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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sheree Paolello's Verdict on the Marcus Fiesel Murder

We expect news anchors to report the news of the day, without expressing their personal opinions or indicating any bias. We expect them to stick to the facts, particularly when a story is unfolding. So it was unusual to hear Sheree Paolello, one of Ch 5's main news anchors, giving her take to Bill Cunningham on WLW-AM Monday afternoon on Amy Baker's testimony at the Liz Carroll murder trial Monday.
Here's what she said:

"I have never believed Amy Baker's story, especially now that all of this is coming to light. You look at her history, certainly she's not an innocent party in all of this. I've been shocked all along that this girl could just walk....

"She quite possibly had more of a hand than Liz Carroll (in the death of Marcus Fiesel). Look at Liz Carroll, she looks like someone who could be easily swayed and taken advantage of, that she seems so vulnerable to me...

"I definitely have my doubts about Amy Baker. I wouldn't be surprised if she was involved with the murder of Marcus....

"Maybe she (Liz) will get manslaughter instead. I don't think she's going to walk.... She clearly knew what happened and went along with it. But I don't know if she was the one who murdered him, I really don't...

"It's so sickening. I've been hearing so much of what Amy Baker said today, and my stomach turned... In my heart -- and I'm not a juror -- I don't believe that woman is nearly as innocent as she claims to be."


at 2/20/2007 9:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have viewed Channel 5's approach to news as "desperate" for a long time. The ratings are low they try anything. Maybe they will go totally local tabloid like WLW's talk. Let's replace dave Wagner will a shrill and bigoted Bill Cunningham. Sheree's comments just don't suprise me because 5 just doesn't do real news anymore.

at 2/20/2007 9:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, she was a guest on the show. Bill asked her opinion. What's wrong with that?

at 2/20/2007 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post John K--I heard the same interview/shameless News 5 plug on Bill's show and thought the same thing. Unbelievable.

Sheree hasn't stepped foot in the courtroom--so she is forming her opinion on 10 second bytes shown during their shows. Wow, quite a level of research there.

Anyone who works in a news department shouldn't be offering their opinion about anything they may cover. Journalism 101.

It comes down to credibility, and 5 News has little. And even less now.

at 2/20/2007 10:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i didn't hear her say that, but in reading this blog, I'd hardly doubt that the woman only watches the trial during her newscasts. Unless you live under a rock, you can pretty much watch the trial live on the web, or read a blog to stay completely informed on the trial. If she did say what you claim she did, in a sick way i found it refreshing and honest. In terms of journalism 101, maybe look at that Enquirer article and the Deb Dixon part again...
just sayin.

at 2/20/2007 10:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you rather have the same stale, cold reporters, (Sorry, Journalists, they liked to be called that) at 12?

Every HUMAN has an opinion on this. This story makes me sick. She is human. If you don't like it, don't watch it. If you don't like Bill's show, don't listen to it.

Lets talk about how 12 is still ticked off that WLW dropped them....

at 2/20/2007 10:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical of a one sided reporter like Jonny K. Post the comments she made and not the questions that Bill asked her.

at 2/20/2007 11:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I heard that on the radio too... I was pretty suprised. I feel all of them need to be convicted of murder...... They all had a hand in it.

at 2/20/2007 12:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an old journalist, my first inclination is toward disgust. (I didn't see it live).

But today's media is very different from the one in which I worked for 30 years.

Like an earlier post said, maybe it was refreshing and honest.

I'd would like to hear how the question was posed by Cunningham, and the inflection and tone of her response. How it was presented would make a big difference on how such an opinion would be accepted.

at 2/20/2007 3:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny Boy,

Hey - maybe we all can agree Sheree's way in over her head - but I find it so funny that you are so quick to attack when you simply can't do what the t-v people and the other reporters around town can do. Those who can't do, write these blog things in their underwear. Get a life. Cover a fire or something.

at 2/20/2007 4:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one really cares that WLW dropped Ch 12.

It was a good deal for CC - they got a couple grand out of Ch 5, and Ch 12 hasn't felt the loss at all in the ratings.

at 2/20/2007 4:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or the egos.

at 2/20/2007 6:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John -

Yes, we should expect news anchors to "report the news of the day, without expressing their personal opinions or indicating any bias" - when they are, as you said, "reporting the news."

Sheree was a guest on Cunningham's radio program, expressing her opinion. She was not "at work," delivering the news.

Personally, I think the wording of your post was a disparaging attempt to fan the flames and invite the trolls back to this blog - which would be unfortunate.

A newscast is - and SHOULD - be just that: reporting the news. As most people already know, a radio program like Cunningham's is more "infotainment" than anything else. More to the point, it was HIS envrionment. Sheree wasn't anchoring at the time. She was being human.

at 2/20/2007 8:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willie and Sharee are both self-promoting shills. Who cares. At the princess didn"t stumble like she does so many nights at !!!

at 2/20/2007 8:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be ironic to ask Amy Baker about 5 things every woman should know?

at 2/20/2007 9:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...John, I am sorry there are such snarky comments getting into this place....I like it better when folks are nicer.

guess I am living in a dream world.

But since I am off topic, how about an off topic or Gen discussion thread since so many of us seem to prattle on about some things or digress. :)

This whole Marcus thing is so distressing, I can only listen to the bits and pieces on radio news bits.

