CBS11 reporter "honored" by Keith Olbermann
05/04/08 04:57 PM
By ED BARK
CBS11 reporter Jay Gormley attracted further unwanted national notice last week when MSNBC Countdown anchor Keith Olbermann awarded him the bronze medal during his nightly "Worst Person In the World" segment.
Gormley was cited for a since-retracted report last Monday (April 28th) that said the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright had branded Texas Christian University a "Godless Christian College" during a stop in Dallas. In fact he had said "Jarvis Christian College," which is located in Hawkins, TX.
"He (Gormley) went to the campus in Fort Worth and got suitably angry reactions from TCU students and folk," Olbermann said.
It would help if Olbermann got all of his own facts right while attacking others for screwing up. He told viewers that Wright made the comments at "Monday's news conference." Not quite. He made them during a Sunday (April 27th) sermon at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas.
After noting what Wright actually said, Olbermann added, "Well, May 'sweeps' started on Monday."
Actually, they started on the previous Thursday (April 24th), which a guy who anchors a national TV news program should know. Gormley was grouped on last Wednesday's "Worst Person In the World" with frequent winner Bill O'Reilly and runnerup John McCain.
Gormley has declined to comment on the mistake, although some colleagues, speaking on condition of anonymity, say he questioned newsroom management on the story's veracity before eventually following orders to do it.
Another colleague -- or at least someone who identified him/herself as a "CBS11 Insider" -- said in this Web site's comments section that two separate unclebarky.com postings on the Wright mistake and the station's on-air correction amounted to piling on.
"Get over yourself and the CBS11 mistake," the commenter wrote. "We blew it and owned up to it. The ND (news director) shared e-mails with us today from viewers thanking us for our integrity in doing that. A reporter who was at the speech heard 'Godless' and reported it that way. He convinced producers, anchors and managers that was the word. No one had even heard of Jarvis Christian College until viewer emails came in Monday night. We've moved on. You need to do so, too."
CBS11 removed the Wright story from its Web site without explanation sometime last Tuesday. A correction was posted several hours after the station received an email and a phone call about the story from unclebarky.com. Anchor Doug Dunbar then read an on-air correction, sent earlier to this Web site, during last Tuesday's 10 p.m. newscast.
"Writing this crap and sending it to ShopTalk (a widely read TV industry Web site) to be seen nationwide might help WFAA and your Belo pension and any stock you still own," the "CBS11 Insider" said. "But it does nothing to help your credibility with this site. You do good work. Don't fall into a trap."
For the record, the reporting on CBS11's big gaffe also noted that Gormley is a generally credible reporter.
Also, I've never sent anything written for unclebarky.com to ShopTalk or any other Web site in hopes of drawing national attention. Whatever "crap" they link to is their doing.
As for improving my Belo stock portofolio, well, I don't own any. It was sold long ago. And an earlier pension accrued during my almost 27 years at The Dallas Morning News is fixed at a set amount per month no matter what's written in these spaces.
Here's video of Olbermann's Gormley-flavored "Worst Person In the World" segment: