Got to give Dallas sports anchor Dale Hansen credit for publicly blasting his station’s decision to run a barroom video of an apparently tipsy Cowboys owner Jerry Jones making disparaging comments about former Cowboys coach Bill Parcell and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
The grainy video of Jones, taped without his knowledge and originated on deadspin.com, does not pass the test of news, deserving of air time on a Dallas TV station’s newscasts. Not even close.
Unfortunately, numerous media outlets also carried the video, including ESPN, the alleged Worldwide Leader in Sports.
Hansen, who has been with the station 27 years and must feel secure in his job status, blasted WFAA news director Michael Valentine’s decision to air the video with Jones’ sometimes profane comments Tuesday in a commentary during the station’s 10 p.m. newscast.
“Yet another example of the decline of journalism as we once knew it,” Hansen told viewers. “Our business now, too many times, is a fat kid in a t-shirt in his mother’s basement eating Cheetos and writing his blogs. And we make it news. Jerry Jones in a bar being Jerry Jones is not news to me. And the fact that some creep slides up to Jones, records the conversation without Jones knowing, then tries to sell that recording and that becomes news is an embarrassment to us all.”
Hansen said he discussed the ethics of airing the Jones video with WFAA’s news director and assistant news director. “I said I wouldn’t do the story,” he said. “They decided to do it anyway, saying it wasn’t an easy choice, but a choice they had to make. Their position was Jones is a public figure and the story is already out there so we had to do it, too. That’s the standard now.”
Former Dallas Morning News TV credit Ed Bark discusses the incident in his blog: