Friday, March 03, 2006
As I was working on my next delivery for the newscast this morning I got a phone call. Not from my boss, but from a bitter co-worker. This co-worker is old, crotchety, and loves to share his skewed opinions on life-and the news-with everyone. He called today because I ran a story about a pyramid scheme that was taking money from Utah citizens. I put in the story that get-rich-quick schemes are abundant in Utah, and not always legitimate (though I doubt any of them actually are, but I didn't include that part). I mentioned there are 18 of them in Utah county, the largest amount in the nation. He had a problem with that and thought he'd let me know I'd get in trouble, and the station in trouble, for saying these companies might not be legitimate. I told him the facts were the facts and I was running it regardless of what he thought. That's when things got heated. He told me I didn't know what I was talking about and that I would be responsible for bringing the station down. He kept blah blahing about his 30 years experience in the news business and was emphatic that these companies are good legitimate companies because he's been following them for 30 years. I repeatedly told him these companies are junk and that I had covered this story at a public station at the beginning of last summer and met numerous people who'd been taken by them. Then he said one story didn't prove anything, that I had no experience, and that I had an attitude problem. He told me I was on the radar with those above me for it. I was burning mad at this point. He was clearly trying to derail me for whatever reason. I was shocked that someone in the news business would be this confused about the truth. I about hung up on him after he wouldn't shut up (I had all of 10 minutes to write the next newscast at this point) but thanked him politely for his input. Of course I ran the story anyway. Then I called my boss. He liked the story. And, of course, agreed with me. These companies are crooked, despite what Mr. 30 years experience thinks. I told him what happened and he said I don't have an attitude problem that he knows of. Now I'm left wondering what that co-worker of mine's problem is and why he thought it was okay to try to railroad me into not running a good story that impacted a lot of people.