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This Just In: March 14 - 21 

Judy-cial Review

Summary: A local woman appears on the syndicated court TV show, Judge Judy. Station: WPXI Channel 11 Reporter: David Johnson When it Aired: March 7 Running Time: 1 minute Visuals: * A graphic featuring an illustration of Judge Judith Scheindlin, superimposed over the portentous scales of justice. * When the woman is identified in her "chyron" (TV jargon for the description underneath your name) as "Lost on Judy." Highlights: * Johnson's explanation: "An Emsworth woman takes her boyfriend to court. She took the lawsuit to Judge Judy, hoping to get $4,000 from her ex. But Judy had some tough questions." * An excerpt from the show, when Judge Judy asks the woman, "And what were you paying? Don't look confused; it's a very easy question." * When Johnson clarifies, "[The woman] says when she lived with her ex-boyfriend, she charged $4,000 on her credit card. Everything she bought was left behind in his house when the couple broke up and she moved out. She was hoping to get it back, but she says she was like a deer in the headlights when she faced the judge." * When the woman describes her experience: "It was surreal. It was actually surreal to be there. I mean, I was just overcome with the moment. I had so many things I wanted to say, and I just went blank. Completely blank. Deer in the headlights." * When Johnson divulges, "It turns out [she] actually lost the case and her ex was able to keep everything." What We Learned: That you can solve even the most vexatious legal issues during a 15-minute segment of television. Unanswered Question: How does one achieve a state of being "actually surreal?" This may be the real topic here ... News Value: 0. Next?


Live, From a Gas Station Near You

Summary: Gas prices continue to rise. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Harold Hayes When it Aired: March 8 Running Time: 2 minutes, 10 seconds Visuals: * A woman pumping gas -- one of the dirtiest things she'll ever do in a lifetime. * A businessman filling up, who says gas in Cleveland is cheaper. Blah, blah, blah.

Highlights: * When anchor Kristine Sorensen says, "You 'probly' notice it's costing a lot more to fill up. Gas prices are back on the rise, and in some states are hitting three dollars a gallon -- and more. Could it happen here? Harold Hayes, live, with more on the pain at the pump." * When Hayes begins, "Well, we're at the BP at 10th and Carson on the South Side, where the price of regular right now is $2.59-point-9 a gallon. Now that is higher than the national average, but the national average has been inching up every day." * When Hayes introduces us to a man not all that upset by the escalating cost: "[This man from] the South Side says this reminds him of the days before the three-dollar-gallon gas era, something some consumers are already paying in California again." * When Mr. McCool says, "[Y]ou know, as your mamma and daddy always said, I mean, control the things you can control, and the things that are outta your control, what're ya gonna do? You know, I mean, I might drive a little slower, I might, you know go down a grade in octane if it's really botherin' me, but, you can't sweat the small stuff, you know." Unless you're counting on it to fill a good portion of your three-hour evening newscast, of course. What We Learned: For every cent that gasoline rises, local news teams will be offering you their two cents. Unanswered Question: Does the three-dollar-gas period really qualify as an era? News Value: 1. Finally, a Zen approach to petroleum consumption. You tell 'em, Daddy-O.


Bull Pulpit

Summary: A bull on the loose is captured! Station: PCNC Reporter: David Johnson When it Aired: March 8 Running Time: 25 seconds Visuals: * Authorities in Hurst, Texas, lassoing a wayward steer. Highlights: * When Johnson relates, "This isn't a bullfight in Texas, just a single-steer round-up. Authorities went head-to-head with a steer on several occasions after he escaped from a nearby pasture. He finally got cornered. That was just the beginning." * When he adds, "He had to be tranquilized and lassoed before he finally calmed down." * When he ad-libs, "No people or animals were injured during the taping of this segment right here." What We Learned: Channel 11 should be damn glad it has David Johnson, because he's one of the only reasons it's worth watching. Unanswered Question: Aren't there any foxes or coyotes running around in our neighborhood this week? News Value: 2. Mostly just the standard bullshit kicker, but at least Johnson makes it fun.

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