Skip to main content

I'm Charles Shaughnessy and Here's A Thought for Thursday, 8.21 with guest Robert Kovacik

Cartoon by Janne Nordvang
NBC Los Angeles News Anchor/Reporter Robert Kovacik was my guest on "HERE'S A THOUGHT with Charles Shaughnessy" on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 3 pm on TradioV. The topic was Truth in Media.

Watch the entire interview here:

Robert Kovacik reports for NBC4's newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 pm and 11 p.m.. Over the course of his career, Kovacik has been recognized with several industry accolades. He was most recently named Television Journalist of the Year in 2013 at the 55th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards. Last year he was nominated by his peers and elected as President of the Los Angeles Press Club, where he is currently serving his first term. He is passionate about causes that impact Southern Californians and participates regularly in community events throughout the region.

Kovacik is an honors graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he also graduated with honors.  As far as we know, he is the only news anchor, with his own jingle. 
Robet Kovacik & Charles Shaughnessy

Watch the interview and list your questions and comments here to possibly be included in a #ThrowbackThursday segment of the show.

Robet Kovacik & Charles Shaughnessy

Charles Shaughnessy, Robert Kovacik & his goddaughter Rin


  1. As a follow up question: If Robert Kovacik would have liked to have reported on the JFK assassination, where would he have preferred to be--the grassy knoll, the textbook depository, hospital ER, network anchor desk, or just someone in the crowd along the parade route?

  2. Great show Charlie & Robert. Very interesting.

  3. I had a few thoughts for a TBT discussion(why do the good questions always hit you AFTER the fact?!.). I really strongly disagree with Robert's very sweet and kind assessment that people are savvy enough to discern factual news from op-ed pieces. I see it all. day. long. on my facebook wall, from both sides of the spectrum. False stories spread like wildfire.
    My questions though:
    1) to clarify, I watch ABC news and Good Morning America(my "local" news is New York City, so I feel I do get a good perspective), and get most of my world news from multiple sites online. Translated: I don't watch Fox News often, and always, always check the story facts before I share, as I know information from Fox will be held to a higher standard. That said, why is there no blowback when a President and his underlings openly mock Fox, and basically tell people not to listen/watch? How does that HELP the situation, when any news that questions the President is blown off as "oh yeah, he told us about them"? It makes it very difficult to have intelligent debate, when the first response is "Turn off Fox and think for yourself".
    #2 Sharon asked about bias, and the discussion went to having to put emotions aside to tell an objective story, which makes perfect sense. But the subject of blatant political bias wasn't mentioned. How does Robert feel about journalism that totally eliminates facts in a story, just to promote an agenda?
    #3 Billy Bush tweeted a question that went viral. Isn't it time to stop giving the microphone to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, when there are other options available? Do you see that as fueling the "race baiting", and making the situations worse?
    Again, wonderful show and I can see why Robert is so popular. It is obvious that he has a lot of integrity and compassion, and wants to do the right thing.

    1. I agree Jo, on two points. First, there often is bias when reporting, when it is totally obvious which side the reporter is on by the questions he or she asks or by his or her commentary. And it happens on both sides of the political spectrum.
      Secondly, both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson only appear on these kind of occasions and they both pour fuel on the fire and, many times, do make the situation worse.

    2. I agree Jo! I think that it's a shame that the news media at times are like sharks in a feeding frenzy. It seems like they are so jaded and don't care about the people effected by the story. Case in point...Robin Williams death. They invaded his family in their time of grief. Also I'll never forget watching the towers collapse on 9/11, and some reporter from a major news channel actually asked a fireman, "What was it like in there." REALLY!!! Where is the compassion? Do you really need to be the first one to break a story that badly?
      Now onto Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Why in the heck are they even allowed to be in the media! Al talks about racism...and I personally think that he's the biggest racist there is. I'll bet that Rosa Parks is rolling over in her grave, every time he's in the media. I think it's sad that Michael Brown was killed. However I don't think that they should have televised his funeral. (I'm sure that the family aloud them to do it.) I think it just added fuel to an already volatile situation. Also there was good old Al giving the eulogy! To be honest if Al is on the news, then I'm not watching!
      Oh and FYI...I am all for equal rights, but for everyone.

  4. Really enjoyed the show and thought Robert was very good. Citizen journalism was mentioned, and though I can see how having a person who is right there reporting can be useful, I can see so many problems with it. First, the question of bias comes up again.Unless they are reporting on a fact, something like a fire which is what it is, people will film or tell the story from their point of view. This is not always exactly true, then its out there on the internet and many people take it as truth. I think this can be very dangerous. Secondly, people want their five minutes of fame, so their is a danger of people making more of something than there really is.
    On another point, I feel that many times the media sensationalize stories and often make it so much worse. This happens more with 24 hour news stations as apposed to local news stations, as the 24 hour ones need the story to go on and on, and to keep the viewers, they have to make the story sensational.
    It was a very good show. I enjoy Robert Kovacik and watch him all the time. I really loved it when he took over as anchor for awhile, though he is an excellent on the scene reporter.
    Thanks for another good show!

  5. Interesting points of view Karen, Sharon & JoAnn!

    Just adding one thing... this is a great responsibility from the journalists and their channels or newspapers to be the more objective and honest as possible, to follow a deontologie etc... but it's also the responsability of the viewers, readers or listeners to act as well isn't it?
    I mean : not takink everything at face value, knowing how to stand back, taking the time to think, multiplying information sources etc...

