Channel 6 feeds Swindell’s hunger for attention

Aug 6th, 2008 | By | Category: Uncategorized

KIVI TV-Channel 6 was front and center giving Brandi Swindell what she craves most of all – media attention.

Reporter Rebecca Swart admitted that the local ABC affiliate learned about the non-news event from Swindell herself. During the 6 p.m. broadcast, Swart says that Swindell called the newsroom to, “give us the lowdown on her detainment that started when she unfurled a Christian banner…”

But Swart leads into her piece at 6 p.m. saying that “Brandi Swindell is just happy to waking up in her hotel room instead of jail, although it was something she was prepared for since this protest that’s all over YouTube right now is against the law in China.”

Turning to a monitor that shows the YouTube footage , Swart says ,”This is Christian activist Brandi Swindell being detained by Chinese government officials in the aftermath of this…” Swart then shows images of the trio standing behind a banner yelling at seemingly disinterested passersby.

KIVI Channel 6 Reporter and Brandi Swindell
KIVI Channel 6 Reporter, Rebecca Swart Shows Swindell on YouTube

Channel 6 then pops up a well-groomed studio head shot of Swindell as they play her recorded message that the “world is watching during the Olympics.” Contrast the hype during the 10 p.m. show and you would think Swindell was a political prisoner. KIVI superimposes Swindell’s studio shot over a Chinese red flag with bold text reading “Detained in China.”

Brandi Swindell
KIVI Channel 6 blows the graphics budget on Brandi

This would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that Channel 6 recorded Swindell and Bryan Fischer’s every foot step as they staged their court-ordered payment to the City of Boise for their “10 Commandments” media stunt. Is this a pattern at Channel 6?

Viewers get to see the YouTube footage and here an exasperated Swindell say, “We knew this would happen. We knew we might be detained, but we didn’t realize it would be this horrible.”

Swindell is saying this while sitting in the shade and being fanned by a Chinese woman, yet Channel 6 hypes this non-news story up as if she is in handcuffs and being beaten to a pulp.

Brandi Swindell being fanned by Chinese woman
A local Chinese woman fans Swindell back to life from her drama trama.

Swart apparently had Swindell on the phone, but it never dawned on her that she was being played like a violin by a woman who knows how to work the media. Swart could have asked her any number of hard questions, such as:

• How were you able to afford a trip to China when only a few weeks ago you and Bryan Fischer were soliciting donations from people to help you pay your $10,000 dept to Boise?
• Chinese prisons are full of real political prisoners where the death penalty is imposed, how is yelling from behind a banner meaningful?
• Most Chinese people do not subscribe to the Christian faith, why impose your beliefs on to them when you’re just a guest in their country?
• How long in advance did you plan your staged event?
• When you return to Boise are you hoping for more media coverage?
• What are your thoughts about Americans buying cheap Chinese products? Isn’t your trip just helping to bolster their already booming economy?
• Now that you’ve gained some national coverage, what are your next plans to get media attention? editor, independent journalist & LGBT media spokesperson,
Jody May-Chang now writes on "As I See It...Reporting from the front lines

As I See It Jody Reporting from the front lines

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