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Day of Mourning, Iowa Speedway and a Morning without Jeriann and Trisha

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Good morning and thanks for your questions for the Iowa Speedway folks this morning. That’s something we’re going to try to do a little more of on the blog in the coming weeks and months. When we’ve got the opportunity to have a guest stick around and answer some of the questions you might have for them, we’ll post it early on the blog and then feed your questions to our guests.
This should get fun when Caucus season really heats up.

To the news:
A National Day of Mourning
The governor here in Iowa joined his counterpart in Virginia and in other states across the country in declaring a Day of Mourning in honor of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. This has been a really heavy week of news. A ceremony outside the capitol this morning may help draw the week to a close and help people move on a little.

My “overplaying the news” meter went off yesterday afternoon when CNN jumped in and called the first video of the shooter’s suite “Breaking news”. It’s not. If any of you laugh thinking we do the same thing sometimes I’m willing to admit over my time here at WHO…we have.
I’ll say this (and it’s just my opinion)…if I ever have any say in how we’re portraying a story, I would say breaking news has to be going on. Someone is in danger, there is an imminent threat or we can see a story unfolding live. The day of the shootings the information was coming so fast…that’s breaking news to me.
For me the next stage is a developing story. This comes when we are getting frequent updates but there is nothing that is earth shattering about the news coming to you. I would put us in that stage of the Virginia Tech story, though I think we can see it’s very quickly winding down.

Another point on the coverage I saw. I am struck by how many times I’ve seen a reporter comment on or thank the Virginia Tech staff for it’s work explaining the circumstances of the shooting or commenting for the University. I’d put this up as a good model for how almost any organization can handle a crisis in the media.
They had to endure criticism for their handling of the incident. I think they were open and honest and weathered that criticism as well as anyone could have. I think they’ve been honest about their displeasure with NBC news for airing the tape of the shooter. Again, I think that they were respectful in their disagreement. And finally, they understand that the media isn’t just going to go away if they stop talking. controlling the information, and how it’s gathered is key to making sure this didn’t turn into a circus.
Again, I’m sure some of you already think it is.

Jerrian Earnhardt
Jeriann was live at the speedway this morning with her Fun Forecast. If you have an event you want her to come out to live in the morning or if there’s a specific weekend event you want a forecast for…She’s emailing you the forecast.
This morning she was talking to the folks at the racetrack…it sounds like they’ve got a fun weekend planned.

Costas on Campus
Bob Costas came to Des Moines last night to speak to a very full Knapp Center. If Little League players idolize A-Rod, or Mickey Mantle, I idolize this guy in the same way.
It’s a little known Pat Dix fact that once upon a time, I wanted to be in the sports chair, not the news anchor chair. Then I realized I didn’t have the encyclopedic knowledge of all things sport that people like Costas do.
I still think he is the best sports mind, and maybe simply the best mind of his generation. He’s prepared, he’s curious, he can mix pop culture with sports or news of the day and he sets a high ethical standard. According to the people who saw him last night he’s a funny guy to boot. I agree. I will also say this: I’ve never worked with anyone who mixes those things so well on a local level as Keith Murphy does. We’re so lucky to have him here.

Brother Matt had his house inspection yesterday and it looks like beyond some relatively minor issues, they’re going to have a very nice place to live. The best part about it is that the house is close to ours.

I’m looking forward to a little yard work with the MRS this weekend and a lot of work on My leukemia Lymphoma campaign. Remember…tell your friends…every little donation helps. You can give us a leg up to our goal by donating online through this link!

Have a great weekend!


  • rosorio

    I enjoyed the news this morning very much. The good chemistry among all of you is very evident. I have one question. Did Jerrian stepped up to Brad’s challenge and ripped the pace car off or did she chicken out? It would have been nice to see. Keep up the good work!

  • Heather R.

    Thanks for allowing the viewers to chime in and ask questions they want to know about. That was awesome. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Your partners in crime will be back tomorrow Pat, it will be okay :) Have a good one.

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