KPRC’s “Internship” story series: between Investigative Story and Political Hit Job

In the media clan, political hit job can be crookedly camouflaged as an investigative news, especially when the story segment is suffused by sentiments, lacks integrity, and denotes a blatant show of unfairness.

Investigative Journalism often entails an in-depth story examination with the purpose to either uncover fraud or test various policy actions for public attention. In the newsroom confraternity, one major challenge in managing report process standards is having trained researcher-reporters who understand the fundamental techniques about the subject.   However, this process becomes a hit job where it is bastardized into a destructive political vendetta to appease specific political interests.


BY ANTHONY OBI OGBO

Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.”


Using media to systematically cajole undecided voters or a gullible populace to favor specific interests or candidates is not new in America’s politics.  Last year, the National Enquirer parent company, American Media Inc., paid $150,000 in hush money to suppress alleged mistress of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election. Specifically, David J. Pecker, chairman and CEO, admitted paying off a former Playboy model to crush her account of an alleged sexual affair that could have jeopardized Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Using media to systematically cajole undecided voters or a gullible populace to favor specific interests or candidates is not new in America’s politics.

Therefore, it might not be a coincidence that Tony Buzbee, one of Mayor Turner’s major contenders in the upcoming City general election immediately hit the campaign ground with a video collage of KPRC 2 News pieces. It is also not a coincidence that same week, Buzbee injected into his promotional networks, a whopping $2.5 million, pumping up his campaign treasury to almost $10M from his pocket. Yes, his pocket.

David J. Pecker, chairman and CEO, admitted paying off a former Playboy model to crush her account of an alleged sexual affair that could have jeopardized Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

In the media clan, a political hit job can be crookedly camouflaged as investigative news, especially when the story segment is suffused by sentiments, lacks integrity, and denotes a blatant show of unfairness.  For the record, this story centers on the validity and ethical implications of a 31-year-Marvin Agumagu, who was offered a position in an airport’s Executive Internship Program. KPRC 2 News rightly needed information.  But retrieving this information from the Mayor’s office was never an issue. Indeed, it was a matter of public information request as the law permits.

It is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to.

Therefore, it is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to. When KPRC 2 News was finally done, it declared in another watery story, “Mayor Turner finally answers questions on camera about intern paid $95K annually.” For God’s sake, what is the difference between written responses made available to the media and the same responses expressed on camera? Of course, the whole idea was to create sensational videos for specific Mayor Turner’s political opponents for the upcoming elections.

We can take this to the banks, but if Mr. Agumagu is guilty of any sin, it must be unconnected with his ethnicity, his color, and his rapport with the City of Houston–fourth largest city in the United States presided by a Black Mayor who has refused to yield to the mainstream media tyranny.  

This story which persevered for almost three weeks without an iota of new information did not establish how $95,000 annual salary is inappropriate for a senior staff analyst who attained three advanced degrees, including a bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree and a law degree. Yet KPRC 2’s story totally scorned a reasonable investigation of Mr. Agumagu’s workforce competence, rather, it focused on his salary and hiring process to generate a drumfire of negative political attacks to bully the Mayor. The story hammered consistently on discrepancies over specific emails, mayor’s statements, and the program’s design process.

Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.  

Besides his unmatched academic feats, Mr. Agumagu is not an entry-level rookie and would not have been hired to make coffees and teas as KPRC 2’s story sarcastically implied. My goodness, this dude has worked around local governments, facilitated projects, and maintains vast knowledge on international business, politics, and diplomacy–a skill-set consequential to the core mission of the Houston Airport systems in expediting an upper echelon of international connectivity for Houston’s growing diverse population.

Stalking Mayor Turner: Therefore, it is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to.
Stalking Mayor Turner: Therefore, it is barbaric for KPRC 2 News reporters to stalk Houston’s mayor and chase him around all corners of his official business venues with cameras for information they conveniently had access to.

We can take this to the banks, but if Mr. Agumagu is guilty of any sin, it must be unconnected with his ethnicity, his color, and his rapport with the City of Houston–fourth largest city in the United States presided by a Black Mayor who has refused to yield to the mainstream media tyranny.  Perhaps if Mr. Marvin Agumagu’s name was “Marvin White,” KPRC 2’s headlines would have read differently and most positively, too.  

Again, I must reiterate that the public must ignore any attempt by the media to decide their prospects. The last time a set of American voters gambled with their chances to elect a leader, they ended up with Donald Trump–an unscrupulous bigot that is currently making a mockery of essential values of America’s democracy. At this time, voters must be very careful with unscrupulous contenders hiding behind the media to steal their votes. With the city elections less than a month away, voters must be careful about those investigative stories on the TV screen. They might just be another “political hit job.”   

♦ Anthony Ogbo, PhD, Adjunct Professor at the Texas Southern University is the author of the Influence of Leadership (2015)  and the Maxims of Political Leadership (2019). Contact: anthony@guardiannews.us

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