Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting The Big Story Not Easy For Charlotte's Reporters When It Comes To CMPD

In the world of news and breaking stories, "if it bleeds it leads" and the only thing better than being first is having the exclusive story. That thinking set the stage for the 1974 hit movie starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon. The back story is at IMDB.

The remake of the 1934 classic centers around Hiddy Johnson a "crime beat" reporter in Chicago during the 1920's who had a reputation for doing whatever it took to get "big scoop".

Back in the day the Charlotte Observer was a power house of big scoop and "exclusive" stories. Now days the first story belongs to mainly the world of online and on air news, but still the "exclusive" goes to those who are willing to strain the limits of journalistic integrity and push the envelope past broadcast news into the realm of tabloid reporting.

Raw footage, live feed and of course gonzo reporting from operations like TMZ still garner the most attention. After all who doesn't like a good play by play car chase on live television?

But what limits are Charlotte's local media willing to push to get that exclusive or first to report news story?

Prior to Chief Monroe's arrival CMPD had an open door policy. The department had little choice since the Observer had an overnight crime reporter and photographer on staff. They pretty much camped out at the department's old headquarters on 4th Street, prior to the staggering decline in advertising revenue seen during the last decade. The city editor's desk was manned 24/7 as well and the crime beat was more than one reporter's only job.

Today's Observer is a ghost town. Steve Lyttle with the Observer works the news tidbits the old fashion way; via scanner and a network of police and fire wannabes supplemented with an occasional call to CFD's Rob Brisley or an email to CMPD's Robert Fey or Rosalyn Harrington. The result is a paragraph or two that shows up on the online edition often loaded with typos that are worked out over the course of the morning.

WBTV's Derrick Rose and "Cam Man" Ron Lee are one man bands that cover the overnight and early morning breaking news. Both do a top shelf job. Murder and mayhem are their lives but seldom do they get the kind of in depth exclusive report that WSOC has been getting from CMPD lately.

CMPD's revolving door Public Information Office and apparent "black listing" of certain reporters has effectively put CMPD into news blackout mode cutting most stations out of the loop.

Gone are the days of "anonymous sources" who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Chief Monroe's goon squad has let it be known they will not tolerate anyone speaking to the press.

Former WBTV reporter and one time NYPD Officer Rob Tufano has become an expert at delay, deny and minimize. Often seen in the background doing a classic "face palm" as Chief Monroe goes off script during CMPD pressers, when asked about Cedar Posts Tufano says he "ignores" the blog.

But report something not to the Chief's liking and you'll find yourself on the shit list as Fox News discovered after CMPD's Vicki Foster demanded face time with one reporter's boss. A meeting that was declined by Fox News Producers.

Cedar Posts has warned other reporters not to quote the blog or risk losing access to CMPD, and their response has been on more than one occasion, "what access?".

How far are you willing to go to get the story from CMPD? - One reporter dropped a story after she found herself on the other end of an unwanted overture. Nothing like having to take one for the team in order to get the story.

Who decided that WSOC would get a heads up on a staged SWAT Team raid last week? And then there is Tuesday's exclusive look at CMPD Officers training in preparation for DNC 2012.

What did they do or not do that earned them favored status?

A exclusive interview with Chief Monroe isn't really exclusive when all he does is read from a carefully crafted script and answers a few softball questions.

Which is exactly what WCNC's Sonja Gnatt delivered back in February of 2010. That interview is here.

But since then it seems Chief Monroe has found a new interest in WSOC's Erica Bryant.

Back in July WSOC ran a series of "exclusive" interviews with Chief Monroe. You can watch one of the segments with Erica Bryant here.

Yet WSOC's staff claim that CMPD is impossible to work with.

There is a break out from Main Stream Media when Paul Brown nailed an interview with Chief Monroe earlier this year. But again he doesn't play hard ball the Chief either.

Cedar's Take: Why is it that Rodney Monroe only does "exclusive" interviews with black journalists? There I said it, so go ahead and call me a racist. I admit I'm not as color blind as I thought.

Better yet why the wall of secrecy at CMPD, why has the once open police department become a citadel of information. A fortress of spin, deny and delay. Why are CMPD Officers afraid to talk to the press, the broadcast media and even bloggers? Even off the record?

It is not just about transparency it is about the basic rights of a free press. The right to unrestricted access. Ask any reporter if they trust Rob Tufano, ask yourself, do you? I didn't think so.

Cedar Posts understands that the police have always had a love/hate relationship with the press but lately it seems that it has become rather slanted to loving a few favorite news operations while hating all the others.

This is not openness, this is not a police department, this is a regime.


John Green said...

Great Blog, thanks for sharing... So true...

Anonymous said...

When are people going to start demanding answers and demanding openness and transparency from CMPD in particular and City Government in general?

When are they going to demand answers from Rodney Monroe??

When are they going to demand truthfulness from Rodney Monroe?

When are they going to demand a cleanup at CMPD?

How long can this "regime" continue to reign supreme at CMPD?

And someone mentioned they (Medlock) are going after another Captain? They are OUT OF CONTROL!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't stop laughing watching RoMo sitting there with those admiral rings on his sleeves.

Michael said...


oh forget it. We're screwed.

Anonymous said...

I love how they had to put him on a platform to make him appear equal in size with the host.. now that's funny!

Anonymous said...

Which FOX reporter irritated V Foster? Was it Morgan "Wait Until Megyn Kelly Moves On And That's My Job" Fogarty?

Anonymous said...

