Via e-mail and phone calls, reaction streamed in, most of it of the atta-boy! variety (aw, shucks) over last week’s column taking exception to Alicia Jacobs of KSNV-TV, Channel 3 interviewing (now ex-) boyfriend Vince Neil, who was sprung from the pokey after serving 10 days for DUI.
Predictably, some stemmed not from journalism issues but just being put off by the pair, as if any criticism sufficed to bash them. Abhorrent as Neil’s behavior is as a DUI repeat offender and whatever you think of Jacobs as a personality, that won’t be hashed over here. Yet dissenters raised points justifying discussion:
Complaint: “Fluff” celebrity interviews aren’t worth analyzing. Fact: Neil was twice convicted of criminal acts behind the wheel, the 1984 incident resulting in the death of one person and the brain damage of two others. Sound “fluffy”? Stories with crime and its victims at their core are fair targets for scrutiny.
Complaint: One local insider insisted criticizing Jacobs for anything amounts to swatting a fly with a Howitzer — she’s that trivial. Fact: That’s not only more disrespectful to Jacobs than anything written here, but severely underestimates her clout. Tourism is our economic engine, and Jacobs is savvy about entertainers who fuel it, giving News-3 dominance on that beat among stations.
Glamour-puss flamboyance notwithstanding, she matters. You can’t command nearly nine minutes of valuable airtime, as she did with Neil, if you don’t.
Complaint: One reader cited a New York gossip columnist who dated high-profile men she also covered. Okey-dokey in the No. 1 market, so it must be hunky-dory here? Fact: Such a rationale — that if others take the same action, it automatically justifies it – is intellectually lazy. It supposes that ethics aren’t about right and wrong, but rather a pack mentality. Also, this column didn’t disparage Jacobs for dating Neil (that’s her business), just for compromising the interview by conducting it herself, disregarding the conflict of interest.
Even as social media throw standards into turmoil, one of the mainstream’s unique features — self-imposed rules of conduct — can’t become antique.
Going and Gone: Subtract two characters from the roster of eccentrics at KVVU-TV, Channel 5. Going is meteorologist Darren Peck, his nine-year stint ending in early April after his contract wasn’t renewed. Gone is “Extreme Amy” Carabba, the AM show adventurer whose contract also wasn’t picked up. Both were tweaked here: Peck for his Esquire model-esque approach, as if his every gazellelike stride toward the map was snapped by Annie Liebovitz, and Carabba more seriously for invading a woman’s privacy by waking her in her bedroom on camera for a makeover segment. And yet …
Setting Fox-5 apart from competitors is its quirk factor. (Carrot Top promos?) Yes, John Huck, Olivia Fierro and company handle news, but from Heidi Hayes and Dave Hall to Jason Feinberg and Monica Jackson to the “More” crew, idiosyncrasy is its currency. Dumping Peck, Carabba and first-class flake Mike Doria last year dents that oddball appeal.
Journalistic meat and potatoes? Essential. Just don’t underrate the pleasures of a tangy fruit salad.
Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at email@example.com or 702-383-0256.