Worse CBS 5 Journalism: Misleading Anti-Pot Stories or Chupacabra Hunts?
A fake medical-marijuana statistic invented by a CBS 5 reporter (left) and a lead-in to a segment on Bigfoot (right).
For the station that claims to be "telling it like it is," CBS 5 really seems to be the station we notice most often telling it like it isn't.
Recently, it's been "investigative reporter" Morgan Loew, apparently the self-appointed anti-pot zealot of local media, who has produced two very misleading medical-marijuana stories this year.
In one report, Loew went to a doctor complaining of back pain he's had for months. The pain was "distracting," he said. He couldn't tell the doctor whether the pain made it difficult for him to concentrate on things but admitted that it limits his ability to run. The doctor gave him a recommendation for medical marijuana.
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GOTCHA! Loew then declared that "young, healthy" people were getting medical marijuana cards, although he is neither young, nor healthy, according to what he told the doctor.
He then presented a made-up statistic for his TV segment, and never admitted that it was false. He actually tried to claim it was correct after New Times called him out, although two New Times reporters checked with different Arizona Department of Health Services officials to make sure the statistic was incorrect.
Then, a few weeks ago, Loew did more "investigating," and found that doctors "are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of young children overdosing on marijuana" -- or so he claimed.
He said 10 "overdoses" occurred in 2012, and 10 occurred in 2013, which he somehow found to be a "dramatic increase," because 2013 isn't over yet.
He also didn't clarify what he meant by "overdoses," because not a single one of those kids died from having too much pot. Loew also described medical treatments the children got, but failed to describe that they weren't treatments for pot "overdoses."
Loew's pathetic anti-medical-pot stories reminded us of the old CBS 5 chupacabra hunts.
Between 2011 and 2012, the station reported on no fewer than three occasions that a chupacabra -- a completely fictional beast -- was just roaming around here on earth.
It didn't even seem like they were questioning the existence at one point, just reporting that another chupacabra had been spotted.
In addition to those, New Times has noted (mocked) CBS 5 reports on Bigfoot and UFOs. No leprechaun sightings, at this point.
What do you think is the bigger failure of journalism here: Morgan Loew's medical-marijuana disinformation crusade, or the old chupacabra/bigfoot/UFO hunts?
Cast your vote below:
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.