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GamerDad And The Action News Team

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the so-stupid dept.

Games 27

Last week we reported on a travesty of journalism; A local newsteam decrying the Pictochat DS program for being dangerous to children. Well, it turns out that respected family gaming site GamerDad actually told them they were wrong before they even reported the story. From the article: "When contacted for the story, I talked for a good fifteen minutes about the possibility of this situation occurring and what might have to take place to facilitate it. I specifically explained that turning on the DS in a public place has never turned up a Pictochatter. Never. I've tried a bunch of times to see if anyone attempts to use it in public. I also said at least three or four times that Pictochat was not Internet enabled, even after I received a call-back asking if it were possible for this to happen at one of Philadelphia's 'Wi-Fi hotspots' which are also mentioned in the article."

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27 comments

before we get all pissy.... (3, Insightful)

Steve_Jobs_HNIC (513769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768716)

It's possible she just didn't understand how the unit worked (yeah, she shouldn't have went ahead with the story), but I'm not so sure her mistake was intentional. I'd like to hear her side of the story.

My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.

RTFA (4, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768786)

They called gmaerdad and he explained in no nonsense terms that it was all bot impossible.

They then ignored his comments and published the story without them.

errr no.. (2, Interesting)

Steve_Jobs_HNIC (513769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768933)

If he had to explain it to her many times then I guess it's not "no nosense" now is it?

Even in the article he said ,"I went even further and speculated that the child would almost certainly have to have prior contact with a person about where to meet in order to make this possible."

My thinking is that she heard "possible" and ran with it, but I don't know that, and you don't know that. Only she does.

Re:errr no.. (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769928)

> If he had to explain it to her many times then I guess it's not "no nosense" now is it?

No, it means she's stupid and has no business writing articles about things she has no knowledge of.

Re:before we get all pissy.... (5, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768877)

My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.

And my guess would be she had conflicting information and decided that it would sell better if she uncovered some horrible problem that proved the children needed saving. I'd say her mistake was 100% intentional, regardless of how you look at it. Either she had conflicting stories and went ahead to boost her career knowing she was likely wrong, or she had conflicting stories and decided not to dig any deeper before going forward with the story. Either way, she was wrong.

Re:before we get all pissy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769343)

OMFG, THINK OF TEH CHILDRENS!


Obviously the reporter didn't get the memo, it's all " 9/11 , TERRORMATISTS!!! "

Re:before we get all pissy.... (1)

Soybean47 (885009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770212)

And my guess is that this news story was comissioned by Nintendo. They were hoping to increase DS sales in the pedophile market, where the numbers aren't currently as high as they'd like. So, naturally, she ignored information that didn't fit what she was being paid to say.

Re:before we get all pissy.... (2, Insightful)

nege (263655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769224)

My guess would be that she had conflicting information and went ahead with what the parents had told her.

Typically when these things happen the independent jounalist covers that side of the story too. In the face of this conflicting evidence she chose the story that would sell more: "Oh noes! Your kids are in daaaaaanger!".

DANGER on your TV set! (5, Funny)

shrubya (570356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768723)

Is someone misleading the public with false tales of terror, in a deliberate money-making scheme? Find out tonight at 11 on Action News!

Re:DANGER on your TV set! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769778)


Damn thats funny.

I just stole that for use as a sig on another forum. If it wasn't for the character limitation I would have stole that for a sig here.

They don't care (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768748)

In the past few years, it has been increasingly obvious that many of the big media sources are not very careful about hiring credible people. Look at Jayson Blaire at the NYT, for example. Why does it surprise anyone that media outlets like *BC just make stuff up? They complain about bloggers, but at least the average blogger not only has no national recognition, but has comments and trackbacks open so you can post a rebuttal that others can see and read. The NYT, ABC, etc. don't give any right of response when their stuff is pure bullshit. It'll appear as a small correction in a place that 99% of their viewers/readers won't notice so as to not call attention to a headline's inaccuracy.

Unbelievable (1)

MS_Word (877966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768763)

The level of "journalism" being shown here is incredibly poor. I often wonder if there is a conspirac in place to demonise video games in print media. Since many print media outlets and tv stations lose income to online activities.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768842)

The level of "journalism" being shown here is incredibly poor. I often wonder if there is a conspirac in place to demonise video games in print media. Since many print media outlets and tv stations lose income to online activities.

Not just videogames. The media always needs a boogeyman, whether it be radio, comic books, television, videogames or the internet.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769990)

Pretty good journalism if you compare it to what passes often. Here's a few recent stories from my local news channels:

WNEM 5: What they reported: "Detroit Police are detaining and arresting Christians for praying in the privacy of their own homes."
What happened: Two people, who were never specified to be Christian, "prayed" by laying down in crosswalks, accross doors - even in court while the judge was talking to them, and were arrested for disturbing the police and obstructing traffic.

