Say what you really think:  Jeff Dore, WSB

Say what you really think: Jeff Dore, WSB

Journalists are supposed to be objective.  But when a story gets weird, the journalist has an obligation to convey that.  If a government behaves badly, the journalist is duty-bound to point it out.  If he’s emphatic about it, that’s OK.  Audiences and news managers like passion in storytelling, as long as all sides of the story get a fair hearing.

On WSB Wednesday, Jeff Dore made no effort to conceal his indignation as the city of Atlanta prosecuted a man who, as a volunteer landscaper, put mulch in a city park.  “Joshua Pechter faces trial for putting bark in a park,” Dore wrote in a story about Pechter’s appearance in municipal court.

A city inspector cited Pechter for laying down mulch without a permit.  Afterward, city officials called the citation a misunderstanding.  Pechter and Dore expected to see the city drop its case in municipal court.  “City officials vowed to make it go away,” Dore said.  But nobody from the city showed up at the hearing, except for the city inspector who wrote the ticket and the prosecutor who backed him.  “Instead of composting the ticket, they set a trial date,” Dore reported.

“When the volunteer mulcher went to court here, he stood all alone against a city bent on prosecution,” Dore said on WSB at 5pm.

At noon, Dore told the audience he expected to do a sit-down interview with the city official responsible for dropping or pursuing the case.  By 5pm, there was no interview.  Instead, WSB noted a new statement by the city calling the continued prosecution “a misunderstanding.”  Yet Pechter has to go back to court.  And folks who volunteer at city parks now do so at their peril apparently.

As usual, Dore’s storytelling was top-notch.  And his indignation was understandable.  Grade:  A.

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

6 thoughts on “Indignation

  1. Mr. Bear

    This story becomes more curious with every turn. You have to wonder if the reason for non-response from Atlanta City Hall is because there’s nobody left to handle it.

    At the same time, if we are a nation of laws, this is the process that has to happen; perhaps a nice lawyer with nothing to do will help Mr. Pechter. He could use it.

  2. Juanita Driggs

    Once again Jeff Dore shows why he’s the best Atlanta tv reporter going and has been for some years now. No one else in the market comes even close. Dore also knows how to work in front of a camera (i.e. less is more) something else few Atlanta tv reporters or their bosses have mastered.

  3. Joey

    Kudos to Jeff Dore. I missed the story, and I miss most of them these days. Why? Because all too often, Atlanta TV news lives up to the handle of Doug’s blog — it’s one live apartment fire after another. And then, maybe a live helicopter shot of a house fire that’s been extingished and nobody was hurt. Then, somebody’s shot on the Southside, no life threatening injuries, but people there are scared. In other words, NO NEWS HAPPENED HERE. If TV news could have more Jeff Dores finding and reporting stupid things government, or businesses or even people do, it would be worth watching. But me and too many others have had their fill of live apartment fires. I’d rather watch a “Seinfeld” rerun.

  4. scott hedeen

    I love it when Jeff Dore gets pissed. it’s like Howard Sprague on crystal meth!

    insane… yet folksy!


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