Saturday, March 10, 2012

KCBS' Lenz gets Berkeley Police Chief to offer On-Air Apology; PM Anchor scores local Crime Scoop

Marty Lenz

KCBS weekend anchor, Martin Lenz, scored a nice local scoop, Saturday night, getting an obviously shaken Berkeley Police chief to offer an on-air mea-culpa supreme to an Oakland Trib reporter.

Michael Meehan, Berkeley's top cop, was annoyed over the Trib reporter's account of a recent crime story and for whatever rhyme or reason, sent a cop to the reporter's house in the middle of the night demanding changes in the story.

Yeah, weird.

Lenz and KCBS staff were able to snag a contrite Meehan for a live phono. The police chief sounded as if he'd been through an emotional ringer. He immediately told Lenz "I'm in the wrong." (Ya think?) Several times, in fact.

Lenz, to his credit, persisted. "Are you, (Meehan), worried about 'losing your job'"? Meehan didn't really answer, but again offered what sounded like a sincere apology. It was good, news-breaking, and timely radio. And it beat the hell out of relentless traffic and weather updates.

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  1. Way to go, Martin!

  2. The Chief used his position to intimidate, pure and simple. Any cop that does that regardless of reason needs to be FIRED. Gone - done. He only apologized because he was caught and called to answer - not for any other reason. The only way we can stop this type of criminal activity is to fire the criminal - especially if the criminal wears a badge.

  3. Just one more reason why I listen to KCBS, relevant stories and news missed by most the rest of the media.

  4. good scoop...but one shouldn't forget that it wasn't a cop in some punitive was the police PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER...big dif.. the reporter wasn't answering calls or emails and the story could have caused major headaches and expense for Berkeley if incorrect...certainly not typical, but not grounds for firing, absent more.

    1. Not really! A cop at your door at 1 AM is scary and freaky!

      The reporter and his wife thought initially that someone had died.

      No one should have to respond to calls or emails at that time of night.

      Police chief continued to harass the reporter all the next day. Reporter decided to let the story stand as is.

      The Berkeley Police Assn. has issued a statement condemning the action.

      Fire? Perhaps. At the very least, a very thorough investigation!

  5. Good radio. Sorry I missed it. I'm surprised this story hasn't gone national. (Yet, anyway.) This has all the makings of stuff that Faux News would love to blame on the current president. And it happened in Berkeley!!!

    1. It's national now!

      Yeah, in Berkeley??????? My God!

  6. Any audio available?

  7. With what all the local outlets get wrong, or are lazy about covering because they lack staff, are too cheap to invest in their product, and are more concerned with their bottom line and achieving profits (profit is not bad, but how one accomplishes it can be) by "racing to the bottom", with cutting folks and resources...KCBS often gets it right.

    Think any of the other media outlets whether TV, Radio, On-line, Print, would have people on the weekend capable enough to run the operation like a weekday, and more important, the "where with all" to CALL and GET the Police Chief to talk himself about a very sensitive issue, that he exacerbated?

    The is answer for the other alleged "news" and media

    The answer for KCBS...yes!

    Funny, they are top rated for some reason.

    Anyone else pick up on the fact that this story led the late night newscasts Saturday for all the TV stations?

    KCBS was on this story the "news leader".

    Nice work by KCBS and Martin Lenz