To allow SR Reporter Pia Hallenberg to write this story?
It looks like this whole thing got started when Maclay committed the worst sin a man can perpetrate when he posted a photo shopped picture of some very obese scantily clothed women with the heads of other women added whom he obviously has a distain for. Any man knows you never ever make fun of any women’s weight!
Shortly thereafter on March 13th, 2017, Pia Hallenberg expressed that she was “pondering how to best deal with Facebook trolls.”
It appears the story above was how she decided to deal with “Facebook trolls” and she was allowed to do so.
If this was in fact a story that needed published it by all means should have been. I for one deplore Racism and Bigotry in any form, as well as use of the “N” word, by anyone regardless of their ethnicity, and even using it for illustrative purposes always rubs me the wrong way. I have tried to locate a screenshot or copy of the now infamous Maclay Facebook post with negative results, so I’m forced to go with Hallenberg’s story as being an accurate description of what was posted, if accurate the post was without question degrading, inappropriate, and offensive but there are some things that trouble me about the story.
Probably the most troubling to me is why Curley who certainly must have known of the five year (according to Hallenberg) heated and sometimes vitriolic childish exchanges between Maclay and Hallenberg did he allow her to write the story rather than one of the other reporters he had available?
The day prior to the story this appeared on Pia Hallenberg’s Facebook page:
It is obvious that the “small journalistic victory” she earned was being able to write the story about Maclay’s “racist posting”. In answer to this question; “Will we be seeing the results in the paper sometime soon?” Hallenberg responds “As a matter of fact: tomorrow” leaving no question that her delight for a “small journalistic victory” was the story regarding both Maclay and Shea.
Maclay’s ex-wife Laura Renz solidifies it even more by stating what a “Great article” it was and what her favorite parts were. Although ex-spouses can be great sources boy oh boy do you have to be careful with them, and staying at arm’s length or further is always a good practice.
The day Hallenberg’s story broke she received a number of accolades from a group of Liberal folks, and there were a small number of comments from Conservative folks, including Maclay’s, on Hallenberg’s Facebook Page:
It isn’t the least bit surprising that the vast majority of Pia’s fans are Liberal folks, Pia herself is quite Liberal and even though she describes herself as a “(closet) activist”, I’ll tell you what… the door to the closet is wide open.
Nothing wrong with being an “activist” but when activism and a real dislike for someone creep into or are the basis for a “News Story” rather than an “Opinion Column” it ruins all credibility for the Media and doesn’t help the Racism Problem we face.
Heck even former SR Reporter Kelly McBride who is now with Poynter threw in her two cents. Heck I remember Kelly when she was just a Cub Reporter… boy time flies!
I don’t think this story of Pia Hallenberg’s is going to get a Poynter Award… but you never know. If there is an Award to be given out, Doug Clark sure should consider a Budnick Award to Rob Curley for allowing someone with a very well documented bias write the story.
One hell of a lot more troublesome to me is this kind of stuff which sure appears to be veiled Racism from a Cop. As far as I’m concerned, it is far more dangerous than Scott Maclay, but you will never read about it in the Spokesman Review!
If the Clowns to the left of me, and the Jokers to the right, don’t come together on Racism… it will just keep…keeping on…
It will be interest to watch the wagons circle once this story is published! 🙂