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Did Channel 9 pay for the “exclusive” rights to the Mud Baby story?

5:00 AM EST on February 28, 2012

Yesterday, I received a text message from a high-level Ogle Mole that was kind of interesting. It had something to do with Mud Babies, scholarship payments and February sweeps. Sound kind of interesting? Here's a condensed and paraphrased version the conversation:

Ogle Mole: Have you heard anything about News 9 contributing to a scholarship fund for the Mud Baby if she or her family wouldn't talk to Channel 4?

Me: Uhhh...what's Mud Baby?

Ogle Mole: The baby from the May 3 tornado. She was sucked from her mother's arms. She was found covered in mud by a deputy. Channel 9 ran a sweeps story about her. Channel 4 then wanted to mess with Channel 9 and air a story about Mud Baby the same night. Mud Baby's mom said no because Channel 9 was going to contribute to her daughter's scholarship fund.

Me: So Channel 9 is basically paying them for the story?

Ogle Mole: Yeah, I guess the mom stood Joleen Chaney up for interview because she did not want to put what Channel 9 offered in jeopardy...which was a scholarship and the ability and a chance to ride with a storm chaser.

First of all, if I was Mud Baby's mom, I would have had Channel 9 put in writing that Val would be the storm chaser. It would suck to be put in the same truck as that British dude. He's always behind the storm and lost. I would also put in a clause where I could seek my own Bob Moore sponsorship and be in charge of the Gentner.

If this mini-controversy is actually true, it sure is sad. And not just because Channel 9 has allegedly reached the low of paying for a news story. No, it's sad because they allegedly paid for this story. Did you watch the thing? It's boring. Not to spoil it, but Mud Baby is just the typical healthy 7th grader with no recollection of the traumatic event that she luckily survived when she was 10-months old. Exciting, huh? She's also, get this, thankful to be alive and stuff. Who would have thought that?

It is pretty damn funny, though, that KFOR wanted to ruin the day for Channel 9. I guess they're not 100% over the Jim Gardner thing. Also, I wonder if Bobby Miller's now some sort of double agent. That would be cool. It would also explain why she carries around a blow gun with poison-tipped arrows.

Also, I talked with some people at Channel 4 and they seemed to verify all the stuff that our Mole told us. They also told me that Linda Cavanaugh produced a very similar story back for them back in 2009. They only difference, they say, as that they didn't have to giveaway a ride with David Payne in order to air it.

p.s. - I sent Channel 9 news director Todd Spessard a tweet asking if they paid for the story. He didn't reply.

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