TV station lands interview with Indy Eleven exec, forgets what “interview” is supposed to mean

Is this WRTV6 report on the proposed Indy Eleven stadium perfectly inept? Let’s count the ways:

  • Parrots the team owner’s claims about how much money will come from stadium ticket taxes, even though the team’s own projections contradict that? Check!
  • Talks to only one source, a team exec wearing a team scarf? Check!
  • Video of a stadium rendering flyover, plus video of exciting soccer footage? Check!
  • Softball questions about “Should we trust you?” followed by the interviewer himself opining that any claims that the team isn’t trustworthy “are just not true”? Check!
  • Interview subject claims that unlike other projects, this one has assurances in place that it “will not fall on the public’s shoulders,” and the interviewer then ends the segment without even asking what those assurances are? Check!

That, my friends, is some bad alleged journalism. Indy Eleven president Peter Wilt must have gotten lots of high fives on returning to the office, for putting across the team’s media message perfectly without having been challenged at all. Not that any of it will likely sway the state senate, but free televised PR time is never something to turn up your nose at.

7 comments on “TV station lands interview with Indy Eleven exec, forgets what “interview” is supposed to mean

  1. Local TV stations, particularly in the smaller markets, absolutely carry the water for sports teams (I live in Orlando, so I should know). Teams scarcely need to do any bidding on their own when they can just get the 6pm sports anchors to do it for them.

  2. It’s media. Media as in, “medium for the target audience to get information from the source”. I can’t think of much evidence indicating that the people of Indianapolis (the target audience, in this case) have any desire to ever disapprove of a tax kickback for a sports stadium. So, in a way this buffoon was doing his job perfectly.

  3. Being a racing fan ( but NOT an Indycar/Indy 500 fan) I often check out the Indy Star and sites for the latest “news” about the ongoing train wreck that IMS and Indycar have become.
    None of the local “news” outlets such as the IBJ or the Star ask anything that remotely appro aches a tough question, whether it’s about the 100 million dollar “loan” to upgrade the Speedway, or any of the millions forked over to Lucas Oil Stadium/Colts, Bankers Life Fieldhouse/the Pacers, or now the Indy Eleven.

    Indianapolis seems to have a massive inferiority complex, that the local politicians and the lapdog local media think can be cured by handing over 100’s of millions to wealthy sports owners who could easily finance this nonsense themselves ( if in fact, any of these projects actually made financial sense.

    Go figure.

  4. Believe it or not, the reporter in question is a veteran reporter for the TV station’s “Call 6 Investigators.” Yeah, investigative journalism is supposed to be his forte.

  5. The mentality in Indy is not to ask meaningful questions whenever one of of sports owners asks for more money. The Pacers stated they are losing money so we now pay the maintenance on the building the taxpayers built and from which the owners of the Pacers receive 100% of all revenue that occurs in that building. By the way we only have the Pacers word that they in fact have lost money since we aren’t allowed to see the Pacer’s finances!

  6. Years ago, each television broadcast of the “local” team’s games carried the boilerplate 15 second spot that team itself has right of approval of the announcers and sundry other items.

    They don’t seem to broadcast those things anymore. That said, I think we all know that the teams have near total control over the information that their ‘broadcast rights holders” disseminate. I am wondering if this extends to items like this as well.

    I would assume that the team that doesn’t yet exist is carefully screening prospective broadcast ‘partners’. That might explain part of it. Or maybe journalism is really really dead after all.

    Whenever I hear a homer paper/tv station run pieces like “Do we need an $XX million dollar stadium?” I always hear George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove demanding that President Muffley “must not allow a mineshaft gap!”

  7. I suspect it’s far simpler than that: It’s understood by now that any station that asks tough questions isn’t going to get offered another interview. And for some reason having the president of the local sports team (or, in other situations, the Secretary of Defense, say) on to present their PR line is seen as absolutely vital to TV news.