Monday, February 11, 2008

Calling B.S. on KHOU.com

KHOU.com ran a story on it's website today that ran under the title "Is Local DA Courting Trouble?" It's a preview for a story that is going to run on Channel 11 tonight. (NOTE: After the story runs, that link may not show the same thing that it currently shows).

If you read the preamble of the story, it addresses a "local DA's office" that is using asset forfeiture funds to host parties where booze is served.

Nowhere in the story does it indicate which county they are talking about. Given the current climate, I would gather that probably 99.9% of the viewers just assumed it was the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

However, there's a problem with that, because it isn't the Harris County D.A.'s Office. Those of us who have spent time at the CJC recognize that the brief snippets of the D.A.'s Office in focus can clearly recognize that it isn't Harris County.

Shame on Jeremy Rogalski for deliberately promulgating this assumption. Would it have really ruined the surprise of the story to just name the county that they were investigating?

Doesn't Harris County already have enough problems?

6 comments:

DA-esque said...

Maybe they are having withdrawals...I mean there was so much for a while...and now...maybe they realize we're really just not that exciting. For the vast majority, we're just normal people who do their jobs and go home.

Bor-ing. Sorry about that.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Yeah, the target of the investigation was Montgomery County NOT Harris County. And it was actually a pretty good piece with some really legitimate questions.

It's a shame that they tried to let the taint of it add on to Harris County's problems.

jigmeister said...

Watch out HCDA is next for scrutiny of discretionary funds. Just having them without misuse is going to be fodder next!

Jason said...

It's just the news' use of the "bait on a hook" in order to get people to watch. I already knew it was the Montgomery County DA's office that was going to come into the crosshairs sooner or later.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

A little image conscious, are we?

Guess what? KHOU didn't create the Harris DA's problems.

Montgomery is in their service area, so in TV News parlance, that's "local." That's how they describe all their outside Harris County coverage, I don't think they're picking on you. Even if their service area's 11 counties, they want everyone to think of them as their "local" channel.

I'm concerned, though, if your post is any indication, that folks at the DA's office may be taking the wrong lesson from recent events. Your entire post focused on the DA's Office's image, even though you thougt KHOU did a good piece that raised important questions. But none of those questions were addressed in your post! Just a suggestion, but why not tell us what they were and explain what Harris does with its asset forfeiture money that makes it different? Educate, don't just complain.

IMO, the image problem will resolve itself the day folks at the DA's office become more concerned with excising impropriety amongst their profession than protecting their image. best,

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Of course I'm concerned about the "image problem", I even state it in my profile. And I know that KHOU didn't cause it, but they seem to be trying to stir up something (in this instance) that isn't there.

I agree with you that the image problem will resolve itself ultimately, but I don't think it will happen on a specific day. I think the damage done in the past two months will take years and years to undo, and it can only be done one day at a time.

As to what Harris County does with it's asset forfeiture money, I'm not sure. I know that Chuck has always been very conscious of what the law says about how it can be used. I think the law forbids it being used for salary raises (if I recall correctly). I was never in the asset forfeiture division.

I can assure you that it wasn't ever spent on parties or alcohol, though.