Fletcher Shooting Self in the Foot, Exit Interviews Lacking

Like we reported a couple days ago Ernie Fletcher handpicked a few journalists to meet with privately. We have since learned these journalists were called to Frankfort because they were granted exit interviews with the governor. No Mark Hebert, no Ronnie Ellis, no Bill Goodman.

Greg Stotelmyer from WTVQ in Lexington was one of the invitees. And what’d he discuss with Ernest Lee? Steve Beshear visiting the mansion to witness Glenna’s “renovation.” Seriously. That’s what he used his interview to discuss.

Beshear, the Democrat Governor-elect, beat Fletcher, Kentucky’s first Republican Governor in three decades, by nearly 184 thousand votes. Tomorrow night they will talk for the first time since the election. Fletcher says he and his wife, Glenna, have invited Steve and Jane Beshear to the Governor’s mansion for dinner. “It’s part of a tradition and we wanted to invite them over,” Fletcher said today. “The fist lady’s actually done a complete restoration of the first floor and we wanted to welcome them over and show them their new home.”

Note the inability of some in the Kentucky press corp to use “Democrat” and “Democratic” correctly.

Aren’t there a few more important issues to be discussed in an exit interview? Just wondering.

Mark Hebert confirmed the information we earlier reported regarding the chosen few. Hebert, arguably the state’s most prominent political reporter on television, has requested an interview with Fletcher that has fallen on deaf ears..

Uh, snubbing your nose at Mark Hebert, Ernie? Not a good idea. Securing your legacy at this point is imperative. Avoiding the individuals who will define that legacy boggles the mind.

Big News: WHAS11 Copyright Infringement Resolution Reached

Thousands upon thousands of people have closely followed an incident involving WHAS11 and Page One/The ‘Ville Voice over alleged copyright infringement. (Yes, we’re surprised by the sheer numbers.) On October 25th someone at WHAS11 wrongly filed a complaint with YouTube which resulted in the removal of video excerpts our media operation was using for purposes of important discussion and criticism, protected by federal Fair Use laws.

It turns out this is a case of much ado about very little. That’s not to diminish its importance. After a meeting last week, WHAS agreed to allow the videos to reappear on YouTube. We agreed to do a better job of linking to their website when we post their videos.

To recap, on November 7th the mainstream media jumped on our story. Louisville Eccentric Observer ran a feature news story about our battle for the freedom of speech in new media. We welcomed and encouraged the publicity. We love publicity. Any news is good news – that’s us.

The problem, as we understand it, was that our video excerpts were attracting a significant audience, web viewers that some at the station believed could have been watching the same video directly through WHAS11.com. We’re all competing for eyeballs on the web, so in their eyes we were a threat. And, one of our videos (like this McConnell story, for instance) did attract more than 22,000 views. So they were probably right to be concerned. Of course, a closer look at the traffic statistics shows that about 65% of our readership comes from outside the Louisville media market– not WHAS11’s core.

Read moreBig News: WHAS11 Copyright Infringement Resolution Reached

Oh Snap. The One More Day Dept of Propaganda.

The end is extremely effing nigh and no hope remains. The final day for Ernest Lee’s campaign is sure to be filled with reality crashing down around him. But don’t get too excited, Democrats, you got lucky this year by having a horrible opponent. Learn something from it. [C-J]

Nowhere near reality. Turns out Stan Lee’s tirade about 287(g) saving the world from Mexicans barely pays for training and nothing else. Training doesn’t do much to curb illegal immigration when there’s no money to actually do something about it. [H-L]

Resurgence. The Washington Post says Democrats are resurging in Kentucky. Buncha problems with the story, though, because Louisville is not Northern Kentucky and Crit Luallen and Ben Chandler are not the only potential McConnell challengers in 2008. We’re also not certain who those “prominent Democrats” are who “opted out” of the gubernatorial primary. Who? Jerry Abramson? Brereton Jones? Please. [WaPo]

Catching up. The Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal play catch-up with with us on the Ernest Lee & Pat Boone gay-hater party. Oh, how scary Kentucky would be if the gays were everywhere. Maybe mullets and mom jeans would finally go out of style. The horrors! [PolWatchers, C-J]

Faux breaking news. Just this weekend WHAS11 claimed credit for the story about bigoted Pat Boone’s robo call in support of Ernest Lee Fletcher. Yet another story we broke which WHAS claims as its own. We’d link to their story but there’s no way to navigate their terrible website. Imagine that. The station that allows right-wing racists to post their video but not us has claimed credit for our story. Thanks to three WHAS11 reporters for pointing this out.

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 7

We were informed last evening, October 31 at 6:31 P.M., that our counter-notification to WHAS11’s wrongful copyright infringement claim has been forwarded to the station.

Oct 31, 2007 6:31 PM
Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your counter-notification. It has been forwarded to the
party that sent the takedown notification. If we receive no response, your
material will be restored between 10 and 14 days from today.

