Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Melanie Morgan accuses SF Chronicle of manipulating photo to make Richard Pombo look black

The San Francisco Chronicle has been accused by Melanie Morgan, of ABC Radio Disney on station KSFO 560 AM, of altering photos of Richard Pombo and playing the race card to influence elections.

I sent the letter below to the Chronicle and to Jim Romenesko. I also sent it to some friends who forwarded it onto others in the industry. Although Romenesko ignored it, the Chronicle might want to look into this some more. Sure I'm a tiny blog and what I say is often ignored, but Morgan was on national TV last week and is on the second largest talk radio station in the Bay Area. She calls for journalists to be hanged, she accuses photojournalists of doctoring and shading photos. Management of the journalists and photojournalists need to defend themselves. The LA Times did demanded a correction from Morgan when she claimed they doctored their photos, so why is the Chronicle ignoring her comment? Could it be they don't want to upset the focus of their Chronicle Magazine puff piece?

Maybe I should send this to Michelle Malkin, she loves to hear about photo manipulation and the race card game is right down her alley. Of course when you listen to Morgan's accusation you have to wonder, who has a race problem, here?

Sent October 25, 2006
Jim Romenesko
Poynter Online
Dear Jim:

Yesterday Melanie Morgan of KSFO said that
photographer Jamie Rose (or the photo editor at the San Francisco Chronicle) purposely shaded a photograph of California Congressman Richard Pombo to make him look like a black man. (audio link 1:01. Comment at 28 seconds) (link to SF Chronicle article and photos in question)

Morgan submitted no proof for this accusation.

The Chronicle has been accused of altering photos and playing the race card to influence elections. This is a very serious accusation. I hope the Chronicle takes it seriously. The Chronicle considers Morgan important enough to put her on the cover of their magazine, so when she says that the Jamie Rose photo of Richard Pombo "...is shaded to the point where it looks like he is a BLACK MAN." they will probably investigate and see if anything happened.

And if Jamie Rose or his photo editor has shaded the photo then he probably will be suspended or fired. Because that is what newspapers do when they find out that a photographer has manipulated photos for political purposes.

Bloggers have been lionized for catching a Reuter's photographer altering a photo. Photographers have been fired for this kind of offense. Jamie Rose's reputation has been cast in doubt.

But if they find out that nothing was done to the photo and Morgan's accusation, broadcast on the public's airwaves to hundreds of thousands of people in the Bay Area, is defamation, then maybe there should be some consequences to Morgan.

Morgan has a history of accusing photographers of doctoring photos, (see my letter to the LA Times and their demand for a response) but clearly since there were no consequences from her previous accusation she just did it again.

Morgan talked on MSNBC's Hardball about the responsibility of being a journalist as if she still was one. What would happen to a broadcast journalist for ABC Radio (KSFO's parent company) who publicly accused the SF Chronicle of photojournalism misconduct and they were wrong? Would they get reprimanded by their boss? Forced to apologize? Fined? Fired? Sued?

Journalists, photojournalists and their management must stand up to these radio hosts in clearly delineated situations like I have listed or else the rhetoric escalates. Morgan's co-host, Lee Rogers, didn't like what the AP wrote so he called for the AP reporters to commit mass suicide. (audio link)Did anyone at the AP ask for an apology? I contacted the management, they heard the audio clip, but as far as I know nothing happened.

Melanie Morgan called for the hanging death of Bill Keller and journalists at the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on public airwaves. She may have qualified her comments on TV or to the Chronicle reporter, but broadcast ON THE AIR she just said, "Get 'em. Hang 'em. (audio link)

When someone calls for the death of journalists on broadcast radio it should mean something. Does the journalist community think, as Morgan seems to, that executing Bill Keller is funny? (Listen as Morgan laughs with Ann Coulter about it)

Is it hilarious to ABC Radio journalists when they hear jokes about Bill Keller being electrocuted on KSFO? (Listen
as Morgan laughs at her co-host's imitation of Keller's death in the electric chair).

Don't like a photo? Let the death threats flow. Listen to another sick joke at KSFO where the punch line is a photographer's assassination (audio link). It must be fine with KSFO/ABC Radio's management since they continue to support these hosts. But is this fine with the Chronicle? I've concluded that the WSJ, who's own Glenn Simpson was sentenced to death by Morgan, must have no problem with it because they have continued to sponsor a segment on Morgan's show.

Finally, I would like to point out an underlying racist attitude in Morgan's comment. I encourage you to listen to the tone of her comment. She practically spits out the words "A BLACK MAN" as if Pombo being black would be a TERRIBLE thing. And that the MOST horrible thing that the Chronicle could do, in it's alleged photo manipulation, would be to turn Pombo into a BLACK MAN. Why? Because people would not vote for a black man over a white man? Because Republicans don't vote for black men? Because a black man would never be a Republican? That certainly sounds like the views of someone prejudiced against black people's ability to govern to me.

I'm sure that Morgan will claim that she are Rogers aren't racist. That they are just joking with their calls for the violent death of journalists and others. That, to give another example, they didn't know that when Lee Rogers talked about
shooting a man between the eyes and torturing him by attaching electrodes to his testicles
that they were talking about a black man.

What a proud moment in broadcasting that must have been for Disney. Will KSFO/ABC Radio/Disney management want to proudly proclaim that their radio hosts don't discriminate when calling for the death of others on the air? I'll bet the sale of ABC Radio to Citadel Broadcasting can't come soon enough. Maybe Citadel's chairman and CEO, Farid Suleman, will want to consider KSFO as one of the 11 stations out of 122 he has to cut loose to meet the terms of the purchase of ABC Radio from Disney.



Frank J. Vega - Publisher and President
Phil Bronstein - Executive Vice President and Editor
Gary L. Anderson - Executive Vice President
John Hare, ABC Radio
Dan Rosenheim, CBS5
ABC Listens, ABC7
KTVU News, 2


Blogger Gaia said...

Melanie is the worst!
I love to hate her.

So glad to find your blog.

Came across this quote, thought you could use, from THE QUEEN OF THE GOP, Ann Coulter:

"Soldiers are just cowards with their backs against the wall. The lowest IQ men
in our society, those incapable of normal careers enlist. Their choice in life;
prison or the military. Some will have to die in the support of our cause."

- Ann Coulter, Intervention Magazine, 11/06/03

7:52 PM  
Blogger spocko said...

Hi Gaia: Thanks for stopping by. Interesting quote.

For the record, I don't hate Melanie Morgan. I pity her.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you can send this to Atrios or do diary on Kos as a way of getting this out there? I think you do a lot of good stuff on your own, compared to a lot of us who just rant.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

It is surprising the media itself won't persue threats against themseleves from the right -- which come from their nutty media heads AND from the their zombified masses. Another example today:


12:30 PM  

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