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Do What I Say -- Or I'll Point!

Summary: A man attempts a hold-up with an unusual weapon. Station: KDKA Reporter: Ken Rice When it Aired: April 18 Running Time: 18 seconds Visuals: A graphic over Rice's shoulder, depicting the alleged weapon. Highlights: * When Rice says: "Police say a man tried to rob a local convenience store at finger-point." * When he adds, "The guy walked into a store on West Jefferson Street, in Butler, and pointed his thumb and index finger at the clerk as if it were a gun. He demanded cartons of cigarettes, but the clerk refused to give him any. So he left, empty-handed ... if you don't count the pretend pistol." What We Learned: One more reason to quit smoking. Unanswered Question: For the clerk -- did you get a good look at the hand, and could you identify it in a line-up? News Value: 3. Ba da bing, ba da boom.

Moving Forward

Summary: Besieged Pittsburgh City Councilor Twanda Carlisle gives an "exclusive interview." Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: John Cater When it Aired: April 18 Running Time: 3 minutes, 2 seconds Visuals: * The banner, "Only on KDKA." * Councilor Carlisle in chambers, looking calm, cool and collected. Highlights: * When anchor Stacy Smith prefaces the report: "Today, a judge ordered Twanda Carlisle to stand trial. Carlisle says that she is innocent and she says that she will fight the charges." * When Cater summarizes, "[T]hose charges stem from the councilwoman allegedly taking more than $43,000 in kickbacks from friends she hired to do consulting work. One of the consultants: her mother's live-in boyfriend. Right now, the probing question many are asking: Given the grave charges, will Carlisle resign from her Ninth District council seat? I found out the answer to that and more in my KDKA exclusive." * When Carlisle says, "Well, I'm not resigning from this position, John. I was elected by the people, for the people, to do a job for them. And as you truly know, that you're innocent in the United States of America until proven guilty." * When Cater says, "Embattled councilwoman [Carlisle] is back in council chambers conducting business as usual. This just one week after receiving a 17-count indictment on charges including conspiracy, theft and perjury." * When Cater reports, "Despite the charges, Carlisle tells me she's neither giving up her council seat nor backing away from her re-election bid." * When Carlisle asserts, "I am moving forward with my campaign. I'm moving forward with my office and doing the work that the people have elected me to do." * When Cater continues, "And it's evident, council business is also moving forward." * When Cater says, "Councilwoman Carlisle has maintained her innocence since the beginning, vowing not to bow down to the court of public opinion. And while she has mounting pressure to step down, colleagues say she's presumed innocent." * When council president Doug Shields says, "I have had phone calls from folks that are demanding that I take action. And I ask them, 'What action? What legal basis ... should I move forward?'" * When Cater says, "Mayor Ravenstahl has ordered an ethics board look into the case; meantime, I couldn't pass up asking her if she thought [that someone's out to get her]." * When Carlisle replies, "I can't comment on that at the moment. But sometimes they say, what appears to be ... and I'll leave it at that." What We Learned: "No comments" are often loaded with commentary. Unanswered Question: Seems to me this whole idea of "moving forward" just ain't workin'. Who's gonna be bold enough to move backward, or maybe even sideways? News Value: 5. It's not a major scoop that Carlisle is refusing to resign, and then there's that nettlesome matter of the ethics board. The Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board (look in the same file as: B-25 bomber in the Mon, Glowing Green Man of South Park) met last Friday, but failed to achieve a quorum, so the meeting was canceled -- for the second time this year. Cater asks some of the questions we want answered, and even if Carlisle gives the answers we expected, at least we got to hear it straight from her mouth.

So Long, Sanjaya

Summary: The young man of many hairdos is voted off American Idol. Station: Channel 11 News on Fox 53 Reporter: Darieth Chisolm When it Aired: April 18 Running Time: 53 seconds Visuals: A riveting clip from the program, which shows the phenom's reaction when it's announced, "Sanjaya, you are going home tonight." Highlights: * When Chisolm says, "If you were watching earlier tonight, then you know that, so we can't really call it breaking news." * When David Johnson responds to the "breaking news" remark with an off-camera guffaw. * When Chisolm continues, "Most people either loved him or they couldn't stand him. But after the biggest top-seven vote in Idol history ... 16-year-old Sanjaya's stay ... is over." What We Learned: American Idol has a history of a whopping ... (drum roll, please) six years! Unanswered Question: Has Channel 11 raised its criteria for "breaking news"? News Value: 1. Oh, how will we go on without you and that wild mane of yours, Sanjaya?

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