Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

FOX 9 anchor Heidi Collins deserves criticism November 4, 2010

AFTER SOME THOUGHT, I feel compelled to add to my earlier post regarding FOX 9 news anchor Heidi Collins’ on-air interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie last night. The more I think about the interview, the madder I get.

Typically, I stick up for journalists. I once became so upset with a circle of friends who were blasting newspaper reporters and newspapers that I stalked out of the room. I had never done that before, but I get fed up with media-bashing.

This time, though, I cannot defend journalist Collins, if you can even call her a journalist. She deserves every ounce of criticism, every degree of heat, every negative comment tossed her way.

Her condescending attitude, her insinuations, her talking over Ritchie and that “I ask, you answer” statement showed an utter lack of respect for the office of Secretary of State.

Collins seemed biased and intent on provoking Ritchie. In other words, she was anything but professional and she was downright mean.

I cannot, as a professional writer and a former newspaper reporter, stick up for anyone in the media who conducts herself/himself in such an unprofessional manner.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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7 Responses to “FOX 9 anchor Heidi Collins deserves criticism”

  1. Tim Says:

    I thought I was the only one thinking she was really being a bully! I mentioned it at work today, but noone knew what I was talking about. I didn’t see all of the interview, but I did see the part where she talked over him and was VERY rude. I usually like it when a journalist/interviewer keeps prying on a politician until he/she answers the question. Most politicians don’t/won’t answer questions directly…they tiptoe around answers. But, this wasn’t prying. Her behavior was unprofessional and down-right nasty. She must have taken notes from Tony Sutton!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I agree with you 100 percent on all issues and comments, Tim. I, too, appreciate journalists who do not accept political rhetoric but keep asking questions. However, Heidi Collins’ method and style were beyond anything remotely acceptable.

      If you check MPR and other media outlets, you will find that many, many Minnesotans are outraged by Collins’ needling interview and total lack of respect for the office of the Secretary of State.

  2. Grace Says:

    You are the worst so unprofessional. I will not watch 9 as long as you are
    reporting.12 is my 9:00 news.

  3. virgil Says:

    I suspect there is more to this situtation that what we were exposed to for a few short minutes during the interview. Ritchie can be a pretty outspoken person and perhaps with the election results he had another motive? It would be interesting to hear Collin’s side of the story but she probably cannot comment on it. Something was obviously going on besides just this interview.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, there are always two sides to a story. But, in this case, the way in which Heidi Collins handled the interview was unprofessional and accusatory. It’s OK to ask tough questions, but do so in a manner that is respectful.

      I’d be interested in hearing Collins’ reasons for interviewing Mr. Ritchie in the manner she chose to question him.

  4. legsfan Says:

    Damn… I guess I will just have to watch her every night to ensure that Fox’s impeccable journalistic standards are upheld…

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Surprisingly, I still watch FOX 9. I really like Jeff Passolt’s style.

      I’ve noticed lately that the number of live interviews with “experts” (especially university professors) has increased since Collins’ arrival. I don’t know about other viewers, but I’m getting a little tired of repeatedly hearing from these same so-called “experts.” Nothing wrong with seeking such opinions, but to me it’s way overdone.


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