The Louisville, KY-based NBC affiliate, WAVE-3, ran a story on Monday that tried its best to be sensationalistic, even when the participants in the story were pretty well reality-based.
Before you go read the article and watch the video, here’s the basic rundown of what happened:
- Kenny Mahoney of Fairdale discovers his green beans are being eaten by something.
- He discovers bent-over branches in the area, too.
- He sets up his wildlife camera to try and record the culprit.
- He gets an odd picture he can’t identify. It shows a large, dark figure. People looking at it think it looks like a seated gorilla.
- His wife sends the picture to a wildlife expert she knows.
- Someone viewing the photograph apparently brings up bigfoot* at some point, and suddenly the news crews arrive.
What’s apparent to me is that Kenny Mahoney isn’t really considering the bigfoot idea. I think he’s humoring the reporter. His first reference to the cryptid is sarcastic:
…Didn’t expect to catch bigfoot on the camera…
And then later his true feelings are shown…
…They catch a prehistoric fish every once in a while… I don’t ever rule anything out, but I’d say it’s a real longshot for bigfoot to be in a backyard in Fairdale…
Translation: “I’m not sure what this is, but I really doubt it’s bigfoot.” Bravo, Kenny. That’s the right approach to take. Rather than force-fit in some hypothesis, just say “I don’t know.” That’s cool. Science is still ignorant about lots of things. We like it that way.
Hey, I know… Sending the photo to a wildlife expert might be a good idea… Oh wait… His wife already did that. So bravo again
They even are considering that it might just be a trash bag blowing in the wind, and that the fact that it looks like a seated ape (because it does look like that) is just our brains finding patterns where perhaps none exist (that’s pareidolia, like finding a face in a piece of toast). So bravo a third time!
However, let’s now turn our attention to Ms. Elizabeth Donatelli, the intrepid reporter-on-the-scene, whose sensationalism knows no bounds.
I understand she’s doing her job, and probably someone higher up in the food chain at the station sent her there to do a story about bigfoot in Fairdale, but this statement from the video jumped out at me and lowered my IQ a few points just by hearing it:
But what else could it be? Some have guessed a bear or an ape, but have you ever heard of either in Jefferson County?
Translation: I need to say something to make this crazy bigfoot story seem plausible. Now she is right about one thing – I’ve never heard of bears and apes in Jefferson County.
But come to think of it, I haven’t heard of bigfoots here either.
I don’t know what it was, but if I had to bet, I’d put my money on not bigfoot. Maybe I’m wrong, but until someone can show me some real evidence, that’s where I’m sticking.
* – Yes, I know the proper term is “Sasquatch”, but the WAVE-3 story is all bigfoot, all the time.
UPDATE – CNN.com is now running WAVE-3’s story. Wonderful.