WSMH 66: What they reported: "Deomcrats are contracting the terrorist defense of hour great country to Al Qaida!" (66 makes the national Fox News look liberal).
What happened: The President contracted several ports to a company from the middle east.

Saginaw News: What they reported: "Governor Granholm is having unshielded nuclear waste transported in open-air freight cars through the heart of Saginaw County!"
What actaully happened: Some steel was being shipped from Sault St. Marie to be used to make components for a nuclear reactor in Oregon. News also misreported the route, so about 50 people had to be restrained when they tried to picket a train full of corn.

By comparison, the DS article was relatively accurate. Their only mistake was that the predator has to be in the same room as your poor innocent vulnerable daughter, not accross the country in some seedy bar with wireless access.

Muckraking (2, Insightful)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14768784)

Journalists do this muckraking to raise controversy, and stir up the pot. I had the same kinda thing talking to local reporters about wardriving -- "Ooh, hackers spamming everyone from open Wi-Fi spots!" You tell them one thing, and they'll figure out what makes their story sensationalized. Then you hear the story, and learn that they ignored what you told them, even if you tried hard to make your point clear.

I think the best thing to do is to talk to the reporters. It is up to them to quote you properly, and get the story straight.

i don't get it (3, Insightful)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769278)

I wonder why competing news stations don't publish stories about how competitors outright lie to the public when they put out garbage like this Pictochat article. I guess it would trigger the end of the world.

Re:i don't get it (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769841)

I guess it would trigger the end of the world.

Damn right it would, at least for the news companies anyway - if they featured articles like that about other news companies, people would (I hope) think "So what stops the one featuring the article from lying through their teeth?" then nobody would watch the news anymore, and so none of the networks would show their Doctor Phil or American Idol anymore, then people would go crazy and start killing each other, resulting in global war and the nuclear holocaust...

Forget all those theories about how the nuke holocaust will be triggered by Iran or North Korea - its more likely my theory happens lol...

Re:i don't get it (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770215)

"then people would go crazy and start killing each other, resulting in global war and the nuclear holocaust...

and then nobody would hear about it because nobody watches the news anymore!

Re:i don't get it (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770286)

A couple of times, a few local news outlets here (Usually WNEM CBS 5 and either the Saginaw News or WSMH Fox 66) will get into something like this. It gets rediculous quickly. 5 and 66 have been going back and forth on the Cheny shooting. 5 had hunters on explaining what safety rules Cheney was breaking, 66 had the local NRA president on explaining that Cheney did nothing wrong and it was his partner who was being unsafe. Then 5 has a gunshop owner on saying how he'd never sell Cheney a gun, and 66 has anotehr gunshop owner on who talked about how he shook hands with Cheney once and it was the greatest moment of his life. 5 has a bit on how gun safety regulations would have prevented the accident, and 66 has a bit on how 5 wants to take away our butter knives. At the last point I heard, 66 said there could have been a second gunman, possibly a liberal apologist who was trying to shoot the vice president.

Get yer pich forks!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14769409)

Of course, she could have gone with what the manufactorer told her, "Nintendo confirms what happened to Emily is possible but the company claims that person must also be using another DS system and be within 65 feet."

No where in the article does it claim that someone in a Denmark kiddie porn shop can contact your child. Nowhere does it make any claims that gamerdad or any of you are complaining about ('net connectivity, non-DS communication). If anyone is being overly rediculously sensational and streching the truth, it is the majority of posters here.

To be balanced, it is a bit sensational, but not by any means over the top. AND the focus of the story is to make sure parents are teaching their kids in a modern, tech-relevant way about the dangers of society.

However, any parent who would not raise their eye brow at the fact that some creep at St*rbucks could be talking to your kid while you are getting you latte without you ever even realizing it, IMOHO should probably be investigated.

Not the best piece of journalism, but when read in its entirety, it is not the yellow journalist muck raking some are seeming to claim.

Re:Get yer pich forks!!! (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770076)

No, it didn't say Denmark - it did say that the person could be in a coffee shop anywhere in the country, however.

I'm not a fan of lawsuits, but... (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769502)

If this was almost any other industry (film, oil, beef) many lawyers would be buying new cars. I believe in freedom of the press but that doesn't allow them to tell lies when they KNOW the truth.

When somebody publicly questions the sexuality of a Hollywood star, they get sued for millions, but it is okay to say that a product is being used to molest little kids when it just isn't true?

What do you expect from... (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14769869)

I'm all for keeping kids from getting molested, but what the hell can you expect from one sided people that dont give a damn about the truth, they just care about how they think GTA and video games in general are the product of satanic cults...

I swear.. (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14770168)

I'd swear Action News off, if it weren't for Cecily Tynan [go.com] and Dorothy Krysiuk (spelling?). They make news in the morning worthwhile.

Re:I swear.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14830142)

FTR, Dorothy Krysiuk is on FOX; Cecily Tynan (and the hottie Sarah Bloomquist) are on ABC.
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