19 February 2008
did media general/kalb fail to disclose a conflict of interest in the 2007 rapides parish sheriff's race?
UPDATE: did the central la media and sheriff chuck wagner just get punk'd?
in the 2007 rapides parish sheriff's race much ta-doo was made over a rumor that should he win, kalb news director michele godard was going to become chuck wagner's public information officer. these rumors began around the time that ms. godard and kalb aired what some called hit pieces against mr. wagner's opponent mike slocum.
the first one called "race for rapides sheriff political maneuvering" was posted to kalb.com on 02 november 2007 on 05 november 2008 sheriff hilton responded with "rapides parish sheriff hilton responds to threat allegation" and that was followed on 07 november 2007 by "rpso deputies speak out."
on 13 november 2007 kalb hosted "rapides parish sheriff candidate debate" later that night on the 10:00 p.m..news, ms. godard and kalb general manager les golman in "kalb responds to biased reporting allegations" made a big deal out of reporting among other things that "mr. slocum’s campaign made demands on news channel 5 for the removal of its news director michele godard from the scheduled debate"
there is probably a lot more sheriff race news videos on kalb.com and dont be surprised if they all suddenly disappear from kalb.
on thursday 15 november 2007 two days ahead of the run-off election ms. godard appeared on local talk radio station ksyl. according to the above clip from that appearance ms. godard was there to "represent the television station to clear up a couple of things." the very first question posed to her by dave graichen before even a good morning was "ok the big question i got michele are you going to go work as p.r. for the sheriff's department?" after a round of laughter by all, ms. godard responds "no of course not i'am not qualified for that job...i wouldnt even know how to be a p.i.o. i have some suggestions of course"
the end result was that chuck wagner prevailed over mike slocum by some 1,398 votes. on electronic voting machines we might add.
although the town talk reported that mr. crawford said that "his last day at kalb was friday." which would have been friday 15 february 2008 there is some confusion there too, because a press release from the rapides parish sheriff's office by mr. crawford dated thursday 14 february 2008 is posted to kalb.com:
mr. crawford's website at www.outoflinefilms.com doesnt have contain any biographical information either. it does list two addresses in the contact information, one in north hollywood, california and one in alexandria. louisiana.
so the obvious question that everyone should be asking is when did mr. crawford go to work at kalb? was he working at kalb during the 2007 rapides parish sheriff race when he was also candidate bill robinson's campaign manager and then chuck wagner's campaign manager? did he produce any of the news stories or the candidate forum 'debates'? if so, why wasnt any of this disclosed by kalb?
these are important questions that need answering especially due to mr. crawfords profession as a "director" and "producer" and his hollywood connection. the kennedy-nixon presidential debates in 1960 showed the power of television as an instrument of political manipulation...