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Stupid News For Stupid People

Stupid News For Stupid People

By airing this ridiculous story, they harmed their image as a news station. But do they care? Or is it all about drawing viewers in to get ratings and therefore advertising dollars?

KOAT 7, breaking news from July 13, 2017, MAN SEES VIRGIN MARY IN CLOSET DOOR!

It’s official, Doug Fernandez, Shelly Ribando and the news editors at KOAT either believe everyone in Albuquerque is stupid or they’re trying to keep someone out of hell.

In this story, we have an elderly man telling KOAT that when he was sick in bed he saw the Virgin Mary on his closet door. KOAT then shows the closet door (looks like a door to me) and in case you couldn’t find the Virgin Mary, they transpose a color picture of the Virgin Mary onto the door.

Dramatic music plays and I am filled with wonderful memories of my childhood, being stuck at church.

Yes, I was a good Catholic kid. Well, usually.

What’s going on at KOAT? Was it a slow news day? What other news happened that day that wasn’t as important as a sick, elderly man, seeing things on his closet door?

In other news that day we had a domestic violence incident where the offender shot and injured an Albuquerque police officer. The Senate released an updated version of their Obamacare repeal (if passed this would have everyone seeing Mary on their closet doors because they sure as hell won’t be seeing a doctor).

There was also a murder in southeast Albuquerque. I wonder if the deceased saw the Virgin Mary or if that’s only for closet doors.

I suppose the hallucinations of a sick, elderly man are more newsworthy than any of those stories. I mean this is the Virgin Mary!

What KOAT did was sick. They exploited a vulnerable person to get viewers. Didn’t someone in the newsroom recognize that this was ethically and morally wrong?

And what about their responsibility to produce news? By airing this ridiculous story they harmed their image as a news station. But do they care? Or is it all about drawing viewers in to get ratings and therefore advertising dollars? I think news stations are all about money, not about news.

But maybe something else is going on, something more sinister, a plan put in place by the Opus Dei (reference to the Da Vince Code for your non-Catholics).

On July 5, Fernandez was caught on a newscast tossing papers into the air and saying “fudgesicle” out of frustration.

Could the Virgin Mary story be penitence for Fernandez using such profanity on the air?

Imagine Fernandez in the confessional and the priest telling him, “Doug you messed up. Jesus is pretty pissed about that F-bomb you dropped. I mean Jesus loves the little children and he knows little Burque babies heard you and your potty mouth. Look, I talked to him for you and he knows you’re a good guy, just stressed. It happens. But unless you want some burn time in purgatory the big guy is going to want something big from you in return.”

Fernandez: “Sure, Father, anything for Jesus, just name it.”

Priest: “He wants you to put his mom on TV. He wants his mom with color face time for all your viewers to see.”

Fernandez: “Father, I know everyone thinks I’m in charge but it’s really Ribando. She runs the place like Patton ran the army. But I think I can convince her to give the VM (Virgin Mary) facetime on 10 o’clock.”

And that might be how the Virgin Mary on a closet door is now on my TV screen.

It’s the agreement to keep Doug Fernandez out of hell.

I’m sure going to miss his company when I get there.

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Dan Klein

Dan Klein is a retired Albuquerque police sergeant. Reach him via Facebook and Twitter via @dankleinabq.

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  • Aya
    July 17, 2017, 9:03 am

    These stories are done all the time.
    They are used in case we don’t end up with enough news to fill a slot here and there.
    Newscasts aren’t easy to put together.
    You probably missed the three hundred other non-news, feelgood stories that aired that day, but they were there, promise.
    They cover the big stories and discover they need something to cover roughly forty seconds before they go to break, and they queue up something innocuous on the way to commercial.
    I’m not all that bummed about it, it happens.
    Are you saying a cop got shot and KOAT did not say a single thing about it, then or ever?
    That’s a dark accusation. Are you positive they ran NOTHING on it, Dan?
    Ditto the murders and Trumpcare proposals…nothing there, either? Are you sure?
    You should be certain they never said anything before you accuse them of avoiding real news in favor of this fluff piece you saw…..
    And you should probably give them your number so they can stay in contact and you can tell them which stories to put reporters on.
    I’m sure they’ll brief you on what’s out there and let you prioritize.
    Better give them the cell….just in case you tear yourself away from the update box and drive somewhere, although I cannot imagine how you can bring yourself to do that, what with your deep concern over pressing matters,…..

    • Dan@Aya
      July 17, 2017, 11:05 am

      Sorry Aya, I want better news. Newscasts may be hard to put together but they need to be informative and not taking advantage of a sick elderly person who is seeing things. If that is your idea of filling a newscast, just run down to 2600 Marble (Mental Health) you can fill up your entire newscast. I want better journalism, I hope others in this town do too. Hey but the Doug Fernandez stuff was funny, wasn’t it?

      • Aya@Dan
        July 19, 2017, 10:10 am

        Once again, Dan.
        Are you sure they said nothing about the cop getting shot?
        Say it and stand by it, if that is the claim you’re making. Then we’ll go check with them. Good?
        Also, the murder and Trumpcare.
        We’ll call them and tell you them you accused them of deliberately avoiding coverage, and see if they did a story or not.
        I feel certain they’ll be glad to address your concerns.
        As you care about good journalism, I assume you checked to be certain they never said a word, correct?
        It would mark you as a good and unbiased journalist, after all…
        so, what about it?
        Did you check?

        • Dan@Aya
          July 19, 2017, 12:35 pm

          Never said they didn’t cover the stories. Just said those stories were more important and of more benefit than taking advantage of an elderly many who is seeing things. Hey, if you are ok with silly stories on your newscast that’s ok. I am not. I would rather have that additional 40 seconds for the news to have gone deeper into the murder, or healthcare, or just about anything that is actual news. This filling 40 seconds with an ET story is not what I want in news. But if you like it, hey keep watching KOAT. They and their advertisers will appreciate it.

    • Derrick@Aya
      July 17, 2017, 1:07 pm

      Damn good story! Mainstream media needs to be called

  • SL Singer
    July 17, 2017, 10:29 am

    Thank you for calling this out.
    I live in a major metro area in which we’ve had 42 homicides just this month (and it’s only half over) – but the local media regale us with – and I’m not making this up – "Here’s how to get 59 cent pancakes at IHOP on Tuesday".
    There’s real news to cover and real ignorance to combat.
    I appreciate your bringing it to the fore.

  • Kara
    July 17, 2017, 10:30 am

    Dan, you’re absolutely my favorite person ever. Looking forward to our time together down under. 🙂

  • harassing calls
    July 28, 2018, 7:24 am

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks…

  • Webentwicklung Passau
    August 9, 2018, 5:47 am

    Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..

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Ashley Kurtz is a freelance theater critic.

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