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GamerDad And The Action News Team 27

Posted by Zonk
from the so-stupid dept.
Last week we reported on a travesty of journalism; A local newsteam decrying the Pictochat DS program for being dangerous to children. Well, it turns out that respected family gaming site GamerDad actually told them they were wrong before they even reported the story. From the article: "When contacted for the story, I talked for a good fifteen minutes about the possibility of this situation occurring and what might have to take place to facilitate it. I specifically explained that turning on the DS in a public place has never turned up a Pictochatter. Never. I've tried a bunch of times to see if anyone attempts to use it in public. I also said at least three or four times that Pictochat was not Internet enabled, even after I received a call-back asking if it were possible for this to happen at one of Philadelphia's 'Wi-Fi hotspots' which are also mentioned in the article."
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GamerDad And The Action News Team

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  • by Steve_Jobs_HNIC (513769) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:02PM (#14768716) Journal
    It's possible she just didn't understand how the unit worked (yeah, she shouldn't have went ahead with the story), but I'm not so sure her mistake was intentional. I'd like to hear her side of the story.

    My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.
    • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by brunes69 (86786) <<gro.daetsriek> <ta> <todhsals>> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#14768786) Homepage
      They called gmaerdad and he explained in no nonsense terms that it was all bot impossible.

      They then ignored his comments and published the story without them.

      • errr no.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        If he had to explain it to her many times then I guess it's not "no nosense" now is it?

        Even in the article he said ,"I went even further and speculated that the child would almost certainly have to have prior contact with a person about where to meet in order to make this possible."

        My thinking is that she heard "possible" and ran with it, but I don't know that, and you don't know that. Only she does.
        • > If he had to explain it to her many times then I guess it's not "no nosense" now is it?

          No, it means she's stupid and has no business writing articles about things she has no knowledge of.
    • by faloi (738831) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:18PM (#14768877)
      My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.

      And my guess would be she had conflicting information and decided that it would sell better if she uncovered some horrible problem that proved the children needed saving. I'd say her mistake was 100% intentional, regardless of how you look at it. Either she had conflicting stories and went ahead to boost her career knowing she was likely wrong, or she had conflicting stories and decided not to dig any deeper before going forward with the story. Either way, she was wrong.
      • And my guess is that this news story was comissioned by Nintendo. They were hoping to increase DS sales in the pedophile market, where the numbers aren't currently as high as they'd like. So, naturally, she ignored information that didn't fit what she was being paid to say.
    • My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.

      Typically when these things happen the independent jounalist covers that side of the story too. In the face of this conflicting evidence she chose the story that would sell more: "Oh noes! Your kids are in daaaaaanger!".
  • by shrubya (570356) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:03PM (#14768723) Homepage Journal
    Is someone misleading the public with false tales of terror, in a deliberate money-making scheme? Find out tonight at 11 on Action News!
  • by dubiousx99 (857639) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:03PM (#14768730)
    Though sensationalized drama does.
  • They don't care (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:05PM (#14768748) Homepage
    In the past few years, it has been increasingly obvious that many of the big media sources are not very careful about hiring credible people. Look at Jayson Blaire at the NYT, for example. Why does it surprise anyone that media outlets like *BC just make stuff up? They complain about bloggers, but at least the average blogger not only has no national recognition, but has comments and trackbacks open so you can post a rebuttal that others can see and read. The NYT, ABC, etc. don't give any right of response when their stuff is pure bullshit. It'll appear as a small correction in a place that 99% of their viewers/readers won't notice so as to not call attention to a headline's inaccuracy.
  • The level of "journalism" being shown here is incredibly poor. I often wonder if there is a conspirac in place to demonise video games in print media. Since many print media outlets and tv stations lose income to online activities.
    • The level of "journalism" being shown here is incredibly poor. I often wonder if there is a conspirac in place to demonise video games in print media. Since many print media outlets and tv stations lose income to online activities.

      Not just videogames. The media always needs a boogeyman, whether it be radio, comic books, television, videogames or the internet.
    • Pretty good journalism if you compare it to what passes often. Here's a few recent stories from my local news channels:

      WNEM 5: What they reported: "Detroit Police are detaining and arresting Christians for praying in the privacy of their own homes."
      What happened: Two people, who were never specified to be Christian, "prayed" by laying down in crosswalks, accross doors - even in court while the judge was talking to them, and were arrested for disturbing the police and obstructing traffic.

      WSMH 66: What they r
  • Muckraking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drewzhrodague (606182) <{drew} {at} {zhrodague.net}> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:09PM (#14768784) Homepage Journal
    Journalists do this muckraking to raise controversy, and stir up the pot. I had the same kinda thing talking to local reporters about wardriving -- "Ooh, hackers spamming everyone from open Wi-Fi spots!" You tell them one thing, and they'll figure out what makes their story sensationalized. Then you hear the story, and learn that they ignored what you told them, even if you tried hard to make your point clear.

    I think the best thing to do is to talk to the reporters. It is up to them to quote you properly, and get the story straight.
  • i don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rabbot (740825) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @01:57PM (#14769278)
    I wonder why competing news stations don't publish stories about how competitors outright lie to the public when they put out garbage like this Pictochat article. I guess it would trigger the end of the world.
    • I guess it would trigger the end of the world.

      Damn right it would, at least for the news companies anyway - if they featured articles like that about other news companies, people would (I hope) think "So what stops the one featuring the article from lying through their teeth?" then nobody would watch the news anymore, and so none of the networks would show their Doctor Phil or American Idol anymore, then people would go crazy and start killing each other, resulting in global war and the nuclear holocaust.

    • "then people would go crazy and start killing each other, resulting in global war and the nuclear holocaust...

      and then nobody would hear about it because nobody watches the news anymore!
    • A couple of times, a few local news outlets here (Usually WNEM CBS 5 and either the Saginaw News or WSMH Fox 66) will get into something like this. It gets rediculous quickly. 5 and 66 have been going back and forth on the Cheny shooting. 5 had hunters on explaining what safety rules Cheney was breaking, 66 had the local NRA president on explaining that Cheney did nothing wrong and it was his partner who was being unsafe. Then 5 has a gunshop owner on saying how he'd never sell Cheney a gun, and 66 has anot
  • If this was almost any other industry (film, oil, beef) many lawyers would be buying new cars. I believe in freedom of the press but that doesn't allow them to tell lies when they KNOW the truth.

    When somebody publicly questions the sexuality of a Hollywood star, they get sued for millions, but it is okay to say that a product is being used to molest little kids when it just isn't true?

  • I'm all for keeping kids from getting molested, but what the hell can you expect from one sided people that dont give a damn about the truth, they just care about how they think GTA and video games in general are the product of satanic cults...
  • I'd swear Action News off, if it weren't for Cecily Tynan [go.com] and Dorothy Krysiuk (spelling?). They make news in the morning worthwhile.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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