Sincerely,

Harry
The YouTube Team

Page One and The ‘Ville Voice for updates to this story.

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 5

There are over 2,000 WHAS11 videos on YouTube and more than 45,000 Google results for “WHAS11 video.” Surprising, isn’t it? If so much of that station’s footage is allowed to virally spread across the internet, why on earth would anyone at that station single us out for a mere ten video clips? What’s with the hypocrisy? What could possibly need to be covered up so badly? This behavior is obviously in retaliation for our criticism. And we must have struck a chord.

Over the past 24 hours we have heard from numerous reporters, producers and employees at WHAS11 and BELO both expressing outrage at the situation and supporting our right to use video clips under Fair Use. Two other local television stations and one in Lexington have offered support.

We fully expect the individual at WHAS11 responsible for the copyright infringement claims to continue to deny our right of free speech. We expect them to spout off in an accusatory fashion or in some way to say the use of a news segment or clip (not an entire show!) is illegal. But we are hopeful new General Manager Mark Pimental will recognize that Fair Use is critical to freedom of speech in the United States of America and to the future of media in Kentucky. If we’re unable to talk about the news and share portions of it (as any other outlet would do) to tell our story– then how can we reasonably expect truth and reality to be a part of the news these stations air?

When critics are allowed to be freely targeted and silenced we move further and further into an Orwellian society. When sites like ours, Media Matters for America, Crooks & Liars, or any number of publications featuring video segments from news broadcasts endure censorship– our readers and the general public suffer unjustifiable harm.

We recognize that WHAS11 has seen their fair share of tough times recently. And we have pioneered the system for reporting those woes. But that’s no reason and no excuse for vengeful behavior.

Update: WHAS11 Shuts Down Page One/’Ville Voice Videos

Four days ago, WHAS11-TV (“WHAS11 News”) filed a complaint with YouTube regarding the posting of video comparing, contrasting, discussing and criticizing reports and incidents from around Kentucky. At 7:10 P.M. that evening we received notice that YouTube removed our content.

We believe our use of WHAS11’s video falls under the “Fair Use” doctrine. The same doctrine under which WHAS11 presumably operates when they use video from other sources in their newscasts without express permission. The same doctrine under which thousands of other outlets like ours do the very same thing with the very same content.

Additionally, a number of stories have been broken and first reported by our websites only to be run as news on WHAS11 without any credit being given. Meaning the station looks to our web outlets as sources of major news which the station then reports as its own.

WHAS11 has never contacted us to request that we remove the content. (Though, one employee has contacted us in the past in a less than adult manner, we remind you.) The station’s decision to label us as copyright infringers is not only wrong and demeaning but it has resulted in a major inconvenience to us and our readers.

Today we filed a formal counter-notification (PDF Link) with YouTube in response to the removal of our video content. As stated, we believe our use of WHAS11’s video falls under the “Fair Use” provision of copyright law in the United States.

As we resolve this matter we want to let our readers know what’s going on. We also want you to be aware of the extent to which WHAS11 has gone to stifle free speech and crush journalistic criticism. In this age of new media the actual media is attempting to silence its chief critic by making it impossible to use its content in a contextual matter.

Any person of common sense and compassion would think WHAS11 could learn from past experience. It lost several key reporters and anchors as a direct result of poor management and leadership. It hasn’t been long ago that it lost a multi-million dollar battle in court for knowingly reporting lies and distortions. We sincerely hope the station takes its community-wide reputation into consideration before embarking on a mission against the ever-growing blogosphere.

This is absolutely unfortunate and saddening. It is unnecessary. We have not harmed WHAS11 in any way, have not inconvenienced the station financially and have not performed any act with ill intent. If anything we have given WHAS thousands of dollars worth of free publicity– even the occasional well-deserved praise.

YouTube has a legal responsibility to restore our mistakenly deleted content within 14 days. WHAS11 and parent company BELO have 10 days to further contest our use by taking us to court where media watchdogs and free speech attorneys galore are sure to come to our direct defense.

We don’t wish to be viewed as bullies. We believe we have operated completely within our rights under the law. We believe we have provided WHAS11 and other media outlets with nothing but professionalism and respect. We hope the station gives us the respect we deserve by providing us an apology.

Click here to read more about “Fair Use.”

Ooooh gurl, someone is bitter

Bitter, party of one!

Stacy Neitzel, a Cave City “independent” (aka Fletcher Republican, like her husband) of the Glasgow Daily Times may be the one with the ego problem. Or she may be a little slow when it comes to senses of humor. Who knows?

Either way, she’s upset because Steve Beshear admitted he has no idea what a carton of eggs cost, saying his wife buys them but he pays for them.

How on earth is that an indication of how Beshear views and treats women? Get a grip! I know probably a hundred women who don’t even know what eggs cost.

Let’s get real here, Stacy, and drop the bitterness over your faux incident with Uncle Steve a few weeks ago. All politicians have huge egos– that’s no secret. Stop parading around as an objective journalist if you’re going to keep this crap up.