Philly TV Critic Creates Outrage With Response to Murder Story (Update)

Jonathan Storm gets impatient with a murder victim’s story.

Philly TV critic Jonathan Storm apparently alienated a few people on the Television Critics Association tour this week,  with his questioning of Tamron Hall, an NBC correspondent who is also investigating and reporting for Investigate Discovery’s show, “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall”

The Wrap reports:

Philadelphia TV critic Jonathan Storm asked Hall how she split her time between her full duties for NBC News — which include anchoring “NewsNation” daily on MSNBC — and investigating and reporting for “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on ID.

The host responded with an intimate story to illustrate why she finds it so important to dedicate time to the Investigation Discovery show, even with the demands of her day job.

Viewers of “Deadline: Crime,” which starts its second season this spring, are familiar with the story — Hall described the horrible day when she got the call that her sister had been found face down in her pool.

Initially called an accident, a detective told Hall that that was not so. Hall’s sister had bruising all over her body, hair ripped from her scalp, and most of her fingernails were gone.

The TCA audience was visibly moved, but Storm responded, “That’s all very nice, but can you answer my question?”

Before carrying on with her story, Hall responded to Storm’s comment, saying, “It’s not ‘nice,’” and asking him how he would feel if he got a call telling him his sister had been beaten and murdered.

Lots of people angry about this. To be fair: Hall didn’t answer the question Storm asked. Journalists can get impatient with that kind of thing. Still, the time to show impatience is not when somebody has told you about their dead sister. You’ll never win that scenario.

UPDATE: We said Storm was with the Inquirer; he hasn’t been with the paper for a couple of years. See his comments below.

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  • Jonathan M. Storm

    I have not been the Inky TV critic for more than 2 years. So please fix that. I retired in 2011. Here’s why I was so “rude” to Tamron Hall: I find it beyond heinous that
    someone would turn the murder of their relative into a career move,
    basically saying, “Watch my show because I have the personal experience
    that others don’t, and because of that I am on a mission to prevent
    violence and a capture criminals and I am more qualified than other TV
    personalities to do that.” Hall was pre-programmed to tell that story at
    the session no matter what question was asked in a calculated, and
    apparently successful, effort to garner sympathy and publicity from the
    TV writers in the room. I have the same feeling for John Walsh, the
    “America’s Most Wanted” producer who has made a career out of the death
    of his child. These people are television personalities. They are making
    a lot of money. And, in my view, they are prostituting themselves
    making lurid TV shows that demean the memory of their relatives.

    • Bobala

      Maybe she’s not so much prostituting herself as using the memory of her sister to motivate her to keep working to bring attention to crimes that need solving? There are several ways to look at this. You chose the most negative.

      • Jonathan M. Storm

        Judging by the outrage that has attached itself to my questioning, I think there might be something to your comments. I have been covering TV for a very long time, and I have seen so much hypocrisy and manipulation that it’s the first thing that pops into my mind. And the way that she completely ignored a simple question about her work arrangements — the first one of the session — and launched into this long revelation, to about 150 national TV writers, about her and her sister just struck me as publicity stunt,

        • ALovelySummersEve

          Even if you thought that, your response was inexcusable.

        • JoeSixpaq

          ..and your response to that was to be an insensitive jackass? Believe me, pal, this thing says a lot more about you than it does about her.

        • Mike H

          Yes, I’m sure her sister got murdered just so she could use it as a publicity stunt with you during some TV trade expo. Because you’re so important. Because she didn’t love her sister or anything. Get some freakin’ perspective, and if it isn’t too late, a heart.

        • jackie

          Wow..really had respect for you up until that moment. But she has more class in her middle finger (which you deserved) than you have in your entire career.

        • jkw

          Why don’t you go ahead and retire now? There’s a special place in HELL for you, sir!

    • CallMeCocoa

      Nancy Grace often speaks of the murder of her fiancee on her show, “Nancy Grace.” Is this too “heinous” or simply someone explaining how a tragedy compelled them to create something on a national level that may in fact help others? You cannot deny that shows like “America’s Most Wanted” has not apprehended criminals and that “Nancy Grace” has not comforted many with her Southern charm and understanding. Is it tv for all? Of course not, but evidently individuals with a higher pay grade than most of us posting are sold on this idea and given the ratings…it works. Your response to Ms. Hall was rude and out place in that forum. The fact that you took time to post why you responded the way you did speaks volumes.

    • Angie

      Wow, you’re a dick. And a hack.

    • Richard

      How can you question the intigity of John Walsh? He championed the fight to capture criminals and bring closure to thousands of families. You are trying to look like Batman but you are just a pompous jerk.

    • manhattanmike

      Apparently you know this lady better than she knows herself. Perhaps you have watched her through her TV set? Hidden in the crawl space underneath her living room?
      You might be right, but your manner bespeaks a staggering degree of arrogance. Perhaps the person you should look at is sitting in your chair.

    • azrock8200

      You’re lower than sloth excrement, but then you look in the mirror everyday and you are a TV critic so you already know this.

