Friday, February 10, 2006

A Head-Spinning Month, So Far

We can't say this year's February sweeps period is boring. Then again, we won't say it's particularly good, either. If nothing else, though, it's weird as hell.

• Has KETV chief meteorologist Bill Randby gotten into a crate of hysteria-inducing pills left behind by Jim Flowers? Thursday at 10 p.m., Randby led into a break by raising his voice to exclaim, "It's snowing RIGHT NOW!" and implying that said snow was "a preview" of Friday's weather, thereby suggesting that it'd be snowing all day. Those who stayed tuned learned, however, that Bill really thought we'd only get maybe an inch in "little bursts."

Randby's crazed-sounding teaser wouldn't be so bad if it weren't part of a recent pattern that began a few weeks ago, when he warned of a big snowstorm nearly a week in advance. It missed the area entirely. Then, toward the end of last week, he was warning of "arctic" temperatures for this week. (For those of you keeping score, highs were in the 30s and 40s during that period.)

It's unfortunate if Randby is being encouraged to overdramatize his remarks in an attempt to keep up with the Ejacu-Weather crowd at Channel 6. A few looks at WOWT lately suggest that Flowers and the boys are backing off their usual Chicken Little routine; on both occasions when Randby was literally shouting ominous predictions, Flowers was soft-pedaling the same weather systems. What station manager in his or her right mind wants to have a meteorologist who is more alarmist than Flowers? Somebody needs to tell Bill to settle down.

• While KETV began inflicting its "I-Team" reports on us this week, the first full week of "Action 3 News" made us think that KMTV should've kept the identifier for itself. (KMTV had its own I-Team within the last five years or so.) The Action 3 gang is the one really putting the "I" into its stories—not as in "Investigation," but as in "first-person singular." After a week or so of sampling the new format, even the most casual viewer can see that the goal is to inject their reporters into virtually every story. So far, the results have been comical.

On Wednesday at 10 p.m., for example, Devon "Lockjaw" Patton reported on a Council Bluffs resident who was understandably a little freaked out by a large number of dead birds on his lawn. Thinking they might have died from the much-reported "avian flu," the poor guy called everyone in the phone book who might be able to tell him what to do. "I tried to reassure him with information I got from the Department of Agriculture," Patton announced, as if that'd help the situation. It looked like something out of an SNL parody.

On Thursday, among the treats viewers got was Mary Nelson reporting live from the bedroom of missing teen Amber Harris. Honest-to-God, Nelson actually showed us her dresser, her bed, and even yarn Harris had put on the wall. Then, as if that weren't enough, Nelson announced that she had been digging into Amber's last day at school before she disappeared. Among the things we learned: Amber's music teacher wants her to come back. Amber's former kindergarten teacher has a strong feeling that Amber is still alive. And Amber's principal also wants Amber to return. It was painful to watch.

Add to this the other "I" Team's pathetic efforts over at Channel 7, and WOWT is looking better all the time. Hard to believe, isn't it?


Obbop said...

Missed Bill Randby frothing about the the arrival of the newest ice age with mile-high glaciers scouring the land, decimating all before those all-devouring gargantuan behemouths rending asunder all that lay in their path.

But, I am sure Bill achieved the epitomy of weathergasm and, after the end of what passes for a "newscast" here in the cultural backwater, you just know the lad collapsed onto a handy couch with that warm afterglow and lit a cigarette.

Anyway, I DID observe a babbling buffoon on channel 7 Saturday night whose name I noted but soon forgot. Likely following his master's orders on how to behave when the camera is aimed at him, the over-emoting corporate droid ranted, raved, babbled and carried-on in a most amusing manner. Of what did the lad excitedly nearly-yelled at the viewer? COLD!!!!! All the way down to... EEEEK!!!!! 20-degrees tonight!!!!!! Oh my, surely worthy of proverbially whipping one's self into a lathered frenzy over!!!!! Attaining a nighttime temperature that is.... well, rather normal for this time of year.

I do look forward to tornado season. If the babblers spot a funnel cloud... well, imagine the fun of the idjits weathergasming to the point that convulsions ensue. I wait with baited breath to see those nincompoops lurching about, falling to the floor, writhing in passion as their clenched jaws eke out the object of their passion, "The super duper whoppler doppler 666,000 has just spotted a funnel cloud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Sigh. We deserve better. What with channel 3's new Entertainment Tonight-like personna and the spewing of all the channel's spewers..... well..... it merely confirms we dwelleth within the cultural backwater of the USA.

DarthSchrader said...

Maybe some folks out there can help me, but exactly where is all the "action" in Action News 3? Let me explain.

If it was truly "action" news, the anchors would have Breaking News stories every 3 minutes (get it; THREE!), they should hire people to dress in business casual, and run back and forth behind the anchor, like they are rushing news to the editor in mass amounts, the weather should always have a sense of danger to it, and sports should have wall-to-wall Joe Theissman-esque footage, and controversial high school sports coverage.

But, alas; I see none of that. So, once again, I beg of you all, please tell me where the action is? (and don't say the Razzle Dazzle; I know that already).

Obbop said...

Action News 3 viewer alert!!!!!!

Stop the presses!!!!!

Uhhhhh.... wait. We're covering broadcast news. Roll the presses!!!

Covering a "gun" found laying in the snow, that turned out to be a toy, a mere replica, the camera operator made the on-the-scene reporter apear "active" by panning in and out, swinging the camera to show the nearby street sign to coincide with the reporter naming the street intersection, panning back to the reporter for a close-up then panning back to show the street and houses.....

I was starting to get dizzy!!!!! Heck, I suffered less motion sickness when riding out a China Sea typhoon in an itty bitty destroyer escort!!!!!

Thus, it may be that the "action" in the newscast's name refers to majestic panning, closing in and out, and generally wearing out the camera and the viewer.

I hope the camera operators enjoy all that wrist action!!!!

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