RYAN BAKKEN: Remark sometimes badge of courage
A member of the media being called an expletive is news? Really? To me and most others in the trade, being on the receiving end of a cussword from a story source is akin to receiving a Blue Badge of Courage. It's a backhanded compliment, showing ...
A member of the media being called an expletive is news? Really?
To me and most others in the trade, being on the receiving end of a cussword from a story source is akin to receiving a Blue Badge of Courage. It's a backhanded compliment, showing that you've pushed to get a straight answer.
My other point is that if we're accused of being a word that requires asterisks to be suitable for print, we don't tattle on the offender. For instance, a former UND hockey coach of Italian descent -- with a much higher profile than a school superintendent - described me similarly and I didn't squeal on him. Simply put, the name-calling wasn't newsworthy.
That wasn't the case last week when Fargo TV host Chris Berg outed Grand Forks Schools Superintendent Larry Nybladh for having called him the A-word while they were off-air.
On-air, the Channel 4 host of "6:30 Point of View" was aggressive in seeking answers from Nybladh about a proposed 28.6 percent tax increase. Depending upon your point of view, a smirking Berg was showboating or an unrelenting Berg was justifiably pushing to get straight answers from an evasive Nybladh.
After the interview, the off-air Nybladh suggested that Berg was the aforementioned A-word for the treatment he had received. Unfortunately for him, the tape was still rolling. Even more unfortunate for him, Berg elected to share the exchange with his viewers. (Insert your own value judgment here.)
Although Berg's motive may be open to scrutiny, there's no question that it was a smart career move. He probably received more publicity last week than he has in the year-plus that he has appeared on the conservative-leaning show.
It is help that was needed. According to The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead profile of Berg in July, his show averaged 4,000 viewers compared to the 49,000 watching "Wheel of Fortune" on Channel 11.
I'm curious to see if last week's attention can chip away at Vanna's stranglehold on the time slot. I'm also curious to see if anyone else confesses to using the A-word.
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1125; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .