Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Germaise Gets Stung Again

It's a bit of an experiment here at Mother Times, involving a follow-up story on ABC Action News reporter Don Germaise, the TV journalist who allowed himself to be interviewed by a white separatist and saw the video released on the Internet.

When I interviewed Don about what happened, he assured me there was no agreement to exchange an interview for an interview -- because, presumably, he knew that reporters are not supposed to trade something of value for journalistic access, not even an interview with themselves.

But then David Daugherty, the white separatist in question, produced a release form signed by Germaise, a series of emails in which Germaise agrees to an interview-for-an-interview arrangement, and video footage of Germaise acknowledging that they were indeed trading interviews.

So I have written a piece cobbling together this evidence, noting that Germaise doesn't seem to have been very truthful in his earlier statements. But because there hasn't been enough room in the last two days' newspapers to print the story, we posted it on the Times Web site today, with an eye toward publishing in the newspaper Friday (this is the second time we've done something like this with one of my stories, though the first one was never printed in the newspaper at all).

I'm glad the story is seeing print in some form, though I'm concerned about "scooping myself" by putting a version of the story online before it is printed in the newspaper. Yeah, I know, in the future, this is how its going to be done; print will likely be a minor adjunct to the Web site. But in the here and now, newsprint is the big stage -- so I'm nervous a good story will fall through the cracks.

And for those who wonder if we're not picking on Don a bit, all I can say is that, for us, this second story was more about Don's seeming lack of candor -- and his bosses' willingness to tolerate it -- than any views he or his interviewer might have expressed.

As always, your feedback is welcome.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Looks like Mother Times surprised me again -- finding room for the story on page 3B of today's newspaper by whacking off the last few graphs and making it the co-cover story of TBT (with a rather unobjective headline - IDIOT). I think this might keep me from getting invited to the Action News Christmas party this year.

American Idol Finale: Just a Few Questions

Fortunately, the stars didn't fall from the sky, natural laws remained in place, and when the dust settled, the clearly superior Taylor Hicks beat out bland bimbette Katharine McPhee tonight for the American Idol crown.

But I still have a few questions left:

-- Why did so many of the legends Idol producers brought in sound so much worse than the supposed novice contestants they were singing next to? (Al Jarreau, Toni Braxton and, especially, Meat Loaf, I am talking to you, people!)

-- How pissed was Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk when he stepped onstage and realized wannabe Chris Daughtry was almost an exact clone of him?

-- Can we give Mary J. Blige the Patti Labelle Bringing Down the House Award for blowing away blue-eyed soul pretender Elliot Yamin and showing the youngbloods how its done?

-- After many seasons of begging the little purple guy to let them use his music to no avail, how did they get Prince to set foot on that stage (notice no Idol wannabes were allowed to get near His High Heeled Wonder during his two-song extravaganza)?

-- Why was David Hasselhoff crying? (Because he knows that jiveass talent show of Simon's he's joined on NBC will be but a pale shadow of this grandeur)?

-- How disappointed are we that Paula Abdul didn't hop back on the crazy train for one last, wild ride?

-- Are we just resigned to the fact that Idol winners get way more votes than any politician -- 63-million votes, according to George Hamilton's long lost son, Ryan Seacrest -- including the President of the United States?

Weekly Planet Admits Loafing Early

Kudos to editor Dave Warner for fessing up when the alt newsweekly put out an edition with the name of its parent company and sister publications, Creative Loafing, plastered across the cover instead of the Weekly Planet. To confuse things further, longtime hipsters will recall that the Planet used to be called Creative loafing, while new school scenesters already know the Planert plans to change its name back sometime this fall.

So I guess this just means the Planet is so hip, it's ahead of itself.


  • At 10:08 AM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    so I'm nervous a good story will fall through the cracks.

    you should not be eric. on the contrary, you should be excited.

    the print version could be used to update any information that may come to light following the publishing of the web version.

    additionally -- i'm guessing here -- the web version will be more detailed since space is not a concern. your editors would be wise to steer folks reading the article in print to check out the detailed web article.

  • At 10:12 AM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    Taylor Hicks beat out bland bimbette Katharine McPhee tonight for the American Idol crown.

    i thought she was a brunette? or did she bleach her hair (sorry, didn't watch star sear... er, i mean, idol last night).

  • At 11:56 AM, May 25, 2006, Eric Deggans said…

    "Bland," anonoymous, not "blonde."

    In fact, confusing the two terms might be considered a
    "blonde moment" in itself...


  • At 12:16 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    see what happens when i don't wear my glasses while on the computer?

    gggrr. bifocals. never have gotten used to them.

    damn it sucks to be growing old.

  • At 12:31 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    The sad thing about the Germaise story is that I was really torn over who I found more credible - a nazi or a reporter. Guess that question has been answered.

    McPhee... HOT HOT HOT!!! Hicks is going to be the next Barry Manilow - without the gold records.

  • At 12:36 PM, May 25, 2006, Eric Deggans said…

    yopu might be right. Although, I would call him the next michael mcdonald -- without the gold records (Barry's records are mostly platinum, BTW; somehow, that guy moves 'em off the shelf...)

  • At 10:45 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous said…

    Germaise deserved this! I am tired of seeing him on the news doing his acting job. Everyone that talks about him thinks he is a big joke. I just want to know why his boss hasn't pulled him from the air? Shouldn't something happen to him since he probably broke about 20 journalism rules and then tried to lie about it to you. If that was anyone else they would have been fired.

  • At 7:27 AM, May 26, 2006, Anonymous said…

    Stunts like these are what Don does. He's not a Journalist, he's an entertainer.
    He does what he can on air to engage the viewer, but it usually comes across as over the top and sometimes as questionable in judgement.
    It's a shame he can't just use the information he's gathered to present his stories.


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