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The Washington Post‘s Paul Farhi, a great pariah in bloggerville, is just as outraged/bemused as Washington City Paper‘s own Dave McKenna about the attire of the supposedly independent local broadcasters at Redskins games. Have a look:
Even the announcers and sideline reporters were in on the act. Everyone was decked out in Redskins-logo shirts (shame on Channel 4 sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak and Comcast Sportsnet reporter Kelli Johnson, who apparently are now employed part-time by the Redskins as sideline reporters; isn’t that a conflict of interest?).
That was the scene, anyway, at last Saturday’s ‘Skins-Steelers tilt. McKenna cited the same infractions at the previous preseason ‘Skins outing:
Lindsay Czarniak showed up during the game broadcast and the post-game show wearing a licensed Redskins shirt, logo and all. That makes sense, since she was working for the Redskins Broadcasting Network, owned by Dan Snyder.
But Czarniak was carrying a WRC microphone. She took off the Redskins costume and put on a blue fluffy top for her 11 o’clock news segment from Baltimore, so clearly her superiors have some inkling about the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Why is this dual role allowed? Czarniak works for the news department of an NBC affiliate. But she works for Dan Snyder, too. For the ethics police, other than the import of the subject matter, what’s the difference between Czarniak’s Redskins deal and Armstrong Williams taking money from the Bush White House?
There’s something about TV, I guess. People’s expectations of local TV news broadcast have been so abused, so debased, for so long, that the notion of holding these folks to any standard of conduct is just too much for the public to pull off.