Sportscaster Dale Hansen showed two things last night on the 10 o’clock news – he’s got balls the size of Dallas, and he’s becoming a dinosaur.
He slammed his bosses on air for showing a video of Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones speaking drunkenly to fans.
Nobody criticizes Jones any harder than Hansen, but in this case he thought journalistic principles should have prevented the video from being shown.
“Our business now, too many times, is a fat kid in a T-shirt in his mother’s basement, eating Cheetos and writing his blogs — and we make it news,” Hansen said.
He said Channel 8’s airing of the video is “yet another example of the decline of journalism as we once knew it.”
Hansen pointed a damning finger at the station’s news director and said if this is the world of news we now live in, then “I don’t want to be a part of that world.”
He stood up for his principles, flipped off his bosses, and fell on his sword.
On the other hand, he comes across sounding like a grandstanding dinosaur, shouting into the wind about changing times and how the world is going to hell, and — wink wink — maybe boosting ratings in the process.
The Jones video is surely questionable as news. It’s complete entertainment. But TV news people – Hansen included – have been mixing up entertainment and news for years.
A writer here at Fort Worth Weekly recalled a short stint as a TV news writer five years ago. For that night’s news, he was told to write a 15-second spot about a local guy getting killed in Iraq, and a 30-second spot about somebody building a huge snowman in Alaska. However, it was later determined that the snowman video was much more compelling and entertaining, and so he was told to increase that spot to 45 seconds – and kill the other segment about the dead guy.
That’s TV news, so don’t get on your high horse now, Hansen.
A case could even be made that the Jones video has news value – he was admitting to hiring Parcells as a ploy to increase his chances to get a new stadium and trick those Arlington taxpayers into ponying up $350 million for a stadium. Remember how eminent domain was used to take people’s properties to make way for his coliseum?
The advent of the internet, camera phones, tiny video recorders, blogs, and all the other technology that’s coming out these days is affecting our news, our entertainment, our entire world.
Hansen is leading his profession into a new era, and he’s got high standards. That’s good. He’s willing to raise hell when he feels like those standards are ignored. That’s great.
So I’m not going to do like Deadspin and post a story under the headline, “Ehhh…Fuck Off, Dale Hansen.”
But I will warn Hansen — Don’t curse change in general and whine like Andy Rooney with a tummy ache and characterize everybody with a camera and a blog as some Cheeto eating dirtbag, or you’ll soon be out the door and not doing anybody any good.