I think ALL THREE are guilty.

I am also disgusted that amy baker has a reconciliation package in store for her in Clermont county if what Cunningham says is true. HOW IN THE BLANK can this woman get her children back after her part in THIS????????????

Sophia in Fairfield


CAN SOMEBODY SHORTEN THE stupid word verification PLEASE!! Goodness.

at 2/21/2007 7:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classy work, Sheree....
Hate to make comparisons, but I seriously doubt that Sandra Ali would make the same mistake.
No serious professional reporter makes personal remarks like this, particularly in the middle of the trial their station is covering.
As an anchor she's in a position of influence with the community, and she knows that. Hope it doesn't impact the outcome of the trial. It may well affect the appeals process in any case.
Probably ought to get a demotion for that move - and I doubt it would hurt 5's ratings much more!

at 2/21/2007 7:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a working journalist today - not at the Enquirer - and no offense to my elder colleague, but we still don't and shouldn't give our opinion, Fox News be damned.

And it may come as no surprise that I'm a print reporter and, in general, I see so many TV reporters who don't have two journalistic ethics to rub together (there are some great exceptions in town - John London, Jeff Hirsch and like them or not - WCPO's I-Team - pop to mind, for starters).

Of course I have an opinion about what I write. But I don't tell you, gentle reader, and I go to great lengths so you don't know.

What Paolalaalala - whatever - said giving her opinion, desperate or not to get ratings (I tend to think what's missing in local journalism is, ahem, dare I say, real news), it was wrong.

A TV reporter last year defended TV news' use of "breaking news", "developing news" and this tabloid-y style of reporting as "What the viewer wants." That assertion came from viewer focus groups, ratings results and surveys of viewers, I was told.

Someone suggested then that maybe they were asking the wrong people. I think that's dead-on. Rise up, instead of catering to the lowest common denominator. And we start with Sheree, Ali and the crew at Ch. 5. I just wonder what would happen?

at 2/21/2007 10:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, look at all these high-falutin' holier-than-thou journalists NOT giving THEIR opinions as they rip on sheree.

good thing john has such ethics on his posts...and such diligence in policing his blog...

this is almost cunningham-esque.

mr. pot, meet ms. bunch of hypocrites.

at 2/21/2007 12:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony, you're the best poster channel 5 back to mangling those highlights

at 2/21/2007 8:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto to whoever praised John London's reporting! He is always the classy and articulate voice of reason in what have become increasingly unreasonable newscasts! Just who in the News 5 brain trust came up with that soft-focus piece of garbage, "5 Things Every Woman Needs to Know"? I'd almost rather watch two minutes of car commercials! I hope it goes away as quickly as all of the other gimmicks.

at 2/21/2007 9:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The management at WLWT encourages this outrageous behavior. Sheree has some talent, too bad she is at the worst station in town. She doesn't know better. She could really become something if she wasn't at 5, where she is getting bad advice.

at 2/22/2007 1:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know...some of you people on here never cease to amaze me. As a GUEST on Willie's show, she was asked for her OPINION...meaning her take on the situation...and in my OPINION, it doesn't matter if you anchor news, work at 5/3 Bank, or sell rocks on the corner of 14th and Republic, someone's opinion shouldn't be criticized like this. How can you bring up a lack of professionalism? If it were Greg Cohen or someone of that effect on his show that had a direct connection to the case, then ok, point taken, but I think we have more important issues in the Queen City to deal with than Sheree's opinion on the Fiesel case. Give it a rest.

at 2/22/2007 1:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the fact that the Enquirer reported ALL the names of the members of the jury in this case? Where is the outrage over that?

The Enquirer is a disgrace.

at 2/22/2007 11:20 PM Blogger JackHill said...

I don't get it. A few weeks ago, John K was saying he'd miss Imus on the radio here in Cincinnati. One reason was because Imus interviews politicians and journalists and gets opinions and insights out of them that they would not give in their other usual forums.

Cunningham did the same thing with Sheree. He asked her opinion, and she gave it. It wasn't a newscast. Get over it.

How about we focus on the Enquirer printing the Carroll's fictional account of the murder as "news" and then threatening the lives of the jurors in this morning's paper. NOBODY at the Enquirer should be lecturing ANYONE on ethics today. NOBODY.

at 2/23/2007 4:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong! As a 5 insider, we watched NBC anchor Brian Williams last night being asked for HIS opinion on an OPINION show: "Hardball." - his response? "I don't do opinion."
Ali was on the same day, gave facts ... and deftly stayed away from comments like: "I don't believe her."
Now, excuse me - here comes Tony and I really need a deep, warm and creepy hug.

at 2/23/2007 5:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now were comparing a national anchor to a local one...give me a break! MAKE IT STOP!

at 2/26/2007 3:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. A national anchor is smart. This small town news reader is not, and should go ahead and give her opinion about a case she didn't cover. Are you stimulated by bright colors, too?
It's sickening to give people like this a free pass when they're given positions they're not ready for.

at 2/27/2007 9:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - any reason why Sheree gets hammered for comments on the radio, but Deb Dixon can host a NON-STOP OPINION FEST live on CH. 12 all this morning at the David Carroll sentencing???
I've got the tapes to prove it.

at 2/27/2007 9:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Jerry Springer never gave an opinion on as an anchor, did he? Are the rules different for the far left?

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