Monday, March 28, 2005

Not That We're Complaining

At the risk of jinxing a good thing, we'll mention that Pat Persaud has been absent from the anchor desk since March 17th, and that John Knicely's last appearance was on the 18th. We can understand that Knicely might be on vacation, but Pat? Her "retirement" is just 57 days away. How much rest can she need with that on the horizon?

But we're not griping. Every day that we're spared one of her "Family Health" reports is a gift. We never have figured out what gave Pat the impression that she is a health expert, but she should've been disabused of that notion years ago.

Speaking of disabusing anchors of notions, let's have someone at the Big Six talk with Tracy Madden about this "Our Heartland Children" business. In one spot, Tracy tells us that regularly reading to a child will make that child love reading, GUARANTEED.

That's pure bullshit, of course. Studies indicate that reading to a child tends to improve the child's attitude toward and proficiency in reading, but they make no mention of any "guarantee." In fact, we know of two particular youngsters (now in their teens) who were read to every night until they were well into elementary school who are capable-but-reluctant readers. What do the parents receive for this unfulfilled gurantee?

As Tracy approaches her coronation, she should regularly ask herself, "What would Pat do?" And then do the opposite. Because all we want is an anchor who dresses like a grownup (no red leather jackets or slinky-looking tops) and delivers the news in a clear, professional manner.

We don't want her to tell us how involved she is in the community. We don't want her to focus all her stories on her pet projects or interests. And under no circumstance do we want her to parade her kids onscreen at Christmastime or whenever there's a story about kids their age. We just want someone to gather the news, write it clearly, find video that adds to our understanding, and pleasantly read to us in a manner that resembles normal human speech.

We heart Tracy, but her continuing to lecture us on child-rearing is gonna wear thin mighty f-ing fast. If she's not careful, it won't be long until she finds herself writing "Tracy's Diary" entries for the WOWT website and being photographed giving some disabled kid the "thumbs up" sign. And that would be a shame for someone with so much going for her.

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