Get Out of Town December 10

(December 10) Believe it or not, I sometimes run into people who whine that I’m too critical of a certain local television station that’s located across the street from the prestigious KRRO studio. (BTW, wasn’t that Scot Mundt we saw shoveling the sidewalk? I guess he has to earn his keep somehow.) Anyway, these critics claim that as awful as KELO is, maybe I should cut them a break. After all, they do have the number one nine o’clock newscast in Rapid City. It’s also the only one, but you can’t stop a good publicity machine.
Here’s the deal. Until yesterday, I didn’t even know KDLT had news. I was shocked to discover this when I accidentally punched in the number five in my remote. And as long as KSFY features that luscious trio of ladies – Shannon Stevens, Meagan Dorsch, and Shelly Keohane – I will never, ever bitch about anything they do, even if one of their star anchors has been known to overindulge in local taverns.
My main complaint about KELO is simply lost potential. They could, and should, be the greatest local station that one would ever see in a market our size. Instead, we get over-hyped but erroneous weather reports, feel-good Lifetime Network-ish fables disguised as news, and cheerleading sports segments that have an annoying tendency to show highlights that have nothing to do with the actual outcome of the contest they’re reporting. And their so-called “talent” is either ill-prepared interns or long-in-the-tooth veterans that are a bit too comfortable in their positions.
Not that these problems aren’t evident on the other channels. There’s very little actual reporting on all of our local news. Live remotes rarely give you a feel for the actual story – it’s still just text on a teleprompter.
So I will admit that I expect more from the station that bills themselves as a “tradition of caring”. They have the most money and the most toys. They should be the New York Yankees of local news. Instead, they’re more like the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Still, at times I question whether I’m just a miserable snob who would never be happy with anything they do. Am I being fair to Sgt. Jorgenson, Cable-guy, or Can-she-eat? Is the Bobblehead actually a candidate for a gig with ESPN?
Recently challenged by a friend who claims I really must like the station since I do watch it at times, I started to wonder if I really haven’t been giving them a fair shake. Last week, however, I realized that I have been correct all along.
It was the second or third day of the Janklow trial. Mouse-face Jolene Loetscher and Jodi Schwan had just finished one of their patented but unnecessary team reports, which consisted of nothing more than listing the people that testified and a couple of quotes from the transcript. This was followed by a clichéd Department of Tourism story relating the amount of tax revenue generated by the trial for the city of Flandreu. Of course, this story neglected one major aspect of the big picture – the cost of putting on the trial has to completely dwarf any sales tax that comes through the local café.
After enduring this trifecta of moronic reporting, KELO dusted off Steve Hemmingsen for some commentary. Or maybe they cut him off from his next high ball at the local pub. Whatever it took, they sent the Hem to Flandreu to provide analysis. In a handful of sentences, Hemmingsen gave us more of a true picture of the happenings in the courtroom then these twits could in hours and hours of reporting. He stated what happened, the significance of these occurrences, and highlighted some of the goofy quirks of what will be known as the Trial of the Century (So Far).
In other words, the Hem did some actual reporting. He didn’t just restate words; he interpreted what he witnessed and even related stories from inside sources. This was the schedule for the rest of the week. Loetscher and Schwan babbled about nothing, and then the Hem gave us the real scoop.
To show how far the mighty have fallen, I was not Hemmingsen’s biggest fan during KELO’s glory days. I thought he editorialized way too much; I envisioned him as a bit of an off-camera tyrant. But compared to the twits who currently bring us the news, he’s Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, or David Brinkley.
Looking back, I really haven’t gone after the twits at KELO in recent months. I’ve thrown out a few one-liners, but I haven’t actually kicked any of them out of town. It would be easy to boot the major players – like the Sgt., Can-She-Eat, Cableguy – but it’s time to give the second tier some notoriety. Obviously, Schwan and Loetscher need to go – and need to go far, far away. But there’s so many more that have no business being in front of the camera - DeeAnn Tiede, Jamie Tschida, Amanda Spicer, Perry (Mr. Cliché) Groten, Jaine (Ms. Un-healthbeat) Andrews, Scott Thorson, Travis Fossing. Hell, I’d like to toss each and every one of them – all except Anna Peters and John Wilson. They’re harmless, they’re not annoying, and they deserve better.
But before I go, I have a plea to anybody who’s listening right now, or may be reading this later off of my website. While I refuse to state the name of the show or either of the people involved, tonight ABC is broadcasting what their promos are describing as the most anticipated wedding in history, or something to that effect. Please, please, please do not watch this show. Do not purchase any magazines that feature that twit on the cover; do not frequent any businesses that will inevitably hire them for advertising. They are cretin; they are the scum of the earth.
These are people that have no business being on the tube, let alone features in People, Us, the Enquirer or any of the other garbage publications that cater to the uneducated. They’re the morons who brought on this trend of using terms such as “incredible journey” and “soulmate” to describe incidents and relationships with people they’ve known for only days. They’re from a show whose success led to such tripe as Paradise Hotel, Average Joe, and many others that I have thankfully not seen. They’re also destined to last for about three months, especially after the unwanted disclosure that the woman in question has never had an orgasm. Hell, she doesn’t even like sex. You know, I wonder what my ex-wife was doing these days. Yeah, that relationship will last as long as it takes to cash the check.


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