Wax On, Wax Off
Summary: Larry on the Job: A day in the life of a car-wash "detailer." Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Larry Richert When it Aired: Sept. 28 Running Time: 3 minutes, 41 seconds Visuals: Richert performing assorted vehicle tasks, such as vacuuming and shining tires. Highlights: * When anchor Ken Rice reminds us of Richert's impressive résumé: "He has sandblasted the Cathedral of Learning, bagged groceries at Giant Eagle, and even groomed the field at PNC Park. ... This time, he's [breaking into song] workin' at the car wash." * When Richert expresses his surprise at the fancy-shmancy digs at this super-service car wash -- "You know, I thought this was gonna be a traditional automatic car-wash job ... I was wrong. My assignment didn't begin until the wash part was over. It started there, on the eight-minute detail conveyer." * After the manager tells him what a demanding job it is, when Richert asks, "How tough can it be? I would soon find out." * When Richert observes of the car wash -- which has a large aquarium -- "This is the most elaborate set-up I've ever seen." * When he reveals, "And yes, I do do windows, using the exotic 'box' method." * When he concedes, "This is more physically demanding than you might think." * When Larry uses a small brush to dust the dash and says -- "And finally, a little Van Gogh." What We Learned: You can't judge a job by its wheel cover. Unanswered Question: Van Gogh died a pauper -- remember, Larry? He wouldn't have even been able to afford a vehicle, had they been invented. News Value: 2. This seemed like a half-hearted attempt for a segment that's founded on a fairly hackneyed idea to begin with.
Hannah One, Hannah Two ...
Summary: A special "Call 4 Action" report about cyber line-jumping for tickets, in this case those for a Hannah Montana concert. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Aaron Saykin When it Aired: Sept. 27 Running Time: 1 minute, 36 seconds Visuals: * Saykin standing outside Mellon Arena. * Clips from the Hannah Montana show. Highlights: * When Saykin reports, "Come Saturday morning, Mellon Arena is going to be crawling with desperate parents trying to pick up those concert tickets for their children. The problem is, there's only a limited number of them available. And an even greater concern is that now some believe what's left could end up in the wrong hands." * When he explains, "Miley Cyrus is the daughter of country-music star Billy Ray Cyrus, and quite a talent herself. Her TV show, Hannah Montana, is a huge hit, her concerts even more popular, often selling out in 15 minutes. So quickly, that attorneys general in two states now claim that scalpers buying tickets online ... have found a way to cut in front of everyone else." * When the Arkansas Deputy Attorney General explains, via phone, "[T]hese people who blitzed the site bought up large chunks of them, [and] have now put them back into the quote-unquote scalpers market, and they're being sold on Internet sites for as high as 10 times the face price." * When Saykin discloses, "Ticketmaster, which also handles sporting events like Steelers games, admits scalpers have developed special software to cut the ticket line, telling us, 'We're doing everything we can, technically and legally, to stop them.'" What We Learned: Someone is always trying to spoil everyone's fun. Unanswered Question: Billy Ray Cyrus was a talent? News Value: 7. This is a great consumer advisory.
TV is Bad For Kids!
Summary: Another study about things that are bad for your family. Station: WPXI Channel 12 Reporter: Newlin Archinal When it Aired: Oct. 1 Running Time: 24 seconds Visuals: A tyke pointing excitedly at a tot-oriented program on TV. Highlights: * When Archinal promises, in a teaser, "Your kids and television: We have important information for parents about their children's viewing habits." * When she beckons, "Parents, listen up! Too much television at a young age could be linked to social and behavioral problems in children." * When Archinal adds, "Researchers say if heavy TV-viewing was decreased by the age of 5-and-a-half, there was no link to problems and behavior. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under the age of two and no more than two hours a day for kids who are older than two." What We Learned: No filler is bad filler, especially for a.m. TV news. Unanswered Question: So we don't have to worry 'til they're 5-and-a-half, right? News Value: OK. So what's a parent or caregiver to do with this information? Go to the AAP Web site (www.aap.org). One of the best pieces of advice I read there was: "Media messages have their own values and points of view. ... Children should compare the promoted values against their own values. It is important for children to learn that they have a choice in whether to accept the values that are being promoted in any media message." That's great advice for adults, too.