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Bet You Can’t Beat This
Summary: A New Kensington carpenter crafts corporal-punishment devices. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Andrew Stockey When it Aired: June 25 Running Time: 2 minutes, 8 seconds Visuals: * A chart that shows how many swats a child should receive for each “offense.” * The now-infamous carpenter stamping each paddle with the words, “Love Joey.” Highlights: * When Stockey seems to babble, “Spanking your child: It’s certainly a difficult decision. And it’s a controversy that’s been played out in schools and courts all across this country. Now, the latest centerpiece for this controversy is this carpenter’s workshop …” * Stockey’s revelation: “Joey Salvati says four conversations with the Lord, in his shower, convinced him to create spanking paddles to punish unruly children.” * When Salvati reasons, “If you have to do something with your child, if you do it this way, at least you’re getting their attention but you’re not harming them.”  * When Stockey informs, “And he’s giving these paddles away —1,400 of them so far —along with an owner’s manual of sorts. Everything from how many swats to apply to an appointment card for scheduling the spanking. But always, as his Web site says, “To be used lovingly, and never in anger.” * When Stockey sheepishly asks Salvati, “It’s gotta be some kind of like, you know, mixed message, don’t you think?” * When he replies, “Yeah, I would agree, but there’s some parents who don’t know what to do with their kids. You know, they’ve tried everything. But they might have tried beating their kid. OK, the last rule on this page is give your child a hug, tell ’em you love ’em.” * When Stockey asks a young man from Lower Burrell, “Do you like the idea of somebody making these and selling these for use?” who of course, responds, “No.” (Never mind that he’s not selling them.) * When a woman examining one of the paddles says, “I think he should be put out of business, really.”  * When Salvati elaborates on his logic: “[Y]ou know what? Dad is gonna hit you this time. OK. It might be the last time, because you know that he will do it. Not that he wants to do it, but if he follows these rules he’s not gonna beat you; he’s gonna smack you, and he’s gonna talk to you.” * When Stockey concludes, “So how much longer does Mr. Salvati plan to make these paddles and give them out for free? He tells me, quote, probably for the rest of my life.” What We Learned: Listen up next time you’re in the shower — God may have something to say to you next. Unanswered Question: Did Salvati have Sister Mary Agnes in third grade, too? News Value: 3 swats. Come on Stockey, this was a great opportunity to ask some hard-hitting (no pun intended) questions and address the issue of corporal punishment … but you made the piece fluffier than Wendy Bell’s hair. Would it have killed you to ask a child psychologist or two for their opinions?

The Pickpockets Are Here!
Summary: Hitting the streets with a police detective in an effort to instruct the obviously oblivious public on how to avoid pickpockets. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Brenda Waters When it Aired: June 28 Running Time: 2 minutes, 41 seconds Visuals: * Film that shows the “do’s” but mostly the “don’ts” of preventing pickpocketing. Highlights: * When anchor Stacy Smith murmurs, “There is a warning this evening about some pickpockets. At least one Downtown building manager is warning its tenants that thieves may be teaming up to take wallets and purses from unsuspecting victims …” * When Waters briefs us: “You know, the art of picking pockets is one of the oldest professions in the world. And a really good thief knows how to mingle in the crowd and go about his or her dirty deeds. But often times, the victim gives them a lot of help.” * Waters’ findings, including this “don’t”: “[T]there’s a lot going on here. A mother is holding one child’s hand, pushing another in stroller, and she’s wearing a backpack.” * When Waters asks a woman who has never been victimized by a pickpocket how she would respond if she were and she says, “Well, if they nudge my handbag the wrong way, they better run because I have my cane right here.” * When Waters ends, “OK a few more tips for you. Know your surroundings. … This isn’t rocket science. Detective [Paul] Clark says it’s all a matter of common sense.” What We Learned: Clutch onto those clutches, women! Unanswered Question: But what about fanny packs? News Value: 2. This public-service report just leaves me pining for a good gypsy story.

Garden Party
Summary: The Garden Theater on the North Side is reborn. Station: PCNC Reporter: Newlin Archinal When it Aired: July 2 Running Time: 57 seconds Visuals: * Outside the theater, inside the theater. Highlights: * When Archinal reports, “Celebrating a new day for a former adult theater on the North Side: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl joined local residents for music and refreshments in West Park yesterday [as] part of the revitalization plan …” * When Ravenstahl enlightens us, “[T]he process started over 10 years ago …” What We Learned: Call it progress if you must, but there’s still no business like ho business. Unanswered Question: Now where am I supposed to go to watch porn movies? News Value: 3. Moving forward, moving forward, blah blah blah.
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