News Media

One Belt Too Many

Looks like we’ll have to dust off the old GUARDIAN “Dope Reporter Award” and pass it along to KIVI-TV Channel 6 reporter Shane Johnson for brandishing a leather belt while reporting on a strangulation murder trial Thursday evening during the 6 p.m. newscast.

We were fearful he would drop trou in front of the Ada County Courthouse because the camera zoomed in for a menacing close up of the folded belt Johnson held as he intoned seriously, “She was strangled with her own belt.”

The use of stage props in live news reports opens up all sorts of possibilities for reporters.

–Boise police are investigating a homicide this week where the “victim was STABBED in the neck.” Wave a bloody knife.

–Or how about the arrest yesterday of the man “suspected of SHOOTING three power lineman trainees?” Point a gun at the camera.

There was no mention of the belt being factual evidence. There was no disclaimer along the lines of, “I took my belt off so you could all see what a leather belt looks like.”

Our imagination runs wild speculating on the props for all those sex crime stories or child abuse reports.

Congratulations to Shane Johnson at KIVI as the latest winner of the “Dope Reporter Award.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. G-Man, how is this any different than showing a set of urinals when discussing Larry “thumper” Craig?

  2. The Belt Way
    Oct 18, 2007, 8:15 pm

    How do you know Shane hasn’t actually killed someone with that belt?

  3. Who’s Shane Johnson and what is this KIVI?

  4. laughs…

    sad that it made me laugh, because it really is sad that reporting the “facts” is so far from where we are now….


  5. BoiseCitizen
    Oct 19, 2007, 6:02 am

    LOL, news drama, dramatized news? Whats next, maybe they just will start making things up to get better ratings? I turn the tv off at ten and go to bed. Being an older fellow I sleep much better not watching any of the local news programs.

  6. Joe in Boise
    Oct 19, 2007, 8:02 am

    “I don’t Wear a belt, never have…JIMMINY GAWD!”


  7. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Oct 19, 2007, 8:21 am

    At least they didn’t put up a graphic of a handgun, which is often the case when the news reports on a violent crime. The not-so-subliminal message being, that ALL violent crime involves the use of a handgun.

    I personally don’t turn to KIVI for my news. However, I think it’s a wee bit harsh to ostracize Mr. Johnson for a little dramatic license when there is so much amiss to report on in our community that is ignored, even tacitly endorsed, by the vast majority of our local representatives of the Fourth Estate.

    We can’t expect every Reporter to have Gonads the size of Church Bells, but come on…

  8. I was wondering if he was going for a “Naked News” angle…

  9. This is yet another example the extent to which the fourth estate mixes news with “entertainment” by taking dramatic license instead of just informing the viewers of the facts. Its not only tawdry but actively undermines their credibility when one is left to ponder how far they will take their dramtic license. This is to say nothing of the damage it does to the jury pool by provoking emotional rather than rational responses to the events.

  10. bert farber
    Oct 19, 2007, 4:14 pm

    I don’t see what’s so wrong..I frequently enjoy a belt, or two.

  11. you guys are taking this way to seriously, when people show you what was actually used in a murder or any other type of crime it gives you a different perspective, rather than just the same old boring reporting talking about something out side the courthouse…………

  12. Someone else
    Oct 20, 2007, 10:56 pm

    I agree with bert farber. Besides, most of us might never know what a leather belt looks like if Shane hadn’t showed us. (TV is just *so* educational!)
    But howcome TV didn’t give us some illustrations of what those strippers do that kept the cops so busy watching them?
    And, gee, maybe they could have re-enacted what *might* have happend if the guy in the next stall hadn’t been a cop.
    Betcha either of those would have quadrupled their news viewership.

  13. Johnny’s right. If they don’t make news fun and interesting no one will watch it. Boring bad, props and graphics good. I love the TV news blood shots on the ground. Kinda make it real. Oh, and all the tasering of bad guys is way cool too. I love the blond news babes. At last count they seem to be kicking brunette news babe butt.

  14. I don’t see what the big deal is with using props to tell news stories. In keeping congruent with the old adage that “what’s good for the goose is good for the ganer” you should have offered a picture of reporter Shane Johnson in your Dope Reporter story.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: