I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched CW33’s News at Nine in its entirety. Actually, I don’t think I ever had. But last night, I was rummaging around, cleaning up the house and fiddling on the laptop with the TV on. America’s Next Top Model had expired on the TiVo, and the receiver was still on 33. I overheard two no-shit-Sherlocks from reporter Norris Deajon, and I hit the record button. I had to see what other gems I was going to get from the CW team. Little did I know how riled up I’d get, not from the content of the news, but from the flubs and flaws of the news team. These were my “favorites.”
Pawn Shop Smash-and-Grab
Norris Deajon: Assault-type weapons like these
[image of guns]
look very dangerous … and they are.
[Gun store owner explains discharge rates of guns.]
ND: We saw that three years ago when the so-called Takeover Bandits opened fire on Richardson Police. It’s something area police don’t want to see happen again.
Really, Norris, assault weapons -- or, pardon, assault-type weapons -- don’t just appear to be dangerous? And police don’t want a gang of bandits shooting rapid-fire artillery at them? Shocking. The whole package was an atrocious example of unnecessary narration.
UIL Mandated Steroid Testing
Tom Crespo: When state officials begin testing high school athletes for steroids, the random tests could come at any time of the year.
Dear Tom, “random,” according to Merriam-Webster, means “a: lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern b: made, done, or chosen at random.” I am worried that your inflection seemed to imply that you were surprised that -- or you felt others would be shocked to learn -- random drug tests would be imposed at “any time of the year” or, well, randomly. With concern, Merritt
Holiday Drunk Driving/MADD
Sandra Hernandez: Texas leads the country with the greatest number of alcohol-related deaths, so MATH is encouraging everyone to tie one on for safety. [holding up MADD red car antenna ribbon, ties it on van antenna]
SH: …Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says people need to make a plan before the partying begins, and [Byron] Davis [profiled earlier in the story] couldn’t agree more.
[cut to Byron Davis]
Byron Davis: Get a designated driver. Call a cab. Stay where you are.
SH: Words to live by before you get your drink on.
First of all, get the name of the organization right. I tracked that clip back about 17 times and showed it to two neighbors. We all heard and saw “MATH” instead of “MADD.” Not so good, lady. Also, I find it incredibly sensitive to end a package on drunk-driving prevention that includes a profile about and interview with a drunk-driving victim (who, because of a drunk driver, lost both legs while trying to help a stranded motorist) by using some dumb-ass slang like “get your drink on.” If ever my life is horribly and suddenly altered, I’d like you to do the report so you can minimize the moral of the story with streetwise slang, ya dig?
The Golden Compass Controversy
Teri Chappell: Well, some people believe a children’s movie set for release next week may have a dark message.
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Tom Crespo: Yeah, it’s based on a series of books by a British writer who’s an Atheist and whose characters seek to kill God.
Yep, Crespo, you hit that religious nail on the head. I bet you read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials all the way through. No? Well, perhaps before freaking out God-fearing parents the city over you should do a little research. I believe the character you were referring to is the Authority and it/he/whatever does try to make some of the characters believe he’s the Almighty, but he’s not. He’s created from Dust, this bizarre conscious particle thing that is the object of experiments and chasing and hiding and all the other crazy shit that goes down fantasy-fiction style in the trilogy from which The Golden Compass hails. No, I’ve not read all of the book in question yet, but I’m also not on TV talking about it, and I did more than check out the Wikipedia page before writing even this blog entry. (And yes, I’ve read every Harry Potter book and tried my hand at Tolkien. I’m a geek, which is why this really pisses me off.)
So, Crespo, unless you’re going to give C.S. Lewis shit for comparing Jesus to a lion, you might should quit with the personal opinion-tinged, hyperbolic scare-casting. Just give us the news.
Or don’t, actually. I’m steering clear of News at Nine. --Merritt Martin