News Media

TV Dope Award

Ysabel Bilbao at KTVB-7 is a recent repeat winner of the coveted GUARDIAN TV dope reporter award with her live report from the scene of a tragic fatal motorcycle accident last night.

According to the anonymous nomination, she noted the people on the motorcycle were “not wearing seatbelts.”

She probably meant “helmets,” but in TV it isn’t what you say, but how you say it that counts. Besides, unlike a “typo,” you can’t fix a “lipo” as easily– especially on live TV.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I know that lots of admitted and covert journalists look at this site. So, here is my peeve along this same line: If you can’t give out the name of a deceased person or someone seriously injured, and the vehicle involved is unusual in some way (i.e. custom paint job, yellow motorcycle, etc.) ….why show close ups of the crashed vehicle(s)? I personally know three different families who learned of their loved ones’ deaths on the news, because they showed a close up of the vehicle. Just common empathy would dictate that if family hasn’t been notified…you’ll likely do serious damage by having them find out this way.

  2. Yeah I saw it. I felt bad for her.

  3. Was the guy in the Scion wearing a helmet?

    To digress from the “dope reporter” topic just a bit:

    It will be interesting to see where the fault for this accident is ultimately placed. From what I’ve seen and heard – and as a motorcyclist, I’m vitally interested – it would appear that the speed of the motorcycle may have been a contributing factor, but the failure of the other vehicle to yield at a stop sign was the actual cause of the collision. It is AMAZING how often the other guy says, “I didn’t see the motorcycle!” whether or not speed was involved. That SHOULD be a lesson to motorcyclists AND other roadway users.

  4. Don’t we all make mistakes?

  5. Dave doesn’t make mistakes. He’s flawless.

    But he does seem to have a thing for Ms. Bilbao.

  6. It wasn’t inaccurate. They weren’t wearing seat belts. Or helmets, apparently, which allowed them to better hear and see the vehicle they hit.

  7. Yep, I agree with Tam. I’ve even seen stories that not only described a vehicle but gave its license number in a fatal wreck!

    As for the lipo… dumb, dumb, dumb. But I’m a bit irritated anyway by the constant comments on whether the person was or was not wearing a helmet. If the rider is killed or permanently incapacitated by a head injury, then the helmet or lack thereof is relevant. But when somebody on a few hundred pounds of unenclosed metal and plastic meets up with a couple of tons of steel at high speed, a helmet ain’t gonna make a lot of difference.

    Yep, I ride, and yep, I always wear a helmet, but I also am well aware that it protects only a small portion of my being, and then only if I happen to hit the pavement in such a way that my skull would otherwise take the impact (which I never have — so far — by the way).
    The vast majority of motorcycle fatalities I’ve seen, read about, checked on etc. were caused by massive trauma — basically either the torso and other parts were smashed by a four-wheeled (or sometimes 18-wheeled) vehicle, or the sudden stop from riding speed to zero was enough to do it as in the case of hitting a tree, wall etc.

    Just give us the relevant information, and skip the routine of always stating something just for the sake of always stating something.

  8. junkyard dog
    Sep 28, 2006, 5:59 am

    c’mon Dave,
    dope awards are for those people who do stupid things to get a story….

  9. There’s got to be a better way to hurt yourself… do motorbikes get good mileage or what? I don’t understand the desire for partaking in such a proven high risk activity….fault may be laid on the car drivers many times, but the bike always loses… have lost several friends this way…my compassion to the surviving family and friends.

    As for the dope award…how about going after more intentional on-air items? … like twisting the story to meet a personal or institutional agenda.

  10. J said, “… do motorbikes get good mileage or what? I don’t understand the desire for partaking in such a proven high risk activity…”

    Since we’ve digressed from “dope reporter” (to “dope motorcycle rider”?), I’d love to respond.

    That Honda being ridden by the victims surely didn’t get as good fuel mileage as a high-mileage Honda automobile. (Or the Scion they smacked into.)

