Revealing video topples Miss Delaware Teen USA, but she denies involvement in video
For much of Tuesday afternoon, the big story upstate was bomb scare which forced the evacuation of the New Castle County courthouse.
But, around 5 P.M. or so, we had a new top "trending" story: The abrupt resignation of Miss Delaware Teen USA - Melissa King - after an on-line, sexually explicit video surfaced which purported to show Ms. King.
Another sad sign of our times.
Melissa King denies having appeared in any such video.
That raises the logical follow-up question: If that is so, why would you resign? Wouldn't you want to fight this unwarranted stain on your good name? Or did the Pageant perhaps FORCE Ms. King to give up her crown before she could vindicate herself?
Interesting factoid which may or may not be relevant: Ms. King grew up in the foster care system.
I wonder whether we'll ever get the straight answers.
Of course, this sort of thing doesn't have to derail one's career. Remember Vanessa Williams? By the time she appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie, "Eraser", I suspect most folks had long forgotten the photos which led to Ms. Williams' ouster as Miss America, in fact, the first African-American to be crowned Miss America. (Of course, as subsequent developments demonstrated, Schwarzenegger would be in no position to judge the actress!)
Whether we should even have pageants in this modern age is another question...
The entertainment website TMZ is reporting Ms. King has now been offered a quarter of a Million dollars to promote a hardcore website...
Pageants award valuable scholarships to deserving students, showcase some talented young people, and allow a platform for the contestant's issues, whether it's fighting multiple scleroris or battling breast cancer. The positive publicity, notwithstanding these isolated negative incidents, bring much attention to a gifted group of young people.
Why you'd want to trample on the dreams of young pageant contestants is beyond me.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 9:20am
Actually, this story is a sad commentary on what our news has become. This is a front-page story? A "Trending" story on WDEL? Since I do not normally follow society or entertainment news, I had never heard of this young woman. Now that I have, I will work on removing her name from my memory.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 9:24am
I don't understand the resignation. If that is really not her, wouldn't you hope the pageant would stand behind her and fight for the truth? If it isn't her, and they did force her to resign, that is a really really really sad state of affairs and shows the weakness of the committee that runs the pageant.
You're right teatime, toddlers and tiaras shows how wonderful pageants and raising those kids can be...smh
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 9:57am
I'm with JimH...why isn't the story about the press getting "cleared out" of the Governors' meeting with the president newsworthy?
Our own Governor Markell was there: Does he have any answers as to why the press was removed from this meeting?
The press was also recently snubbed from Obama's multi-day vacation to play golf with Tiger Woods...when will these guys/gals wake up and see they are nothing but bleating sheep (Animal Farm reference).
Have the pigs and wolves taken over yet?
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:10am
The only difference between the world of beauty pageants and that of any other activity young kids participate in is that "Toddlers and Tiaras" is on TV. I know kids who spend as much time playing club soccer/lacrosse/insert sport here as these young girls do at pageants.
Overzealous parents push their kids into all kinds of activities, not just pageants. They're not my thing, but to rip them because of a TV show and rare occasions such as this is not fair.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:23am
For the record, our Miss Delaware Teen USA story is trending far, far ahead of all our other stories at www.wdel.com.
Al Mascitti got a number of calls about this story.
Rightly or wrongly, this sort of story draws the public to news media as a light at night draws moths.
And, yes, as long as we're a for-profit enterprise, we have to do stories that interest the public.
I've covered this territory before: In the news business, we have to balance these tabloid stories with the more serious stories. Balance. Is there anything wrong with that? You know from many of my blogs and interviews, that I am willing to bring up serious subjects that may not be as universally appealing.
(If you want the opposite - not doing stories such as Miss Delaware Teen USA - let's replace the for-profit media with publicly-subsidized media that don't have to worry about attracting an audience. Don't like that idea? I didn't think so.)
And I have put in a request to Governor Markell's office to talk about the Governors' meetings with the President.
(By the way, I'm not at all surprised such an event was closed to the media. As much as I favor "transparency", do you honestly think governors could be at all candid with the President under the glare of TV lights? Get real.)
Mr. Grey... I DID talk on-the-air about Mr. Obama's vacation far removed from the media, and you'll recall I blogged about that very subject. (At the time, some of you defended the President's right to enjoy a vacation far removed from the cameras and microphones. That ignores two considerations: The President's inaccessibility at the White House. And, that morbid consideration: Media close enough to report if the President stumbles, keels over, even dies...)
On the subject of pageants, I have absolutely no objection to events which showcase young people's talents. But, although we don't call them "beauty" pageants anymore, I'm afraid the "beauty" part is still an elephant in the room!
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:30am
I too am with JimH. Prior to yesterday I never heard of this young woman. It wasn't just WDEL, last night while watching NCIS and NCIS-LA, Channel 3 was hyping the story for their 11 p.m. news show. It was their lead-off story at 11 when we shut-off the TV.
Let's face it: Sex sells... "If it bleeds, it leads" gets bumped to second place for a sex story which sells even better. Bottom line, news broadcasts, on both Radio and TV, are part of broadcasters business plan to make money. News shows sell and make money for the station's owners be it WDEL-AM or KYW-TV.
JimH is correct, the nature of what news is covered and how it's presented on radio/TV sure has changed.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:59am
I disagree in one respect, Mike from Delaware.
If such a story had come out 30 years ago, I suspect it might have been an even BIGGER story, because it would've been even more shocking in that era.
Furthermore: You do have serious, relevant dimensions, I think: Has the oversaturation of sexual images actually desensitized young people to the consequences of what they're doing? Sexting, for example. I couldn't even imagine that when we grew up.
