News Anchor Does Twitter Wrong: Teases Homicide Story Referencing Breaking Bad

from the hot-hot-hot dept

We all know that companies will occasionally use social media in a way that just comes off as wrong, either intentionally or not. For instance, one pizzeria’s friendly promotion for free pie is another feminist league’s gross attempt to view women’s breasts. The point is that in a world that is more connected than ever, in which social media attempts can go viral quickly for reasons good or bad, a corporation had damned well better get the message right or risk the consequences.

One would think that news organizations and their employees, already adept at writing headlines, would be proficient in this. One would not, however, always be right in that regard. Take the example of a Fox News employee, Joyce Evans, who tweeted the following to followers of the local Philadelphia station:

Thought “Breaking Bad” was hot last Sunday? @FOX29philly See who’s breakin’ bad in SW Philly leavin’ 6 people SHOT – Tonite at Ten!

— Joyce Evans (@JoyceEvansFox29) October 7, 2013

Your reaction range ought to be somewhere between cringe and laugh, depending on how dark your sense of humor is. Teasing a story in which multiple people were shot using that kind of terminology is something you just don’t do. At the very least, those involved in the story are going to be outraged. More likely, you’re going to outrage a good portion of those not involved who don’t think that conflating entertainment with the real-life harm of a multiple shooting is something news companies should be doing.

So, as you’d imagine, the properly chastised Evans issued a sincere apology. Just kidding, she doubled down on her ignorance.

Last tweet NOT AST ALL A JOKE. Very real life drama was the point as oppose to one that end on tv. That was my point

— Joyce Evans (@JoyceEvansFox29) October 7, 2013

Mmm, no. Your point was that the story was “hot” in the same entertaining way as a fictional show. And nobody is buying the BS, either. Welcome to social media, Joyce!

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Comments on “News Anchor Does Twitter Wrong: Teases Homicide Story Referencing Breaking Bad”

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Androgynous Cowherd says:

Key words here.

One would think that news organizations and their employees, already adept at writing headlines, would be proficient in this. One would not, however, always be right in that regard. Take the example of a Fox News employee…

The key words here, of course, are “Fox News”.

News organizations should indeed be proficient at avoiding being impolitic with any substantial constituency.

Propaganda organizations, on the other hand, are pandering to a particular base and, in the instant case, this one also has a significant goal that can be aided by glorifying violence.

Rocco Maglio (profile) says:

Re: Key words here.

The Fox News claim here is bogus. It was FOX 29 in Philly. This has nothing to do with Fox News. I understand that words are being twisted here since Fox 29 News anchor can be described as Fox News employee, but it is misleading since Fox News is a well known brand. As for the person who fell for it and started denigrating Fox News. Who exactly is the propagandist? If it was an NBC 10 News Employee you would be fine with them being referred to a NBC News anchor and then a rant about how NBC News is biased and just propaganda?

PaulT (profile) says:

“Last tweet NOT AST ALL A JOKE”

Well, perhaps if she took a moment to understand why people were thinking (hoping?) it was a joke and why it was in bad taste either way, she wouldn’t have been rage pawing at her keyboard so hard that she managed to misspell “at”.

Joke or not, it was trying to promote a news story on a pretty horrific public shooting by trying to compare it to a fictional drama. That’s bad taste whether humour was intended or she was deadly serious – in fact, it’s actually worse if she was serious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow. This is news?

Techdirt seems to be under the misinterpretation that mainstream news is not about entertaining people. That’s exactly its purpose.

As an aside, this was hardly in bad taste. Had this been an introduction to a story on-air or in a news column, no one would be complaining. It’s part of keeping news from being dry and uninteresting, which will send viewers elsewhere.

Thus “Hot, hot, hot! Read all about it!”

Rocco Maglio (profile) says:

Fox News claim is bogus

It truly saddens me that this blog has resorted to this level of misrepresentation. The story stands on its own as a dumb thing a news anchor did. This blog often makes good arguments about intellectual property, but now all that can be ignored since you are making claims in the blog post that imply something that is not true. The blog can now be lumped with numerous others out on the internet that either make false claims or false implications.

