Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gee, she produced trivial, meaningless content that’s now on the Internet. Is that really a fire-able offense?

Let me state up front that I do not know Susannah Collins. I have never met her, and for all I know I never will.

COLLINS: Looking for work
And since I don’t pay much attention to professional hockey, I have to confess that I never saw the now-former Comcast SportsNet Chicago reporter-type person at work.

AT LEAST NOT until she had the on-air flub earlier this week (letting the word “sex” instead of “success” slip into her report) that caused people to start paying more attention to her; thereby digging up her work from past broadcast jobs that showed a body of work that was downright trivial.

Some might even call it stupid.

So stupid that the Comcast sports people felt compelled to let her go from her current job – which strikes me as being hypocritical. Because I suspect the “content” that some are now claiming to push the boundaries of sports journalism and good taste (that’s how the Chicago Tribune phrased it) was completely in line with what her former employers expected.

And which is oh so similar to much of what appears on so many Internet sites – the ones that supposedly are providing people what they’re really interested in and why newspapers and other organizations (the alleged “legacy media” that some like to dump on every chance they get) are supposedly on our way out of business.

FOR THE RECORD, Collins used to work for an entity called Middlebrow Media, and was co-host (with another attractive female) of a program called SportzNuts – some of which still exists in video clips posted on YouTube.

As far as I can tell, she did a lot of interviews with “fans” that devolved into double entendres, although the Tribune dug up the video of a parody of a dramatic reading of the sex stories included in former pro basketball player Darryl Dawkin’s ghost-written biography “Chocolate Thunder.”

Quite frankly, I just can’t get outraged – except at the thought of Comcast SportsNet Chicago now thinking it can play all high and mighty and claim it is shocked, shocked to learn that trivialities and nonsense were uttered during a broadcast report.

I have just seen and heard way too much non-news committed by people who want to think they’re journalists to think there’s anything at all unique about this!

HECK, THE SAME kind of people who thought it was so titillating to hear Collins say “sex” instead of “success” that the Comcast video went “viral” are the same types who motivate alleged news outlets to produce the trivialities that Collins (and many others) are producing.

If that is what some people want to fill their minds with, it may well be their choice. Just don’t expect me (or anyone else with sense) to take them seriously.

Because I’m sure these are the individuals who think there’s something legitimate about that study last month by that claims being a newspaper reporter is the “worst job” in the United States.

Although the report that got to me was one published by Yahoo! That pointed out five “dying” careers – and labeled “reporters” (all, not just newspaper types) who ought to look into an alternative career of “public relations specialist.”

WHAT ABOUT THE fact that if reporters really do die off as an occupation there wouldn’t be any need for corporate types to hire PR spokesmen to deal with reporters? I suspect the kind of people who think that the stuff Collins was doing was fully legitimate are the ones who think there is something logical about this thought.

They’re probably the ones who think that the problem with “the media” all these years is that they have focused attention on “boring” stuff like “news!” They’re the ones who think that Collins’ work was legitimate, and are only dumping on her now even though she produced what her bosses wanted.

Which is why a part of me is hoping that Collins manages to become something other than the “sex reporter” from Chicago and manages to find work elsewhere, other than as someone's public relations spokeswoman.

Does the world really need another PR hack?


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