Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About Those Who Compose the Write Stuff with the Right Stuff

Occasionally it happens. Editors and journalists actually join hands and tell their reading, viewing or listening audience the truth: That their UFO reporting, frankly, sucks in 3-D.

Yes, fortunately we have credible UFO news gatherers and commentators such as Billy Cox, George Knapp, Leslie Kean and, yep, even the folk affiliated with "Coast-to-Coast AM" (when the latter isn't gushing forth all too often with pure and utter time-filling nonsense -- and, speaking of, have we mentioned former "Coast" staple Sean David Morton lately? Surely, he's missed. Well, you get the point. . .). Still, decades after UFO sightings became common fodder in the news reporting industry, UFO stories are generally given a bent of outright ridicule or implied tongue-in-cheek.

Where I live, I've encountered a few reporters from both print and electronic media whom, over the years, treated UFO witnesses and reports fairly. One -- one -- newspaper editor particularly recognized the newsworthiness of UFO incidents and printed articles regularly. Unfortunately, I've also dealt with the other kind. More recently, a TV news reporter who offered one -- just one -- well-received brief UFO feature was nonetheless instructed via the channels of upper management that UFO reports would be no more. Why? Beats the heck out of me. I've always found it peculiar that the UFO subject, unlike other topics, which generally creates an instant "draw" for any audience is, nevertheless, often condemned and prohibited by the communication powers that be. I know there are historical precursors for this, but still. . .

This attitude, thankfully, was summed up On August 16 by Bill Wickersham, writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, when he warned:

"For the past 60-plus years, the mainstream media have either ignored or ridiculed what might be the biggest story of human history. During this period, every top-level news organization in the United States has been approached countless times by citizens and researchers with events, information and evidence relating to the UFO phenomenon. With few exceptions, the major news organizations have defaulted on this issue, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN news television. On many occasions, UFO events have been reported by local media and then transmitted to narrow-minded national editors who have failed to do follow-up stories."

In my declining years (okay, just humor me, I PREFER to call them my declining years, okay?) it tickles me to the bottom of my left foot when journalists actually defy the mainstream noose, make that news, industry to tell one of those apparently forbidden, yet ultimate truths, so hats off to Mr. Wickersham and the rare who dare.

In the meantime, I'm kinda shaking my head over that boxed quote above from the late NBC-TV news anchor Chet Huntley. I ponder Mr. Huntley's potential horror in learning that his unthinkable already manifests itself in our society of "hope and change" and to the never-more- enthusiastic marriage of journalism to agenda-ridden/agenda-hidden public relations maneuvers.