Rocco Maglio (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Fox News claim is bogus

From the article “Take the example of a Fox News employee, Joyce Evans, who tweeted the following to followers of the local Philadelphia station”. She does not work for Fox News Channel, so calling her a Fox News Employee is bogus. If you are saying no one would misunderstand what was being claimed, I present Androgynous Cowherd and his comment Keywords Here which was a rant against Fox News. I also like the claim that I work for Fox News, because apparently no one else would care about blatant misrepresentation of the truth. I do not work for Fox News, but I do believe it is important to be accurate.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Fox News claim is bogus

Really that’s your problem?

I did a little research and you’re right. No, she’s not a Fox News employee. She’s an employee of Fox 29, a TV station owned and operated by Fox Television Stations, which is owned by the same corporation as Fox News. In other words, if Tim had merely omitted the word “news”, he would have been perfectly accurate.

This is the level of “misrepresentation” that makes you ignore facts and discussion? Why do you even visit blogs at all if this is what sets you off? I understand your distaste at the reactions of some commenters, but seriously do you think that Cowherd’s reaction would have been different if the article had accurately said “Fox employee” instead of “Fox News employee”? I kind of doubt it myself.

“I do not work for Fox News, but I do believe it is important to be accurate.”

Indeed it is, which is why fact checking and citations are important. Some things slip through, but in my experience sites like this are much better at correcting mistakes than many “proper” news outlets. At worst it’s a typo made by a non-professional blogger, and one that accurately describes the person (she’s an employee of a Fox station that broadcasts news, even if it’s not the one named “Fox News” – merely making the second word lower case would correct it), and doubtless one that will be corrected now that it’s been pointed out.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Fox News claim is bogus

“It’s in the subject line.”

I don’t see that anywhere. The title of the article is “News Anchor Does Twitter Wrong: Teases Homicide Story Referencing Breaking Bad”, and Fox isn’t mentioned anywhere in the article apart from one sentence in the second paragraph.

Did the article change at some point?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Fox News claim is bogus

I realised what you were saying afterwards, but it’s still a pretty low bar to set for outrage in my opinion. Yes, the anchor worked as an employee of Fox on a news channel owned by them, it just wasn’t the one named “Fox News”. As noted, simply making the “News” lower case would be factually correct. If that’s enough to set him off against a site, I’d suggest he doesn’t read blogs at all.

In fact, don’t read news at all, since I’ve seen most major publications and other media make similar mistakes in the past (often without correction). Unless there’s an obvious campaign or tendency to skew the facts in a specific direction or against specific organisations (hello Daily Mail), individual mistakes aren’t enough for me to abandon a source. If I did, I’d have very little left to read.

Anonymous Coward says:

I wonder if the process of trying to shame her the reporter is not somewhat the same process that others use to justify criticism to violent video games as cause for violence.

Think about the reason as the story and the way how the story is presented(e.g. written, story board, video, audio) is the process.

She is a criminal reporter, she probably get excited about crimes and their stories, in the same way doctors get excited about getting their hands on corpses to study or paleontologists get excited about finding fresh roadkill carcasses, which means lots of free bones to study.

Should this be an issue really?

I want to understand, I am horrible in social settings, I am a blind person when it comes to noticing what others feel or how they will react unless is something that have been around for a very long, long, long time and everyone everywhere have the same exact reaction to it.

This I am not so sure, it sparked nothing in me, I saw it as “Oh, Breaking Bad is cool and if I use it will make my story sound cool too”, mostly I found it dumb and harmless.
So someone please enlighten me as to why this is so bad?

TKnarr (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because she’s a news anchor. Part of her job is supposed to be recognizing how her audience is likely to react to a story and it’s presentation and making that presentation as attractive to viewers as possible. And she went with this, something that even a few moments’ thought should’ve told her would upset a lot of people. She not only biffed it, she biffed a basic part of her job.

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