    That's what I had in mind when I chose yesterday -for my #HeresAThought facebook cover- a quotation from Edgar Morin, a very famous contemporary french philosopher and sociologist.
    Approximately translated by me : "To think in an autonomous way, means examine/think about its belief and disbelief, trust and distrust" (« Penser de façon autonome, cela signifie réfléchir sa croyance et son incroyance, sa confiance et sa méfiance »).
    I.e. neither submitting automatically to the information nor rejecting it systematically : being aware of the necessity of a minimal reflection...

    1. that would be ideal, Nadia, but my goodness the crap we see on the internet! People don't bother to check the facts, if it matches what they WANT to hear! There's a classic meme about "how news works", showing Obama drinking a Pepsi. The joke is how the different media report it:
      CNN: Obama appeals to Pepsi Fans
      Fox: Obama declares war on Coke
      MSNBC: In about an hour, we will have live coverage of Obama drinking the best cola. All who disagree are racist.
      BBC: 18 killed in US drone strike in Pakistan.

      That's a pretty accurate description of how the media works today. Sad, isn't it?

    2. Yes for sure! Relevant example on how some of the american medias can take part in the propaganda or participate to create a situation where people become pretty lazy to really take the time or effort to think about all the aspects of each situation... everything is very polarized : that's the impression I have, looking that from's a little bit less strong, just a little bit softer in France than in the US...

  6. At what age is it ok for children to watch uncensord news? As a mom of three young boys I often find myself turning the news off while pictures of warsones ,stories of rape and murder, or discussions about planned terrorism attacs are on. Though I think it`s important to educate them on what is going on in the world, I also want to protect them for s long as I can, from seeing too much. uncensored news at such a young age.I fear that seeing too much would make them "immune" to it as they get older, and give them an "It happens all the time, it doesn`t affect me"-attitude. Would love to know hat others think about this.

    1. I think that's a great question Janne! However I think that there is no right or wrong answer. It is important to educate our children, but at what cost. I think that by bombarding them with the violence in the news, can take away from their innocence. Let's face it there is stuff in the news that we as adults can't even wrap our heads around. There are times when I can't even watch the news, because it's just to much. Also I think that the news media go into situations that they have no business being in.

    2. I agree with you both! In my humble opinion, watching the news when you're a kid even a young teenager is something too rough and emotional that brings nothing good!

      Still, having access to an information adapted to their age can be very constructive for them. I agree with you too! I don't know if that exists in the US or Norway but in France there are some specialized newspapers/magazines/channels that provide news to the youngest in a way they can absorb!
      For example: "Mon Quotidien" (translation: "My Daily Newspaper") who has 3 editions (paper or online) : for the 6-10 years old, the 10-14 and above 14...

    3. I agree too, up to a point. Often the news is too graphic and frightening for small children and they shouldn't watch it, but I think it is important to know what is going on in the world in general terms. I feel it is important for children from about 8 years old to have an idea about the world we live in but without the gory details.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Here's A Thought . . . Jack Maxwell and Susan Shaughnessy

Thursday March 26th, 2015
3 pm PDT - 4 pm PDT on your computers, LIVE at

Our special guest will be Charlie's friend, the very charming, Jack Maxwell.  Jack is the Host of the extremely entertaining, funny and successful show on The Travel Channel, The Booze Traveler!  We are thrilled to have Jack on the show to talk to us all about his new TV show. He just finished his first season of the show and has been picked up for a second season!

Jack travels the globe to not only get a taste of a country’s alcohol, but to quench his curiosity about what people drink, why they drink it and the stories they tell when they do. At each stop, he connects with locals, immerses himself in regional activities, learns about the country’s unique relationship with liquor and sometimes even participates in the alcohol-making process. If you haven't seen the show, you must check it out the website for #BoozeTraveler or watch some of the episodes online or on The Travel Channel. Check your …

Charles Shaughnessy Blog ~ So this is what I think . . . .21 february, 2012

THE Global struggle is NOT between Christianity and Islam, East .v. is between the extremist and the moderate, the reactionary against the progressive. Look closely at the ideology of Rick Santorum, emergent as the standard bearer of the very vocal reactionary Christian Right, and compare it with the ideology of extremist Islam. Both see Religion as the guiding spirit of society, to the point where legislation itself should be Religion-oriented; not much removed from the vision of a Theocracy. Is there any real material difference between Santorum and the Right's desire to have government illegalize abortion, contraception and many other more subtle rights for women on the one hand, and the tenets of Sharia law that marginalize women in the Islamic culture on the other? Both sides believe in the "sanctity" of life, but will willingly sacrifice it in the name of their Gods. Again, is there really any material difference between shooting a doctor outside his Pla…

Charles Shaughnessy's thoughts on Cory Monteith's death

Charles Shaughnessy on Twitter  @C_Shaughnessy
"RIP Cory.  Until we treat alcoholism and other mental health problems as compassionately as we treat cancer, there will be other Corys."


What are your thoughts?
By Associated Press, Published: July 16 |
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — “Glee” actor Cory Monteith, who had struggled for years with substance abuse and once said he was lucky to be alive, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia coroner’s office said Tuesday.“There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” the office said in a statement. He was 31 years old.