One other point: The broadcast networks and many media in the 1950's and 1960's saw their news divisions as above-profit or BEYOND profit. The entertainment side was expected to make the profits. The news divisions were intended to project a network's "responsible" side.
Sadly, I think the profitability of local TV news and morning shows gradually changed that psychology by the 1970's, and the Wall Street, "profit-at-all-costs" undermined traditional news values.
Bluntly, I don't think the shareholder-driver, Wall Street model serves serious journalism very well. Citizen-journalists who blog may represent a new model, but they lack the $ and resources.
But again, just using traditional journalistic values, I can defend this story. I might only quibble about whether it should be the TOP story hours after it broke.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 12:05pm
Correction to Mr. Loudell: a pageant sex scandal DID BREAK 30 years ago and, yes, it was a major story.
Miss America, Vanessa Williams, had to relinquish her crown after nude photos of her surfaced in Penthouse magazine. The fact is, this IS a big story because Miss America represents to many people, is an internationally known pageant, and the contestants are celebrities.
It is not sane to argue that the scandal involving Miss Teen Delaware is not a story.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 1:05pm
If you re-read my initial blog post above, I DID mention the Vanessa Williams scandal, and - as you say - it was big news!
But I was alluding to if we had had such a story locally!
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 3:34pm
Allan: Yes, that was my point, the responsible side of broadcasting was the news department. They weren't expected to make a profit as they are today, so that will affect what news and how the news is presented.
Radio does far less of the hype, but does do it, especially with the weather.
But local TV Philly news shows really pour on the hype. Susan Barnet, the perky blond anchorette whose eyes sort of pop out as she hypes the 11 p.m. newscast in her promo, the weather ladies all have that hype thing going for them too.
Also it seems to me more and more the news stories covered and hyped in the promos, especially local TV news, are focused or geared towards women. Ah, those advertisers, want women viewers more than men. Ms. Barnett hypes some new diet craze, or some heart felt story about progress on some female disease or issue, etc. So the local TV news seems to my eye to have become very female-oriented.
News isn't a man's game anymore as female reporters seem more and more to outnumber the men, especially on TV newscasts, PBS, and NPR for radio. It seems that CBS Radio and Fox News Radio still have large stables of male news reporters along with their female reporters.
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 5:50pm
MFD: You're right about female reporters. Amy Cherry ROCKS!
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:53pm
I've not met or seen photos of Amy Cherry, but purely on listening to the two female reporters that I've heard on WDEL [Amy and Mellany] (so I only know them by their voice not how they look), I personally prefer Mellany Armstrong's voice. She's got one of the best female radio voices I've ever heard. It's not sing songy or valley girl, not a real high pitched voice, its not a girly voice, yet its a very feminine voice that says to my ear, she's a class act, a professional. She articulates her words well and is clear and easy to listen to. I'd expect to eventually hear Mellany's voice on CBS Radio or some other network or major market radio station someday.
Amy's voice has more of a nasal tone (for my ear). Other than that she seems to be a great reporter. To each his/her own.
Thu, Feb 28, 2013 6:44am
MFD: I asked Mellany if she had aspirations to eventually become a network anchor, and she said no, she likes it here at WDEL. Allan is much the same way as he likes the ability to connect with the local community.
Amy is much younger, probably still under 30. I really enjoyed working with her last year interviewing for the gas prices series. She's also a real sweetheart of a girl, but she's no pushover. She takes her reporting quite seriously.
Here's a link to a fairly recent staff photo from an awards banquet. The two men in the back are Rick Jensen and Chris Carl. In front are Amy, Mellany, and you know who.
Mrpizza: Thanks for the photo link. Both Amy and Mellany are attractive women. Now I can put a face to the voice when I hear either newscaster. You get a mental image that is never correct.
I can remember when I worked in radio in the Air Force on AFRTS (1490 AFRN Eielson AFB, Alaska - no longer in service) doing an all phone-in request show with dedications and trivia, etc., [very popular with not just the troops, but with the kids living on base]. Every now and then someone would stop by the station for some reason and we'd meet and I always got the reply, gee I thought you were taller (I'm 5'5"). "You don't look like your voice", is what many would say.
Sat, Mar 2, 2013 4:27am
Before I started reading I had to laugh because this thread has twice as many comments as any of the others at the time....
I have always noticed there is a ying and yang in almost everything. We like to be highbrow and pretend we are above human curiosity of other people's peccadilloes, but if we were able to achieve that level objectivity, we would be dull and boring and have not much of a life... Likewise were we the opposite, we would be completely deprived of ever using our brains....
I have been consciously tracking which news links I'll click, fully knowing someone else is keeping track as well, and particularly on AOL or Yahoo, they will flash some scandalous tease to get you to click on that site. Allan, with your penchant for British papers, you are probably aware they are very prevalent usually on the right side of their digital publications....
One of the things I've realized as I decide to click or not click, is that those of us with moral fiber want to test ourselves to see if we morally can pass the test... As with Ms. Delaware, not only the local connection demanded I check into it more, but a natural curiosity as to how they handled what befell them. And how her parents handled it. We get knowledge from these things each time we read them, and that knowledge is very helpful in social situations both at work and in maintaining long term relationships...
Simply put, we want to know what they did wrong, and whether we would have gotten caught in the same trap, and what they did right, to get out of it...
We may not use what we learn in the same context, but we will probably use the same general application in another form at some point in our lives... for example, as applied to getting out of trouble...
And ironically, we find these more interesting because we can actually visualize the same thing happening to someone we know well within our sphere of influence, which if far more relevant than a Kosovan shooting lead into cheese... and killing a few people in the process.
So up until rather recently, I always thought such stories were trifling. I now think they actually have a greater moral purpose.
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