L.A.'s Low-Definiton tv Journalism
part of a write up by Steven Mikulan
Dec 24-30 1999
Equally notorious is TV news' habit of running stories that are either about shows the parent network produces or tie-ins to its movies of the week. In November, this routine was taken a step further during the fanfare for CBS's Sunday M.O.W., Aftershock. Not only did local affiliate Channel 2 dutifully follow the disaster flick with a report about local preparedness, but Aftershock itself featured a CBS news-reporter character who flies above devastated Manhattan in a helicopter emblazoned with its corporate logo. Likewise, KCOP, which is home to World Wrestling Federation spectacles, betrayed no embarrassment about airing a September 23 story for nearly four minutes about WWF star Al "The Snowman" Snow, and immediately followed it with reports about Jesse Ventura's old visits to a Nevada brothel and Jean-Claude Van Damme's DUI arrest. Then, a few minutes later, the program's "In Focus" segment spent nearly three minutes debating how wrestling may or may not affect children. KCAL has gone even further down El Camino Tabloido by sandwiching the syndicated National Enquirer TV celebrity gossip show in between segments of its afternoon news, giving the impression that the Enquirer program is actually part of the news proper.