Friday, June 20, 2008

Michelle Kosinski; Iowa flood coverage; fake canoe stunt; Today Show

I have been watching the coverage of the Iowa floods for about a week on the Today Show. I have noted the absence of Michelle Kosinski from any such coverage until this morning.

Michelle Kosinski handling a prior story

Kosinski is the "reporter" who was caught reporting from a canoe live almost three years ago during some relatively minor flooding in New Jersey. The problem occurred when two men walked past her canoe revealing the water to be only ankle-high. The incident became notorious and the subject of blooper reels and internet mirth. I still receive google traffic from people researching the incident. Newsbusters received record traffic over this incident. [I wonder what NBC's Washington bureau chief Tim Russert thought of the incident at the time.]

Michelle Kosinski canoe incident - 2005

I could not help but remember Kosinski's prior experience with flood coverage as I watched her this morning. I found myself paying closer attention than normal as I scrutinized everything she said and every piece of film that accompanied her report.

I would love to know the decision making process that resulted in Kosinski travelling to Iowa (whether at all or after one week had elapsed) to cover this story.

  • Did NBC figure that three years was long enough for the viewers to forget the canoe incident?
  • Did NBC delay Kosinski's involvement in the Iowa story because of the 2005 canoe incident?
  • Did NBC even remember the canoe incident?
  • Did they let Kosinski go to Iowa only if she promised to stay out of canoes?
  • Were NBC's editors and producers extra careful in reviewing the report before putting it on the air?
  • Did NBC figure that since the flooding was real this time, there would not be a need for a staged event, thus making Kosinski less likely to pull another stunt?
  • Was the original canoe stunt even Kosinski's idea - or was it suggested by the Today Show producers, thus making Kosinski a mere scapegoat?
  • Does NBC simply not care how it is perceived anymore?

The MSM/DNC must be the only employer for whom you can continue to work despite being caught defrauding your customers live on TV.
Newsbusters posts Michelle Kosinski's history.

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