you'll see a line of storms approach the Omaha metro area.

Now, when the big bright-red, severe thunderstorm cells hit the Omaha city limits, everybody yells "Storm slam!" and chugs a PBR. When a contestant gets sick or becomes too intoxicated to enunciate "Storm slam!", that person is eliminated.

And the last contestant standing wins the game!

First prize is dragging all of your falling-down drunk opponents to the basement when the tornado siren sounds. Now, let's play Omaha Storm Slam!

In color.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Horror on the Plains

There were about 100 Boy Scouts at the tornado-struck camp 50 miles north of here in Iowa. No basements.

Television reports say the entire camp was leveled. Around 40 of the 100 injured; four confirmed dead. KETV cited officials who said many of the injured have head wounds.

The scouts were on a weeklong campout. And now the whole camp is gone. Gone.

HERE'S AN EARLY REPORT from the Omaha World-Herald:
The storms that struck Omaha Sunday caused damage only to homes, trees and property. Wednesday night’s storms that sprung up from Lincoln to western Iowa took lives.

One tornado, according to Harrison County dispatchers has four fatalities and up to 30 to 40 injured.

According to an Omaha city official, at least one of the groups of scouts at the camp was from Omaha

Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City will be getting two young juvenile males by medical helicopter right around 8 p.m. from the tornado that touched down at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch.

Parents are to call 431-9272 for information on injuries.

Shortly after 9 p.m., parents who had gathered at the Fellowship Hall in Little Sioux had yet to learn who had been killed and who had been injured.

A state trooper told parents he would deliver a list of names as soon as possible, but the scene at the Boy Scout camp was chaotic. He asked for their patience.

More than 100 people were gathered at the hall, a one-story brick building, and many more were streaming in.

There were numerous reports of damage and tornadoes touching down in Lincoln but nothing confirmed yet as of 7:45 p.m. said Kerry Eagan, chief administrative officer for Lancaster County.

Mike Krysl, a spokesman, for Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, said the hospital in full-scale disaster alert. Krysl said he did not know the extent of the two juvenile's injuries.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whither broadcasting? I'm with Ron

Whoever is in charge of moderating website comments for WOWT -- Omaha's Weahehhehhehther Authority -- never, EVER ought to be hired for any job involving screening inmates' mail.


SOME CHANNEL SIX VIEWERS, writing in the comments of the Omaha City Weekly Media Watch blog, complained the station's webmasters were censoring any negative comment concerning WOWT's bungled coverage of early Sunday's EF-2 tornado.

One reader noted his criticism of the station and chief meteorologist Jim Flowers, though measured and respectful, never made it into the website's comments section.

Apparently, WOWT staffers were too busy assigning blame to everyone but themselves for the station's inability to do what competitor KETV did --
provide live coverage as the storm bore down on the city -- to deal with negative comments.

THAT'S WHY a combox warrior has to be wily in these cases.

Likewise, it helps to get an assist from station personnel too harried or too dense to crack a really simplified version of a jailhouse code. In fact, the code "Ron from Omaha" used to breach the station's Pleasantville Firewall was so simple it required no key to decipher it -- j
ust a sharp eye.

And sharp eyes must be something in extremely short supply at Channel Sux. Here are the messages (you read the words typed in all CAPS . . . that's how simple the code is):
Posted by: Ron Location: Omaha on Jun 9, 2008 at 02:34 PM
CHANNEL 6 is to be commended for not being EMBARRASED to tell it like it is about how ITSELF AND others had no lead time to know about the bad weather. Many people FAILED to see the tornado in OMAHA. IT IS PATHETIC, people, THAT JIM FLOWERS of everyone in Omaha is STILL the only one on the air who HAS the guts to tell us how people came so close to dying in their beds because of the freakish nature of this storm. Telling the truth is HIS JOB, and I'm glad Jim does it so well.

Posted by: Ron Location: Omaha on Jun 9, 2008 at 04:36 PM

Robyn says it all. WOWT could not know that bad weather was coming when the weather bureau FAILED to tell the station's meteorologists -- who weren't there anyway -- that there might be severe weather in OMAHA. I don't think it's right that WOWT should be BLAMED by some OTHER PEOPLE who didn't have weather radios, FOR its all THEIR OWN FAULTS. WHAT A BUNCH OF LOSERS! i'm going to FIRE back at these naysayers with the truth, which JIM FLOWERS so bravely told people to-day. WOWT, you're my favorite station. And all the whiners should HANG IT UP. don't SURRENDER YOUR moral high ground to these nattering nabobs of negativism. don't give them such LICENSE!

And when swirling clouds of death and destruction bear down on our homes and loved ones, we count on these jokers to warn us that danger is nigh.

Among the impressive clot of refrigerator magnets on our old Kenmore (Really, I think standing near our refrigerator might relieve the pain and stiffness of arthritis.) is an old one from Channel 3 -- another station that was half an hour late and a sawbuck short early Sunday.

The magnet, back from when Action 3 News was KM3 News, listed "3 Things Every Kid Should Know" -- what county we live in, what's a tornado watch, and what's a tornado warning.

Maybe all the Omaha broadcasters -- save Channel 7 -- could pool their depleted budgets and go in on an updated version of that KM3 relic. It could add a fourth item, after the explanation of "tornado warning." Maybe something along these lines:
If you're counting on us to tell you a tornado's coming, follow these simple instructions. 1) Put your head between your legs. 2) Kiss your ass goodbye.