Thursday, December 08, 2011

WUSA | A recipe guaranteed to stir up comments

[Anchor McGinty is shocked -- shocked! -- by comments]

Gannett's CBS affiliate in Washington posted a Pearl Harbor Day anniversary story yesterday designed to stir up lots of reader comments online. Then it broadcast a report on the outcome. Here's how it unfolded.

The headline
"Sidwell Friends School, Sasha and Malia Obama's School, Opts For Asian, including Japanese Food On Pearl Harbor Day"

The menu
Here, the station said, "were the options for Malia Obama and her sister, Sasha on the 'Day that will live in Infamy.'"
  • Asian Mushroom Soup

  • Oriental Noodle Salad

  • Classic Spinach Salad
  • Teriyaki Marinated Chicken Strips

  • Szechuan Tofu & Veggies
  • Garlic Roasted Edamame

  • Vegetable Fried Rice

  • Fortune Cookies
The plea
The station asked readers: "What do you think about the menu? Insensitive, or is it just time to move on?"

The reader comments
Among the nearly 200 so far, it's clear mandating Facebook IDs doesn't guarantee civility.
  • Patricia Bayless writes: "What else would anyone expect out of the fraud and his brats and the Liberals? BTW, the brats are extremely homely."
  • Aaron Shupp replies: "Patricia I'm guessing you're a homely, trainwreck of a trashy whore yourself considering you don't even use a portrait on Facebook."
The follow-up 
The station then broadcast a segment about the story it had posted and the comments that followed.

On behalf of his co-workers, WUSA weekend anchor Derek McGinty expressed shock that the comments grew so divisive: "The absolute rage and name calling from some of you was frankly way over the top."

Related: Blogger Gil Asakawa writes, "This about takes the cake for lame-ass non-issues."


  1. Wow. Sounds like Patricia Bayless would make a GREAT candidate for a GCI-comped troll on this site. She has the right tone, mean streak and lack of any kind of sense of perspective and/or appropriateness. Hire her now, CP C-suite!

  2. Mr. McGinty has been living in a cave if he's shocked by comments.

  3. 1. He's not shocked. He just had to say it; they knew damn well what a pot they'd stir.

    2. I'd expect this shit from a Fox news station; how legit is WUSA?

  4. Too funny. Gannett uses the questionable excuse that the move to Facebook commenting will improve civility and this one story proves anything but all while driving a larger group of users to other non-Gannett sites where they can weigh-in anonymously.

  5. I live in DC and WUSA is clearly the worst/most cheapa-- outfit on the air. They have reporters carry a video camera/tripod, too frequently use Skype instead of a decent satellite feed and have lots of reader contributed junk. Frequent typos in their crawls. For a top-tier market, the Big G should be ashamed of itself. And, as is clear by the example, they'll do anything to stir up and hype false controversy. Shameful.

  6. Right. I'm in DC. The local Fox affiliate at 10 p.m. is by far the best. (No, it's not a local version of Fox News network.) Sue the weather lady is THE best. The evening anchor is actually very skilled. The local NBC comes second. As for WUSA? ha ha ha ha ha ...


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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