Static: Wednesday, August 4, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Cringing at Crilley

Someone called to say they were appalled that KDFW/Fox 4 news reporterwas going on speaking engagements and shilling "Free Publicity," a his book about how to "write a killer press release," "come up with ideas guaranteed to get coverage," "what to say during the interview," "how to combat negative news," and so on. A reporters job is to be a fly on the wall, observing the world, and writing about reality, not making money explaining how to manipulate the media. Crilleys gag reflex of a website (www.jeffcrilley.com) pitches his books, tapes, and seminars, and contains way too many photos of himself.

Fort Worth Weeklys 2002 "Best Of" edition named Crilley best tv reporter and described how he obtained exclusive access to a family whose son was killed by terrorists on the USS Cole (spending two days inside a trailer with the family while the rest of the local reporters stood outside in the heat and cursed Crilley for getting there first). The Weekly also praised him for helping free a Fort Worth resident wrongly convicted of robbery. So it pains Static to say, "Crilley, youíre looking like a putz." Hmm, actually that wasnít painful. Yep, that felt positively uplifting.

Whatís painful is seeing this Emmy-Award-winning tv news reporter, recently named best tv reporter in the state by the Texas Associated Press, stooping so low. Granted, he was man enough to respond to Staticís interview request. He started by saying that Fox News officials gave him permission to do speaking engagements but told him he couldnít charge a speakers fee. "Iíve never charged a dime," he said. Most media books are written by public relations flaks who donít know diddly about newsrooms. "I decided I was going to write the first book from a newspersonís perspective about how to get on the news," he said. Jeff, there is a reason why yours is the first -- most journalists wouldnít write such a book. Crilley may not charge for speaking, but he sells his books for "only" $10 whenever he goes to make the speeches. "For $10, obviously Iím not getting rich," he said, slipping into third-person to say Fox news executives "trust that Jeffís news judgment canít be compromised by $10." No but how about that ethical judgment? Isnít that kinda like a cop teaching speeders how to fool the radar gun? Wait a minute -- where can we find that book?


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