Years ago as a young journalist working with publisher/editor Frank and Sally Morlan at the Sheldon (Iowa) Mail-Sun Newspapers, Frank taught me the ethics of community journalism. He’d point out the good and the bad, the acceptable and non-acceptable, and what was responsible and irresponsible.
Be fair, he told me, and be honest. You supply the facts and let the people decide, he said. Opinions, he admonished me, are for the opinion page, not in news or feature stories.
He called stories like the Beef Products Incorporated (BPI) ‘pink slime’ report that ABC-TV did on the “lean finely textured beef” (LFTB) as “hit and run reporting,” meaning the reporter or reporters use unsubstantiated information in a story and then leave the scene without having to answer to anyone. ABC-TV did it, and the results were devastating outside of the Midwest.
I think by now you all know the story.
It’s called “lean finely textured beef,” and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was quoted as saying to the ABC reporter, “Dude, it’s beef.” The USDA declared it’s healthy, but never mind, the bomb was dropped on BPI and with it the scaring of America. The national media did a first-rate, inept job, wrapped around their façade called ‘news’ and riddled their on-the-air report with unfounded information and totally misrepresented anything that had to do with facts.
Good going, ABC-TV. Hope you heard what your “stick-it-to-‘em” reporting did: 600 jobs out the window at BPI. Yes, sirrreeeeee, you really did a number on BPI and everyone who lives and works here in the Tti-State area.
Bet you’re proud of yourselves, too.
That’s 600+ people with high-paying jobs – over 85 of them technical from the Dakota City operation. Those human beings are now unemployed with no place to go. Not only that, ABC-TV ‘news,’ you also accomplished something else: you raised the cost of beef at stores all across the nation. So, not only do Americans have to struggle with exorbitant and outrageous price gouging at the gas pump, but they now pay a higher cost for beef products at the grocery store.
Aren’t you proud of yourself, ABC-TV?
You hit us where it hurts – right in the old Midwest pocket-book. Not only that, but here in Siouxland you struck us like a lightening bolt right after our losing John Morrell two years ago. Soon we will lose the Argosy Casino, the latter of which has over 300 local employees.
By now you’ve heard that what you reported about LFTB and labeled “pink slime” was nothing more than your own scare-tactic creation. You and your reporters never sought to learn about meat processing. You never even mentioned in your reporting that the USDA said the LFTB process was in place as a protection for consumers.
None of that matters, right?
There you are, ABC-TV, in that hellhole called New York City where anything goes and no one cares about anyone other than one’s self. You dine on sirloin, lobster and caviar, downed with over-priced wines and talk about the latest television shows, your friends in higher places, and your stock market that is rift with insider deals, oil speculators, and a flow of traders beating a path to the nearest prison.
ABC-TV, you’re in a class by yourself (like NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN) and every other show that calls itself news but wouldn’t know how to be honest if your lives depended on it. I know, I know… honesty is not your policy. You gotta make money, and money in your line of business is based on sensationalism.
Good job, ABC-TV.
Next time you come up with a Dan Rather expose, keep it your town: NYC in your infamous east coast… or just about anywhere in California where your brothers and sisters languish. You people at ABC-TV feed off gossip and make up stories as a way of life. Here in the Midwest, we go by research and facts; it’s the American way. I’m sure that’s hard for you to understand.
Meet The Author: Wayne Dominowski
Wayne Dominowski is a long-time award-winning journalist who is publisher/editor of the Sergeant Bluff Advocate weekly newspaper and the monthly Siouxland Sports Authority, both family-owned, independent publications. Wayne is a former head football coach, former high school guidance counselor, and teacher. He holds a Masters Degree in Education and a Masters in Fitness Science. Wayne is a veteran of the U.S. Military, having served in the U.S. Air Force Security Service, and later in the U.S. Army Reserves. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. In the military, he graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and holds a number of awards, the highest being the Meritorious Service Medal.