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Friday, July 03, 2009

The obvious question about WGSR

In the past month or so WGSR general manager Charles Roark has broadcast footage of no less than three murder victims (before knowing if the next of kin had been notified), and at this moment is defending his "right" to trespass on property and film video of a person's house burning down without regard of what the guy's family was going through. In addition to every other amount of callous disrespect toward others that WGSR under his management has done with no editorial oversight.

So I'm compelled to ask aloud...

If the naked, beaten and dead body of Azile Roark was lying in the street, would Charles Roark be equally insistent on footage of that - the corpse of his own mother and the proprietor of Star News Corporation - be broadcast on television?

Or is there a double standard at work at WGSR?

We already know that Roark has sold out his principles to local cult leader (and WGSR's biggest client) Johnny Robertson. So let's assume that the shoe might be on the other foot someday and that would be Roark's turn to be the victim.

Dear readers, you know just as well as I do: there's not a snowball's chance in Hell that Roark would put himself in as vulnerable a position as he demands on putting just about everyone else.

And no amount of crowing about being "the biggest media" in the area can possibly make up for such a severe deficit of personal and professional ethics.


Anonymous said...

Here we go...

bondservant said...

Seems Charles Roark is trying to use the same evil tactics to attack the police dept. that Johnny Robertson uses to attack churches.

Charles Roark could care less about hendering a police investigation.

Anonymous said...

We are asking, would YOU broadcast that Chris?

You wouldn't. Not of Charles's mother or anyone else's beloved person.

You are the better person between you and Charles Roark. People in Rockingham County and southern Virginia know this. Charles is a man without conscience and without scruples.

And you have raised a very legitimate point about Star News having no editorial ethics.

I would like to see Charles Roark try to address it intelligently. He will most likely hide from it behind his 'biggest media' monopoly.

bondservant said...

Charles Roark attacks the police who stop criminals and Johnny Robertson attacks churches that heal sinners. What a pair.

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with Johnny Robertson?

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with Johnny Robertson?

Charles and Johnny are both convicted felons ... ?

Anonymous said...

"Charles and Johnny are both convicted felons ... ?"

So are thousands and thousands of other people.

in reidsville said...

You can no more get ethics and responsibility from Charles Roark than you can get milk from a bull.

Matt Smith said...

Until the body of Azile Roark is in the predicament you mention, the charge of "Double Standard" cannot be proven. That means you are departing from fact and getting into the realm of fantasy.

In this case, Charles has nothing to defend. The owner of the house that burned asked Charles to leave his property (and not so nicely, as the video shows). Charles DID leave, and immediately as it appears.

He then did what any journalist would do. He went to the neighboring property owner, and asked permission to be on that property to videotape the scene.

On the other hand, the deputy sheriff in charge there has much to answer for in the issue. At the apparent behest of the owner of the property where the fire occurred, this deputy followed Charles Roark onto another private property where Charles DID have permission to videotape the scene. He used his body in an attempt to physically prevent Charles from doing a legitimate function of a journalist.

Once the deputy determined that, indeed, Charles was within his rights and permissions in being where he was and doing what he was doing, he immediately left that property . . . but not before making the verbal accusation that Charles was " . . . impeding the investigation of the incident."

Whatever you may think of Charles and his ethics, I have to defend his practice in this incident. A house fire is definitely a news event, and anything that can be seen from a public highway, or from a place where a journalist has permission to be, falls within the public's right to know about it. Such is the constraint under which a law enforcement investigation takes place in America: The camera is the eye of the public, and cannot be restricted in the way this property owner apparently wanted it to be.

With regard to your questioning about what Charles would do if his mother was laying in the street in such a manner, I think he would do it. He would hand the camera to another station photographer and insist that it be shown. We might find that behavior to be repulsive, but at least it would not be a double standard. I have seen him put his own personnel who get in trouble with the law on the news, just as he would anyone else, including advertisers. If I were to be arrested and charged with a crime, he would put my picture on TV too, and I would have nothing to say against it.

We are trying to be what we need to be as a news source in this county. Sometimes it means stepping on toes, doing things that raise questions, and having the local law enforcement get ticked at us. But the alternative is that no one knows anything, and such ignorance can be dangerous to us as a society.

Onwards and Upwards . . .

Chris Knight said...


