MyNetworkTV and the Sham News
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This irritates me.
We have a MyNetworkTV affiliate (WMYD – Channel 20) which used to be the WB affiliate and before that WXON which was just ON-TV the pre-cable Cable.
Anyway, it has a local news at 10:00 p.m. which I though seemed like a good idea to watch for a break from the other local anchors that can occasionally get on my nerves.
The news on 20 – it’s not local. Call me naive, but I thought it was local, you know since they called it “local news”, and in a sense it is because it does report on stuff that has happened “locally”. My first tip-off was the fact that they kept pronouncing street names wrong and last night insisted that the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre was in Detroit (it’s Sterling Heights – and kinda not close). The production value looked cheap, and even when WKBD Channel 50 had a news program, it at least looked like it was being filmed live, as opposed to transferred onto film left over from a 70’s porn shoot. The My TV20 weather girl would never zoom in tighter that the tri-county area and would always gester non-committally over a section instead of calling it by name. Chuck Gaidica is always good for that, pointing out some obscure town that was about toget rain, and it always made you say, “There’s a Green Oak Township?” or a favorite in my household, “where the hell is that?”
Surfing to the bios on My TV20, the pages are terribly vague and talk about how happy they are to be reporting news from around my area. I did individual name searches and discovered a few of them are happy to be reporting news in and around the Montgomery, AL, too! And Columbus, GA!
Oh – and Davenport, OH.
Turns out, they all work for a little outfit called the INN – Independent News Network, which is a production studio that quite literally manufactures news for your area using some local talent (in Detroit’s case 2 reporters who stand in front of the Spirit of Detroit and try to look animated), and then sends the broadcast to your local station where it airs from what you assume are snug, nearby offices. It’s supposed to be cheaper than studios and personalities hired by the station and just as good.
But really, it’s not. It feels artificial. It sounds tinny. It looks like crap. When the anchor mispronounced Ella Bully Cummings name last night, I knew I’d never watch again. You just mis-pronounced the Chief of Police’s name, pal. She’s only been in the Real News since she became Chief in 2002.
The backdrop of the “studio” is supposed to make you think of any other local news studio. In our case it’s a skyline shot of the RenCen and the beautiful new River walk. Except as I watched the news last night, the backdrop, the angles, the stories, the anchors just looked wrong. You know how you can look at the people in your neighborhood and know they belong? You know how you can pick out tourists by just looking at their faces? When I look at the anchors at MyTV 20, they look like they don’t belong. They don’t look like they’ve ever set foot in the Metro Detroit Area.
So for me, I’m done with the Faux News – which reminds me, MyNetworkTV is owned by Fox, which really explains why it has so many craptastic shows. “House of Payne” for Pete’s sake? The rest of its programming is just re-runs and movies.
I will admit to liking “Jail” and “Street Patrol” – that just belies the cop’s daughter in me.
So there you go – faux news for a faux network. I’m going to go read a book