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An open letter to Alicia Jacobs

Dearest Alicia,

What am I to make of you? You are … what’s the word? … inscrutable.

Reported by me in our news pages last week when it was brewing, and confirmed earlier this week when it happened, you have left KSNV-TV, Channel 3 in a “mutual” parting that apparently had zilch to do with your Vince Neil imbroglio, but rather News-3’s desire to “get out of the gossip business.”

Decision based on the journalistic direction of the station, at least officially. Go your separate ways. Done and done. Or at least it could have been, had you not been so eager to shoot off your big toe.

Judgment and honesty took a bullet — you pulling the trigger.

Normally, this column concerns on-air news, not off-air drama. However, certain issues must be addressed, beginning with your assault on my credibility — which I cannot let stand because without it, a reporter is (no offense to your puppies) dog meat.

After I left phone/email messages last Thursday seeking your comments — which I would’ve quoted verbatim without a slant, given these were news stories, not opinion columns – you opted not to deal with me directly, instead speaking through a third party on Friday by giving a statement to the R-J’s Norm Clarke (who reported it without favoritism toward me). You called my initial report “completely inaccurate,” attempting to spin your situation, rather than deal with it. Come Monday, Ralph Toddre, president of the company that owns News-3, flatly told me: “Your report was not inaccurate.”

Without any hesitation, I would have been happy to report your side of the story, letting readers gauge its veracity. You went right to casting aspersions.

Gun-shy to discuss this with me Monday, too — again when I would have heard you out — you instead pulled an end-run to apply pressure, protesting to my editor (who told you she stood by our stories) and insisting Toddre was angry I had allegedly misquoted him and he was trying to reach me to voice his displeasure. Checking my voice mail and email, I found … zero messages. Standing by my editor’s desk, I was ready to speak with you. You would not.

Telling my editor I’d penned your “obituary,” you asked why I was out to get you … for two years. My title? Media critic. My job? Critique media. My challenge to you? Show me any column about you with a personal agenda that didn’t stem from your work and journalism issues. Declaring I went out of my way to target you? Spare me your self-importance.

You also complained that in previous stories, we incorrectly listed your age as 44 when you claimed to be 39. Again, you challenged our accuracy. Again, we answered back, citing public records proving your age.

Yes, some people lie about their age — not a punishable offense. Yet if a reporter can’t tell the truth about herself, can she be trusted to tell it about other people? Even to dispute it when you should know that a media outlet could easily check it reveals your flawed judgment.

Advice: If you don’t want to get blown up, stop stepping on land mines of your own making.

Believe me: I don’t wish you ill. I wish you personal growth that blossoms into professional triumph.

May the wind be at your back, Alicia.

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0256.

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