I have no doubt that Charles could have legally gathered the footage and presented it as he did.

But that does not mean that he should have presented it.

In my experience, power without the wisdom and self-discipline to know how to use it, invariably leads to self-destruction.

bondservant said...

When watching the video notice that Charles Roark kept zooming in on the owner and his family instead of the the fire.

And to say Charles Roark was broadcasting breaking news helping other houses in the area from catching on fire is absurd, he had to go back to the station to air the video to the public. The firemen and police were helping the family and the public not Charles Roark.

Pete said...

Chunky Roark aired nothing of the fire, what he said he was there to cover, and everything about the man being angry at him and the deputy sheriff. If you ask me that's sh1tty journalism. Chunky Roark is a parasite who lives on hurting people. Chris is right and if there was another station for this region Roark would have to finally behave or close up Star News.

Chris Knight said...

Truth and Pete raise a most valid point:

Was Charles Roark there to cover the story of the fire, or was Charles Roark there to cover the story of himself?

Journalists are supposed to be unattached observers and chroniclers of news. It is extremely rare that they become personally involved in a story. But that happens on a regular basis with WGSR's reporting.

(Let me rephrase that: it happens on a regular basis with Charles Roark's reporting.)

Everyone I've talked to over the past year or so about it has told me that in their estimation, Roark is more of a gossip-monger and tabloid muckraker than he is a legitimate journalist. That under his management WGSR is trying to be more like The Jerry Springer Show than CNN or Fox News. His is a gutter mentality of limited vision that cannot see past the lowest common denominator.

And I have to agree with Pete: if there were another and responsible television station reporting the news in this area, WGSR would go under very quickly.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Charles Roark's mugshot. See this with the camera up really close like he does others. That would be a pretty sight.

Anonymous said...

Matt Smith: Star News WGSR is more interested in sleaze than in news.

Anonymous said...

Mark Childrey wasnt there on Friday and Charles said he wasnt there again and nothing stops Star News. I smell trouble. Did Mark quit? I expect he will get tired of Charles and his crap one of these days. What about it Chris? Dish!

Anonymous said...

I've never seen him taunting cops at crime scenes and i dont think he's been in trouble with the law either like some of the others.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the
Drama Queen comment.

Smile you are on Candid Camera!

Anonymous said...

Considering you use the caps on the same words, you should.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Charles Roark have no respect for the home owner he also bashed the sheriff deputy.

He went as far as to accuse the deputy of assaulting him.

Sheriff Page is still praising Star News. One would think he would be praising his deputy for protecting the public which is his job.

paden said...

i am sad that johny makes yall that mad to want to shoot him all hes doing is telling what the bible says what do yall have against that because he preaches the truth that there is one church and thats the church of christ which does everthing from the bible unlike all the denominations why dont you put your own doctrine up to the bible ill give you one thing all of you probably do thats a sin at whatever denomination you go to sing to God with instrumental music there is no authortie for it and its therefor an addition to the bible wich makes it a sin any one who wishes to try and justify it go ahead and try

Anonymous said...

I think there comes a time when you protect your family especially your children and your property any way you need to.

paden said...

sicertanly but the fact that johny shows no threat and only askes questios is no reason to shoot him

Anonymous said...

Charles Roark has had two incidents lately involving sheriff officers one told him he could not film a crime scene and another told him he could not film a house fire.

Charles Roark said after meeting with Sheriff Sam Page that the sheriff was embarrassed about his officer's behavior.

I am wondering if Sheriff Sam Page actually took Charles Roark's side against an officer. I don't know which officer he was speaking of but both these officers I think did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Law enforcement in Eden NC is now evidently informing Charles Roark of upcoming drug busts so he can be there in the early morning hour with his camera.

A crook filming a crook

Hollywood NC

Anonymous said...

Find a job yet? Charles works for a living how about you Spielberg? Oh that right you must be an Obamite
and think the world owes you. You Sith!

Chris Knight said...

"Find a job yet?"

I found one and made another.

"Charles works for a living"

He does?

His alleged "work" mostly entails harassing other people and trying to evoke a reaction that he can exploit for the camera.

I would compare that to Jerry Springer. Except that Springer had some actual responsibility during his life (mayor of Cincinnati IIRC) whereas Roark is a habitual felon who wouldn't have his "job" were it not for his mother giving him one.