    • TheseRJustMyThoughts

      I am overwhelmed by your lack if compassion. You can’t know the motivation behind either hall’s choices or Walsh’s. I am sad for you that you do not have the ability to behave decently toward others . No matter who you work for, you are an embarrassment.

    • hatetoregister

      Jonathan you are violating one of the tenets of a good journalist – keeping an open mind. You CLEARLY had your mind made up about Tamron’s reasons before you asked her anything! Regardless of what YOU think, her motives don’t have to be the same as yours. She has her OWN life and her OWN issues. Who are YOU to consider her reasons “not good enough”? You are a small nobody. You might feel the same about John Walsh, but your line of questioning with Tamron showed that you aren’t able to separate your personal feelings from your work. You are doing what psychologists call “projecting”. Tamron likely felt a responsibility to help on MANY levels. First, she is a journalist and felt that getting the word out about murders is important to help others avoid the same fate. Second, she is a black woman in America and ANY person, journalist or not, can watch the news and see that murders of black women in this country do NOT garner the same type of media response that murders of white women do. It isn’t subjective, it is fact. So before you make up your mind BEFORE you get the answer, why don’t you save everyone the trouble and JUST keep your mouth shut. It is OBVIOUS that you don’t WANT the person’s answer – you just want to tell THEM why they feel the way they feel, why they did whatever it is they did AND what is important to THEM! You should stay as far away from journalism as you can possibly get, since you clearly are ILL-PREPARED to ask questions WITHOUT clouding the response with YOUR opinion. Keep an open mind. If you can’t do that, I know of at least two gas stations where I fill my car after leaving the Holland Tunnel that are hiring in New Jersey. You can work there and “assume” that everyone wants premium.

    • Arlene

      You’re a moron with no compassion and choose another line of work.

    • Linda Ryans

      You ought to be ashamed of yourself and at least apologize. You’re reasoning is in in left field. Isn’t what you just wrote called “news”…”journalism”. It’s the sharing of the good, bad and ugly that makes this crazy world go round. What planet are you on? And you call yourself a journalism? Did you do what you did to get some attention? Well, you got it. I hope you’re happy. Moron.

    • dydemu

      Not for nothing, and I don’t mean to be “crass” either, I happened upon this article after seeing the commercial for “Deadline: Crime” on ID for the umpteenth time and actually googling “Tamron Hall using sisters murder for publicity.” While I don’t mean “publicity” -exactly-, I do find the very practiced and stilted manner in which she delivers her cued speech while crossing from frame to frame in heels cutting to a close up of her purposefully shaking head as she says, “Since my sister’s tragic death, reporting on crime is more -personal- for me than -ever-” to be – well – rather -impersonal-( , for those interested).

      While I am not discounting the very real horror of her situation, and I knew nothing about her or her sister before looking it up (because of this commercial), I just have to say that I do not find it tasteful. Purposefully or otherwise she is marketing herself on the basis of a personal tragedy.


      • dydemu


      • Jonathan M. Storm

        I can’t believe this topic goes and on, but I do appreciate your comments. This situation was precisely what I was trying to get at when she delivered a speech that was obviously prepared in advance, most likely with the assistance of a public relations team, that had nothing to do with my question. I have long since realized that I could have done it more tactfully and respectfully.

        • dydemu

          @jonathanmstorm:disqus Maybe that’s why we’re writers and not real-time personalities. While we are most assuredly -always- right ( ;P ), it takes us time and much consideration to word our statements in such a manner that others accept the facts not being clouded by our cynical attitudes.

  • StormAHack

    Jonathan Storm has always kept has always tread water at the Inky with limited talent. In all of his years, he has done nothing noteworthy. If you read this story and said, “Who?” you proved my point. This is the most notoriety he has ever received, for a dumb question and none for his ever dumber work.

  • Sarah

    First of all, she did answer the question. If you can’t identify the answer to the question in her response then you probably weren’t listening.

    In regards to Storms response. Regardless of what you think someone’s motives are for bringing awareness, you SHUT YOUR F-ING MOUTH! What kind of environment were you brought up in? Apparently whoever raised you never bothered to take the time to teach you to be a decent human being. Who are you to say how someone processes grief or brings awareness to something horrifying?! As far as your unnecessary hatred towards John Walsh, do you know how many people he has helped? Maybe you should google National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

  • Coleen

    Why not just graciously acknowledge her comments and move on? Why say something so crass and dismissive? Think about how you would feel if your mother/sister/wife/daughter were dismissed so brazenly after explaining something so brutal. Maybe you’ve never had to grieve, and I mean that sincerely. Some people have no empathy for things they haven’t experienced themselves. The anger over her or others “prostituting” themselves sounds like your bigger problem, but that sounds more like an issue with your profession than anything else. News magazines like the one Ms. Hall will be hosting cover these types of stories all the time, and it doesn’t seem strange that she might just empathize with those victims’ families.

  • Keone Michaels

    What a total douche-bag. He has his social media sites shut down now. What a complete creep.