COMMENTS: Journalistic Misdemeanor Blotter

Filed under the category of underlying events that would not be newsworthy if there had not been a video camera there to record them: John Miller narrates the dashboardcam from a state police traffic stop gone wrong outside Taos NM.

Filed under the category of reporters how abandon the role of journalist to cast themselves as central character in their own reality TV show: ABC's Matt Gutman plays deep sea freediver, holding his breath under water for five minutes, to illustrate the duress that killed Nick Mevoli at Dean's Hole in The Bahamas. Gutman had to rely on the imaginations of his network's Virtual View computer animators to guess what actually happened to Mevoli, 220-feet below the surface. In a piece of cross-promotion with ABC's sibling in the Disney corporation, Gutman also threw in BlueEyeFX video from ESPN's E:60.

Filed under the category of using satirical comedy clips as a marker to validate the newsworthiness of a story, ABC's Linsey Davis -- unlike her colleagues here, here, and here -- did not use a clip from Comedy Central's Daily Show for validation. Instead, like her colleague Robin Roberts did here, Davis picked NBC's Saturday Night Live. Davis' package on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was ABC's third in the last four weekdays; during that time neither NBC nor CBS has found Mayor Ford worthy of a correspondent's attention.

Finally, filed under the category of notorious individuals who attract coverage for what they once did, not what they just did, George Zimmerman caught the eye of ABC's Steve Osunsami. Zimmerman, the gunman who killed the teenager Trayvon Martin without committing a crime, has been arrested in a domestic dispute. This is the seventh time since his acquittal that Zimmerman has been covered by a correspondent on the evening newscasts -- six of the seven were on ABC.


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