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I'll be up front and say that I have little respect for most of the media. Now having been involved in a story first-hand, I can say that all of what I dislike about the media was amply demonstrated in this experience.


About a month ago I got a call from the Wall Street Journal's Reid Albergotti. Reid had seen my posts on the forum and asked for my feedback on high definition and high definition camcorders. Anyone that knows me understands how I love to extoll the virtues of HD to anyone and everyone. Well for the better part of an hour I did just that with Reid, I extolled the virtues of this great format. But it soon became obvious that Reid had an 'agenda'. Reid wasn't 'really' interested in my viewpoints on the postive aspects of HD, but rather was trying to extract anything negative about the format. His leading questions more than amply demonstrated the bias of the article he was planning to write.


Reid was attempting to find anything negative about the HD experience and shooting with an HD camcorder. I had real trouble relating anything negative about HD or HD cameras. Reid asked if blemishes, lines and wrinkles show up more in HD than SD. Well of course they do. He asked to speak with my wife to get her viewpoint.


My wife went on about the beauty of the HD footage we shot at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Of course Reid asked 'but what about blemishes'? My wife was surprised by how leading his questions were. She said yes, you can see lines more clearly since HD is such a sharp medium, but the overall beauty of HD is great and far better than the cameras we had been using.


The article showed up today and was of course decidedly negative. Gone were any of the positive remarks I made in almost 1 hour of discussion. Gone were the positive remarks my wife made about our HD footage. The only thing that showed up from our discussion was how HD magnified the lines on your face. The banner of the article screams out "Your family looks awful in high definition". Untrue, totally 100% untrue. Reid had mentioned about how HD is so difficult for movie stars and network TV. I tried to explain to Reid that a 'talking heads' network show in HD is far different than shooting HD in a family/vacation setting. You tend not to 'fill the screen' with a face and you tend to shoot scenics and vacation settings with your family in the shot.....but not a face filling the screen.


So the experience served to reenforce my attitude on how the media so totally distorts and slants the truth. My advice? If a reporter calls you regarding almost anything.....HANG UP....I know my wife will.
 

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I agree the best advice is not talk to the media:


you never know what their agenda is [for writing the article] until it is too late
 

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Leave it to the media to find that 'one in a million person' to show you the truth.


It is amazing how far they will go out of their way to 'find' what they want to hear.
 

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Reminds me of my dad's experience with the media.


About 20 years ago, my dad was high up in the chain of the wing in the Air Force at Andrews AFB that shuttles around the President (i.e., Air Force One) and Congress.


The airlines had been de-regulated several years before that, and 20/20 got interested in doing a piece about whether Congress might re-regulate the airlines. Since the Congresspeople who would make that decision flew a lot on military flights out of that wing, they interviewed my dad to discuss Congress's experience with military airline service.


Apparently, one of their angles was that since Congress flew both military flights and commercial flights, they might be more inclined to re-regulate commercial airlines since they saw how efficient the military system was (and believe me, when you fly around the President, you have a *very*efficient operation).


The skeezy correspondent, Lynn Sherr, interviewed my dad for over an hour. At one point, she asked him a question about comparing military service with commercial service, and my dad responded something like "well, there's really no comparison I can make because I'm not familar at all with the commercial service system."


When the show came on, that clip got used like this:


(Sherr voice-over): "How does the commercial system compare to the military system?"

(shot of my dad): "there's really no comparison," (cut off right there)

(Sherr booming voice-over): "no comparison indeed!"

(then material that had nothing to do with my dad, claiming commercial service was poor compared to military)


So he had essentially said "I don't know how good the commercial system works," but the piece made it sound like he said "the commercial system sucks."


The news media is truly shameful.
 
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