    Pretty much everything involves a certain level of risk. People die in bathtubs – hundreds each year. Or choke on their tossed green salad. Swimming… hang gliding… eating spinach… criminy, people die every day as a result of unprotected sex. Each of us has to decide what he wants to do in life, and then do a hopefully-realistic, unemotional risk assessment, and decide if he’s willing to accept the risk to engage in the activity.

    (At the Idaho STARS motorcycle beginner course, they discuss the risk in depth; some people decide that motorcycling is NOT for them, and drop out. J is absolutely right – motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable, and the only real way to avoid injury is to avoid accidents.)

    There are also numerous things that people can do to minimize motorcycling risk – be predictable and visible and defensive, obey the law, don’t ride impaired, WEAR A HELMET. (Again, some folks obviously decide they’re willing to accept the risk of forgoing some of those safety measures.)

    I’ve been riding motorcycles for 40+ years (longer than I’ve been driving cars). I guess it’s in my blood now; I could stop, but it would break my heart. WHY is hard to describe… why do dogs hang their heads out the window? I definitely feel more at-ease when I’m out on a sweet, empty 2-lane highway, than when I’m riding up a Fairview Avenue with unpredictable potential hazards every 50 feet or so. Of course, a deer can always bound into your path on that 2-lane, and end it all. Apparently I love wind-in-the-face enough to accept that risk.

  11. “Helmets are dangerous! You can’t hear anything when you’re wearing one! Not safe!”.

    “My bike is as loud as possible so motorists can hear me! It’s safer that way!”.

    Anybody see the contradiction?

    Get real, you diddlybobs: Your bikes are loud and you don’t want to wear helmets, because you’re just trying to project an image. Just be honest about it and say that helmets and mufflers are not in fashion. All style, no substance.

  12. Where you getting that line of jive, Razzbar? I’m not seeing ANYTHING like that on the Guardian thread. (I agree with you 100%. Lotta posers out there on their “donorcycles.”)

  13. Chet Parker
    Sep 28, 2006, 9:50 pm

    Thats Right Carolyn! oops, excuse me…make that..thats right Dave. Thats right, I haven’t visited the site for a while but just had to make sure you didn’t miss the latest Bilbao bungle. Thats right, the girl who starts virtually every report she has ever done by saying, “Thats right Carolyn” or “thats right Mark.” Thats right, its driving me crazy! ok, enough of that.

    This is the same “speak-challenged” girl who told us she hoped the Rattlesnake fire would flare up again so those of us who’ve never seen a flame before could see one. Now she thinks motorcycles have seat belts. OK, she doesn’t really think they have seat belts, but her constant blunders sure put a spotlight on this fact – she should not be posing as a broadcast journalist. The total inability to “think” while she is on the air is more than sufficient reason for her to be pulled off “live reports.”

    She should be given the opportunity to practice writing down the words, having someone proof read them, and then, and only then, should she be allowed to record her soundtrack. She is a walking embarrassment and you know what folks…I’m sorry to sound so harsh but by golly this here is a Capitol (or is it Capital) City… and we deserve something just a little bit better than the poor quality reporting we’re offered by our local tv stations.

    I actually heard someone in our office say today that they enjoy watching Bilbao because it’s like a game to see what insane remark is going to come out of her mouth next. That is sad.

    Any ideas how we can combat the steadily declining level of professionalism, not to mention common sense, in our local news broadcasts?

  14. Chet:
    If you find a way to improve them, please pass the word widely.

    I’ve traveled quite a bit in this country (and only a little in others), and I’ve heard the same kind of idiocy (idioticness?) in every one of them — as well as seeing many of the stupid mistakes of the same kind appearing daily in the Boise Daily — in much bigger cities, huge markets, … aw, heck, even just watch the national telecasts and you’ll see. The typos and lipos seems to be a national epidemic.

    I don’t suppose we could get the national health agencies to develop a vaccine …?
    Haw, they haven’t even figured out the common cold yet!

  15. P.S. to my posting of a few minutes ago:

    Oh, well; even The Guardian lets a typo slip through once in a blue moon — e.g. “Chief Justice Gerald Shroeder …”

    It’s “Schroeder,” Fraz!


    EDITOR NOTE–After 38 years, Gordon still checks my copy. It is fixed.

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