The image above speaks for itself, but the News Sentinel tonight needs a serious spanking. Since KNS reporter Jamie Satterfield tweeted the offensive commentary above, it has since been deleted from her twitter feed.
Why am I posting this? First, a couple of disclosures, after the flip.
1. I am a former professional journalist. I worked YEARS AGO for the Asheville Citizen Times, and I was also a reporter on Farragut municipal government for the original Knoxville Journal until Persis Corporation chopped it up and spit it out. The tweet above pisses me off.
2. I have known the Granju family for almost 18 years. My wife has known them even longer, having been a NACEL foreign exchange student back in the 80s, when Henry Granju's grandfather Jean Pierre ran the program. We are family friends. When we hosted a student for a summer in 1996, Katie Granju did the interview to decide if we were acceptable hosts. That's how long I have known Katie.
We are not, nor have we ever been, cult followers, sycophants, apologists, or any other such descriptor over Katie's persistence in pursuing justice for Henry. The case has hurt, and pained, many of the Granju family's friends. Many of us not only seek justice for Henry, but also take any opportunity to talk to our kids and their peers about these subjects. Henry's case, unfortunately, has one glimmering up-side. Conversations about drugs are now much more frequent among parents and teens in Knox County than they were. That may be Henry's greatest legacy. Much of this is due to, quite frankly, Katie's pain in the ass persistence. By the way, "Katie's persistence" is a pre-existing Topic keyword here on Knoxviews. Persistence, I have found, especially in this town, often comes at great personal sacrifice.
Now then. I am not a big fan of Twitter. I had lapsed for sometime, but loaded Tweetcaster on my phone this week, hoping to synch with my Facebook posts, and feeling naggingly that Facebook was becoming increasingly intrusive.
I created my Twitter account in 2008, and had not been active in some time. I had clicked "follow" News Sentinel reporter Jamie Satterfield during the Christian Newsom trial (@jamiescoop.)
Today, I looked at my phone, and the following appeared.
"@jamiescoop: How ironic is it that a blogger uses docs I obtained after court fight to trash my reporting as inept and her cult followers eat it up?"
I blinked. I re-read it. I thought, "wait. this is the officially promoted twitter feed from Jamie Satterfield that the News Sentinel regularly tags at the bottom of Satterfield's stories." Like this one, from Dec 17.
At the bottom, it reads "Follow Jamie Satterfield on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jamiescoop."
Again, former journalist. 20 years ago. My high school senior term paper was on newspaper law and libel." As a reporter, I would have been fired on the spot for publicly slamming a subject I had done extensive reporting on.
Back in my day, a reporter's opinions did not enter the discussion. Apparently, Satterfield has decided that her tweets are far more important than her reporting. Her articles and her tweets are published by the EW Scripps Company, and the company encourages its readers to follow her tweets.
So is she a journalist, or a tweeter? Can she be both? Can she be the Glenn Beck of Knoxville news coverage, where her every opinion is mushed together with personal ramblings, like this one, about voucher recipients four days ago?
"@jamiescoop: Stuck in line behind family that has massive buggy but doing 6 zillion separate orders w/ vouchers. Ugh!"
Now, to the rest of her tweet. Again blurring the lines between news and opinion, she states, "How ironic is it that a blogger uses docs I obtained after court fight to trash my reporting as inept..."
Satterfield did not obtain these documents. It is my understanding that EW Scripps attorney Rick Hollow did the heavy lifting on the Baumgartner documents. In fact, Satterfield was subpoenaed, but the KNS, through Hollow, successfully quashed her subpoena, so for Satterfield to claim (not we...not my company...but "I obtained (the docs) after a court fight") is factually, materially WRONG.
Satterfield was apparently lashing out after Katie's blog post today over at JusticeforHenry.com, which Katie posted earlier today on Knoxviews. Katie at least twice cites the KNS's fight for the documents. She's not taking credit for anyone else's work. She is not trashing anyone else's reporting. She's not calling anyone names. Lost in Satterfield's snark is that Katie didn't slam anyone. In her blog post today, she raises legitimate questions as a citizen journalist, did original reporting, and brought light to the Aug 5 WBIR story pointing out that Baumgartner admitted at the Metropolitan Drug Commission that others knew about his addiction. That right there folks, is a bombshell, buried in an August video.
The KNS, through crap like this, continues to disparage Katie as some rogue blogger. She's not. She has been a professional journalist, appearing in such publications as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, and the Knoxville News Sentinel. She was also a producer at WBIR for five years.
The News Sentinel laid off 33 employees right before Christmas. Satterfield was one of the lucky ones. She's apparently not very grateful.
Tonight, she tweeted, "@jamiescoop: First day back at work after long, welcome break and it's the nite edit desk. Ugh!"
Tell that to the KNS employees that just lost their jobs. Many of them would probably willingly take the night edit desk.
I am reminded of something I often tell my 13 year old. "Just because it crosses your brain, doesn't mean it needs to come out of your mouth."
So, just as Mark Harmon is a University Twit, I am, apparently, part of a cult…of personality.
There. I said it.
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