Sunday, November 3, 2013

Skepticism And Local News

I'm not a fan out how media in Omaha promotes woo[1].  And, of course, all local news stations used Halloween as an excuse to do stories on ghosts.

KMTV, our CBS affiliate featured Omaha's ghost hunter team PRISM, investigating the supposedly haunted Hummel Park[2].  Fortunately, they Omaha historian Howard Hamilton, who debunked the claims.  Although, they didn't air the actual debunking and left it open for people to believe anyway, despite having just reported that it had been debunked.

KPTM Fox 42 did a better job of it[3].

Although, I'm probably biased since the 2 skeptics speaking in this video are friends, and the 3rd one is me.

Both of these aired on Halloween night.  It was a fun excuse for them to talk about ghosts, and I commend them for actually giving skeptics some air time.  I wish they'd do it more often.  I wish they'd stick to it

It only took them one day until one of the channels went back to promoting woo, with no correction[4].  Given the amount of people on KETV's Facebook[5] who believe this guy enough to give him money, they completely failed in their duty to inform the public.

Unfortunately, I fear being responsible reporters was merely a Halloween costume.  My only consolation was the interest KPTM's Laura Berry showed in potentially doing more debunking reporting.  Only time will tell if she follows through on it and if her lets her do it.

Past experience has me skeptical[6].

6.  Pun intented

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