KDKA newsdesk won’t even *discuss* Eichelberger b/c it is not local enough?

Are you freaking kidding me, KDKA? 

Whomever answered your newsdesk phone around 2:30 pm (a male voice) reportedly told a local gay person that the Eichelberger story wasn't going to b considered because it has no local angle. The caller tried to explain and reports that your newsdesk phone answering person YELLED at him.  For what?  A tip?  A moment of his time?  Attempting to explain how hate impacts Pittsburgh?  Existing?  Which is it?

WTAE and WPXI heard him out.  They may not find a local angle, but at least they treated a gay man trying to advocate for his community with respect and courtesy. 

So not only do you possibly miss a story (which since you didn't listen, you have no way of knowing if it has legs) you now pissed off a viewer who isn't going to watch your newscast anymore AND is telling other gay people how callous you are. 

You are supposed to be the good guys what with all the Tweeting and the cute little Weather Bug (how gay is that?).  You don't have Sally Wiggin, but the lesbians seem to like Patrice just as much b/c she kicks ass in a man's field. 

You want a local gay angle?  How about a man in pickup truck angry about traffic calling my girlfriend a stupid lesbian cunt?  Granted she gave him the finger but that's considered a gender neutral offense.  Her sexual orientation and gender had nothing to do with the fact that she couldn't undo gridlock in the Strip District.  But it was fair game to him.  And there are thousands of hims (and hers) throughout this region who, thanks in part to the hate-speak of Senator Eichelberger, believe they have some sort of moral superiority over queer folks. 

When a State Senator believes an entire class of citizens exists at someone's pleasure, it sort of affects all of those persons throughout the entire kingdom, including Western Pennsylvania.  The Allegheny Mountains don't protect us from crazyland. 

Since I am going to tweet this, I'm hoping someone might see it.  Figure out who was at the desk at 2:30 PM and I can produce the guy who deserves an apology (yes, I have that power — :-).  Then at least review the story before you dismiss it out of hand. 

Or ignore the complaint and let the lingering anti-gay taint hang around. 

  • This was very upsetting for the person involved. Not just because their story was dissed, but because they were trying to participate and just getting slapped down. If they had called in to say they once babysat for Michael Jackson's third cousin's child back in 1974, David Highfield would have been on the scene lickety split.

  • In all honesty, I wouldn't call this anything more than someone who was overwhelmed on a busy news day. There are editorial meetings around 2:30, so there's a lot of running around.
    I usually urge people to email their news tips to newsdesk@kdka.com for the sole reason that it gives you the opportunity to lay everything out on the table upfront — AND it gets to more people quickly.
    As someone who worked an assignment desk before, when you're only one person charged with beat calls, scanners, faxes, and calls from people wondering why Obama is pre-empting their soap operas, it's not always easy to juggle something else.

  • Thanks for chiming in, Jim. The tip about email is good advice and give me an idea for another sidebar.
    It does go to show that one never knows how having a bad day at work can impact your customers (viewers). Especially when its so easy to click up from “2” to “4” (if you don't have cable).
    I've never called when the soaps are interrupted, but I must admit shaking my fist at the television when it is due to Rothlisberger driving without a helmet, the potential of Armageddon like weather or other local “news” that generates hours of coverage. 🙂

  • You are exactly right. That's why I've been Twittering traffic info — I find myself rushed when someone calls (and if it's a minute before I go to air, I have no choice but to be abrupt.)

  • I just wanted to point out that if this man was some how rushed it didn't show. He took his time in arguing with me. I don't think a lack of time was the issue. I think rudeness and ignorance was.

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