Worse CBS 5 Journalism: Misleading Anti-Pot Stories or Chupacabra Hunts?

Categories: Morning Poll
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.

See also:
-CBS 5 Still Thinks Chupacabras Are Real
-CBS 5's Latest Medical-Marijuana Scare Story

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.

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.

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This REEFER MADNESS  Bullshit has been going on for ever it seems . In the sixties I attended murphy elementary ..I remember SEEING REEFER MADNESS  IN SECOND OR THIRD GRADE , the teachers didn't know what was wrong with me ............I couldn't stop LAUGHING. That movie is top notch funny stuff .What is sad about it is that modern day politicians STILL  use it for propaganda  and the people SUCK IT UP !Amazing skills on their part and total ignorance on the publics part . We try to educate people the reality of pot ......but they have a road block in place from REEFER MADNESS DAYS. Personally I think it's hilarious as I was brought up in a different culture .......One of herbal gardens and their uses. ..................Sad that the public is SOOOOO easily FOOLED!

Cozz topcommenter

Need a choice for both.

Cyndi Eisenberger
Cyndi Eisenberger

Wow! What a lot of rhetoric, name calling and type casting! Did someone steal your stash? Maybe you should get some pot yourself and mellow out! And No, I do not and have not indulged myself since the 70's!

Cyndi Eisenberger
Cyndi Eisenberger

Pot stories the worse ones as misinformed people contribute (thru voting)to continued arrests with long sentences for minor pot charges and deny others medicinal relief it can provide. The hunter stories can at least be used for comic relief!

Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

btw if you think I'm wrong I will point out it took a full half hour for anyone to leave a comment on your own page about this story. You only had 4 "likes" in almost an hour. And just 1 guy commented on your fb thread about it. And that guy (me) was complaining about you! I think the Chubacara story is more interesting than you..and much like you, it's fake but reporting to be real!

Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

OMG! Your ability to beat sh-t to death is unrivalled! YES, he had some misleading stats in his pot story. YES, Joe needs to go. YES, that crazy ladies bakery is a mess. YES, people dance at clubs and drink in swimming pools! MY GOD! At what point does NT realize you are BORING THE SH-T out of people with a brain! I would venture a guess that around 80% of your big stories have been on those limited subjects the last 5-6 months. Offer new and fresh stuff! You obviously exist to push pot and to hate Joe. Is that all you got? Really? I have a news flash for you. You people are as misleading as everyone else you target. One of your reporters has repeatedly stated "Pot has never killed anyone, ever". That is grossly misleading and WRONG! People die over pot every day. The CORRECT statement would be, nobody has ever OVERDOSED on pot. I am completely sure your repeated misleading statement on that subject is intentional. You are to consistent at it. Is it proper of a so called news organization to only report the "pro's" of pot and completely ignore the "con's" of pot? This may shock your pot brain but there ARE many down sides. But nobody would know that from your "Pot head logic" reporting on the subject! I could give a rats ass that that guy wants to do a story about Chupacabra. Are you really here to critique the reporting of others? It that your job? Is that your idea of news? Do you only report on sh-t you don't have to leave your couch to report on? We have a big state. Large population. Tons of sh-t going on. You ought to open your blinds, shut off your lava lamps and go find some of it to report on! Did you know a full 72 hours after the 19 firefighters were killed in Yarnell your paper had posted NOTHING on the subject? NOT ONE WORD! Japanese newspapers had at least MENTIONED it for crists sake. You people are a hometown media group, just 75 miles from where an "Arizona" based firefighter group lost their lives in 1 of the worst firefighting tragedies of all time and...not 1 word! Are your supporters that obtuse? Are they only interested in pot, Joe, 1 particular bakery and the club scene? NT, get a grip and try to remember what real journalism is!


July sweeps just ended.  Someone go pull the stats on how channel 5 does with viewers over 50.  If I had to make a guess, I'd guess that this is their demographic, they know it, and this is the audience they were trying to play to.  If anyone had the rating stats, I 'd love to see them.




@JohnQ.Public Maybe it's the over 70 demographic he's targeting? I know plenty of people over 50 who smoke weed, and still more who understand the propaganda for what is is.


@elmergantry71    You're probably correct.


If I had to guess, I'd guess wrong.  Per the Phx Business Journal:

"For the first time in a decade and a half, CBS won February [2013] sweeps among adults 18-49. ...Propelled by the Super Bowl, the Grammys and “The Big Bang Theory,” the Eye took the top spot during the crucial ratings period with a 4.3 rating average among adults 18-49, a 54 percent improvement over February 2012."

So it would be inaccurate of me to suggest that this nonsense that they're trying to pass off as investigative journalism is because their demographic is an older one and these types of stories play to that demographics preconceived opinions. 

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