Let's take a look at Jim Shella's report yesterday on the Revolt At The Statehouse rally. Shella began his report by attacking the all-volunteer, citizen effort to have the voices of the people heard at their State House. "State House rallies usually focus on a single issue. The one today focused on several, including some state lawmakers have no control over," he lamented. Shella interviews just two people for his report, neither of which were organizers or speakers at the event. He interviewed a very nervous supporter of Ron Paul, who like anyone without a lot of experience being interviewed on camera, struggled to find her words. Next, Shella interviewed Indiana Libertarian Executive Director Chris Spangle. Spangle has radio experience and is an articulate speaker. Shella, however, chose the only moment during his interview with him where he struggled for words to make him look like less than an able spokesperson for his party. The most reprehensible, low-life act committed by Shella, though, was what he did to attorney Mark Small, one of the speakers at yesterday's rally. Small recently penned a book about pay-to-play politics. Shella employed the dirtiest trick in TV journalism. He excised a few brief words of Small's speech and aired those words out of context to make him look foolish. "Why should we fund education . . . " You can see from the video editing that his sentence was cut off deliberately to make Small look foolish. Shella then shows some quick shots of lawmakers, looking on in curiosity or otherwise appearing to avoid the rally.
There were plenty of articulate, hard-hitting and informative speeches delivered at yesterday's rally. I, for one, delivered an effective, tough speech against the bailout of the CIB to support the billionaire sports team owners. Shella's report included no clips from the many well-delivered speeches at the rally. A person standing next to Shella as I prepared to speak witnessed him directing his cameraman not to film my speech. During my speech, Shella mucked it up with Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, whose only purpose in covering the event was to try to discredit the organizers of the event because that's what his good buddy Tom John ordered him to do.
Any respectable news organization would be ashamed and embarrassed by Shella's reporting yesterday. If WISH-TV wishes for any credibility for its news program, it will force Shella to publicly apologize to the organizers of the event. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. I suspect Shella will go on delivering the same boring dribble the State House insiders spoon feed to him. He'll keep getting all the free tickets he wants to events. And he'll make it home at a reasonable hour without ever having to break a sweat. Who cares how useless and uninformative his stories are for the station's viewers.