A member of the Los Angeles City Council who hosted public affairs programs on cable before entering political life tore into broadcast news today, criticizing radio and television journalists for what he sees as an “if it bleeds, it leads” attitude.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s comments came as he recognized the accomplishments of journalist Warren Olney, host of KCRW’s “Which Way, L.A.?” He started off by hitting television stations for providing sound-bite journalism – in contrast to what Olney does, he said.
“Just turn on the tube at night and what do you get? If it bleeds, it leads and after about 90 seconds, oh we go to a commercial,” Rosendahl said.
“You never even get your brain focused on an issue because it’s all quick and hard and, frankly, most of it is negative. Then comes the commercials to make the buck. So, the American people are not as educated and informed and connected to the issues as they should be in a democracy.”
He also knocked broadcasters for giving their own opinions on stories.
“It’s about them – not facilitating an informative discussion,” Rosendahl said.
After presenting Olney with a city proclamation, Rosendahl gave the radio host eggs from the chickens he raises in his yard.