How many times do I have to say it? How many times do I have to shout it from the mountaintops? People CRIME is Down!! Who made it so? Why of course!! The Apostle Rodney Monroe (peace and blessings be upon him) made it so. The Apostle Rodney Monroe (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to this small minded and disposable city, composed of fools and degenerates, and lifted it upon his broad and mighty shoulders. The Apostle Rodney Monroe (peace and blessings be upon him) was a divine revelation to this sewer of a city.

And so The Apostle Rodney Monroe (peace and blessings be upon him) can pick and choose who he wants to serve as a conduit to spread his message of how low crime has become. Don’t like it? Who is going to stop him? The Apostle Rodney Monroe (peace and blessings be upon him) is the absolute greatest thing to have ever graced this city.

Anonymous said...

If all of this is going on then why haven't the people/stations who have been "black listed" or shut out say so?

I think this is all a bunch of bunk.

Way are you the only one reporting this, were is your proof?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry the CO is all over Butch Davis cell phone records

Anonymous said...

This crap has been going on since Webster first rolled into town.

He was a bad hire, everyone knew it from the get go. But everyone was afraid to point out his track record because he was black.

Do you think a white guy would be allowed to remain as chief with a fake degree?

Hell no!

Monroe could have by now put a real degree on the wall. But he chose to take endless vacations and personal time off not working on a real degree but golfing.

When he's not chasing the little white ball he's freaking out about what the press knows or is about to figure out.

One day this house of cards is going to come crashing down much like that of Butch Davis.

Anonymous said...

"One reporter dropped a story after she found herself on the other end of an unwanted overture."

Are you saying a CMPD officer offered to provide info on a crime for sexual favors?

If so what hasn't this reporter come forward?

This is total bullshit! More baseless rumors from Cedar Posts.

Please someone show me where something reported on this blog turned out to be true.

Anyone? Hello? Hummmm as I said just rumors and lies here.

Anonymous said...

What the heck is going on with Butch Davis?

And what Captain is Mad Medlock going after now??

The cutting off of the press has been going on since Rodney got....Ray was the absolute worse with threatening to cut people off if they reported on something he didn't want.

Their trick has been, if you report on or ask questions about real issues, they will deny you access. THEN, they threaten all future access if you report on the fact they have cut you off. Get it?

And I was told this by a news person.

If you are a clean, honest department with transparency, you have nothing to hide.

And the "interviews" Rodney gives are nothing more than rehearsed PR propaganda promotions....with prearranged questions, and NO off the cuff questions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57
99% of what is said on this Blog is eventually proven to be true.

So go back to your little CMPD PIO Office, Rob.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see Chief Monroe in that clown outfit I laugh.

But this is not funny, we are on the road to a absolute, abject and utterly humiliating failure better known as a fiasco in September 2012.

I came to Charlotte from NYPD six years ago to get away from the cold. Worked in some of the city's best and worst neighborhoods.

I love the guys I work with here but the riot training we went though is a joke.

The WSOC report is nothing but PR spin in hopes to assure the public that everything will be ok.

If all that is going to happen is this training we are screwed.

Most of these guys are scared or ready to crack heads, not a good combo.

Up at NYPD you are selected for a reason. After Tompkins everything changed.

Riot guys need two things endurence and patience, the guys I work with have neither.

Plus these guys don't want to be there. Most are already pissed off, so what do you think is going to happen next year?

CMPD's idea of crowd control is to mobilize large numbers of boots when needed. It never works, the only way to have real control is out number the crowd before they even show up.

In NYC that means hours of standing, in the cold and rain. That means being outside all day long in the heat. Sorry guys but you ain't tough enough and you aren't going to get that way during a pretend training adventure.

I've said it in private now I'm on the record.

Anonymous said...

More please.
we need the truth out.
this is lives of officers, the public, and visitors with these idiots in charge.
Everyone needs to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say, judging from the guys on the news yesterday, their level of physical fitness leaves a lot to be desired.

And NYPD is right..if that is all the training , they are screwed.

But this is Medlock's baby now, so what do you really expect? All be continuously says is, and I quote "this is the way it's gonna be".......and never listens, never asks for ideas or input...just "this is the way it's gonna be".

A disaster waiting to happen. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, what does anyone expect with Medlock in charge?

The rag tag bunch of guys on the news yesterday need some remedial fitness.

Medlock listens to NO ONE. And he has never had an original idea.....

And NYPD is 100% correct, 100%!

This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Check out Citynewswatch today...between the two of you you are going to force CC to do something!!!!!

Keep exposing what is going on, they can't ignore it much longer!!!

And hopefully someone will come to their senses and put someone else in charge of the DNC. For everyone's sake!

Anonymous said...

Painful to watch the Paul Brown interview......did he really ask the Denver question?

Dumb and dumber.........

CMPD is screwed.

Ghoul said...

I see WSOC got another exclusive behind the scenes look at CMPD's preparation for riots at the DNC.

And this story made the Drudge Report.

Anonymous said...

What I loved about the Brown interview was first , THE PLATFORM , OMG, could it be more OBVIOUS? He looks like the leader of a third world Banana Republic.

I am so glad to have him on tape saying should come in handy at some point. To point out how easily he lies.

Let's talk about the "years of service" stripes on his sleeves.... It is supposed to be one stripe for every five years of service in the uniform code....he said he has been a cop for 33 years (over and over) and in Charlotte for not even does he get all those stripes?
Are all Officers allowed to count service with another Department? Or just the BIG/llittle CHIEF? WTF?

Anonymous said...

What was on Drudge?


Anonymous said...

Cedar's Take: Why is it that Rodney Monroe only does "exclusive" interviews with black journalists? There I said it, so go ahead and call me a racist. I admit I'm not as color blind as I thought.

It's because he don't be understanding white english and shit. Word. I know right. Yo, yo, yo.