Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Thank You Jaime Satterfield

In a moment of inadvertent honesty, Ms. Satterfield gave us all a glimpse behind the mask of impartiality and allowed us to see the truth about the bias that exists at the KNS.

On Friday, Jaime tweeted the following:
"@jamiescoop: How ironic is it that a blogger uses docs I obtained after court fight to trash my reporting as inept and her cult followers eat it up?"

Over at Knoxviews, rocketsquirrel has an excellent post detailing all the ways this tweet is unprofessional.

But despite the unprofessional nature of the tweet, which has since been deleted, I can't help but applaud its honesty. Ms Satterfield very openly expressed her contempt for Katie, and all the folks who have joined her fight for justice. In Satterfield's eyes, we're a cult, blindly following Katie on a Quixotic mission to destroy the KCSO, the DA, and the KNS.

This attitude explains why Satterfield's reporting on Henry's case has been so poor; she has already decided there's no story there, and no amount of evidence is going to change her mind. In fact, she's so sure of herself that any attempt to change her mind will be met with closed minded scorn.

What I wonder now is whether or not Jack McElroy will continue to allow Ms. Satterfield to cover stories related to Katie and to Baumgartner. The tweet makes it very clear that Ms. Satterfield is no longer capable of objective reporting on the Baumgartner story or Henry's story.

But if her biases aren't reason enough, then perhaps her friendship with one of the principles in the case, Special Prosecuter Al Schmutzer is. According to a recent post by Ms. Granju:
Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Jamie Satterfield, (who in a recent live interview with local talk radio host George Korda volunteered the information that Special Prosecutor Al Schmutzer is a personal friend of hers, something one might reasonably think would make her a less than ideal choice for covering this story) wrote the June 3, 2011 article about Gibson’s disturbing claims.

The irony here is that Ms. Satterfield herself called me out for this very thing in an email exchange I documented in this post.
FROM:Satterfield, Jamie
TO: rhailey
Thursday, August 4, 2011 1:27 PM
If I were close enough to one side in a story to accompany her to the sheriff's office I could not ethically report on the case as a reporter. Maybe the rules for bloggers aren't as stringent.

And we're back to that again. I'm asking questions without easy answers, so now I'm unprofessional and lacking standards.

My response:

You may our may not have noticed, but I did not report on Katie's trip to the sheriff's office. Instead I provided an eye witness account to a reporter who wasn't there and who had voiced misgivings about how the incident was portrayed by one of the participants.

My standards are just fine.

Ms. Satterfield is now actively doing exactly what she called me out for, writing a story about people I was personally involved with.

So, while I applaud her honesty in demonstrating her bias, I'm now hoping she will demonstrate an equal amount of journalistic integrity, and allow somebody else without her bias and without her close relationship with one or more of the principle figures to cover both the Granju story and the Baumgartner story.

In her own words, that would be the ethical thing to do.

But will she live up to them?

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The KNS hasn't enough souls to cover the straight news let alone replace their lead reporter on trials. I guess the could put a free lancer on it and blame any behavior like this on "Personal responsibility."
Posted by Toby  on  01/02  at  11:35 AM

Toby, if they are going to have a reporter covering stories where the subjects being reported on have even a tangential relationship with the reporter, they should be disclosing. I know I heard Ms. Satterfield correctly in that recent radio interview when she referred to Mr. Schmutzer as a friend of hers. If that's the case, and the KNS still wants that reporter covering this unfolding story, that relationship needs to be clearly disclosed every time she writes about it.

The KNS also never disclosed my own significant professional history with them in any story they have written about Henry's case, even though Metropulse and WBIR have bent over backwards to disclose my previous prOfessional relationships with them each and every time Henry's story has been so much as mentioned by their news organizations.
Posted by Katie Allison Granju  on  01/02  at  11:45 AM

ironic: characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is

In addition to her conflict of interest issues, JS doesn't know how to use the word "ironic" (a common problem among non-professional writers). Better word choices might have been "hypocritical," "disingenuous" or simply, "self-serving."
Posted by jzzy55  on  01/02  at  12:50 PM

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