Obviously this is a huge political story, the biggest political story of the month and one of the biggest of the year. So how did Jim Shella of Channel 8, who hosts local political show Indiana Week in Review, handle the issue? He completely ignored it. As one can tell from reviewing his list of topics, Shella went out of his way to find non-Durham related topics on what otherwise would have been a slow news week:
The knock on Shella is that as a political reporter, he is far too cozy with political insiders and does not want to challenge them with his reporting. When a reporter becomes friends with political types, the inevitable result is that the reporter doesn't want to do the tough stories that might harm his or her friends. That is human nature.
-Marlin Stutzman calls Evan Bayh an “empty suit”
-Dan Burton plays up his Washington experience
-Will Becky Skillman run for governor?
-Restoration of Obama family home in Tipton County
-Sarah Palin lookalike from Hamilton County
It has been obvious for a long time that IWIR has turned stale. Tuning into his show all you typically hear are the Republican or Democratic insider positions (and with Mike McDaniel you also get the view of a paid lobbyist) with little in the way of independent thought occasionally brought to the table by the non-Shella reporters. But I never believed Shella's coziness with insiders was so bad that he would deliberately ignore the Durham story, a story that cuts at the very heart of insider politics that dominate Indianapolis and, to a lesser degree, Indiana politics.
If there were ever a time for a news outlet to start a fresh show dealing with local politics, the time is now. IWIR is not going to address the tough issues or at least address the tough issues in such a way that is going to step on the toes of political insiders. Imagine the ratings a new show dealing with local politics in a fresh and independent way would receive. Within a month or two such a show would eclipse the viewership of IWIR. In a year, it would have double the audience of IWIR. People don't tune into shows like IWIR because they are clamoring to hear the Republican or Democratic positions on the issues. They do so because they want fresh, interesting and independent analysis of the news. They are not getting that from IWIR.