This Just In: A look at local news online and on the tube. | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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This Just In: A look at local news online and on the tube. 

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Enough to Drive You Buggy
Every time you take your children to the grocery store, they might die!

Or so we are to believe after watching the fear-mongering WTAE promo that announces, “THOUSANDS OF KIDS HURT by simple mistakes parents make every day. Maybe even you! Action News Investigates shows you the shopping-cart risks that have local medical experts worried. Don’t miss it TONIGHT at 5:30 p.m.”

During the intense promo, a woman (who later turns out to be “our nurse”) forebodes, “Totally shocked! Totally shocked!” Another woman recounts, “She fell out of the cart, head first,” of an event that we will later find out happened 15 years ago.

Beau Berman tells the story on July 21, revealing, “Honestly, I never would have guessed how many injuries related to shopping carts, of all things, there actually are. But I asked a trauma nurse from Children’s Hospital straight up, ‘Did you realize how bad this was?’ [and] she told me, ‘No idea’ … ”

In fact, this information was first reported in myriad, well-trafficked online publications in 2014, when the statistics were released after a Clinical Pediatrics study showed 24,000 children are injured each year in shopping-cart-related incidents. If the situation was so dire, why did Channel 4 wait two years to tell us? Perhaps because Giant Eagle has unveiled a new, baby-friendly shopping cart!

After Berman inquired about local shopping-cart injuries, Children’s Hospital nurse Chris Vitale said she discovered that 155 kids with such injuries have come through its ER since 2011, and about one-third had to be admitted. Berman asked, “Is this what you expected?” She answers (as is seen in the promo) “Totally shocked! Totally shocked!” WTAE claims in its promo that it speaks with “medical experts.” So how can she not know this? Also, there is a big difference between interviewing one person who works in the field and “experts” plural.

Berman then employs a watermelon as a prop in lieu of a baby’s head, and drops it from the height of a shopping cart for dramatic results.

Everyone needs to chill — including Berman. Shopping carts are most likely not going to kill your kids. But the kids might get hurt if you take your eyes off them, which any parent can do. If you have children, you already know there’s nothing shocking about what can happen to them if they’re unattended, even for a second. If changing the design of the shopping cart helps an already overwhelmed parent, then let’s change the design, like Giant Eagle has done. And spare the watermelons, for cripe’s sake!

Granny’s Got a Gun
“Only on 11,” a grandmother explains how she helped police “take down” a burglary suspect, and WPXI fishes for divisive comments on its Facebook page. Amy Marcinkiewicz reports from Ambridge: “Well, she could have panicked after hearing a stranger in her house, rifling through her things. She didn’t.”

She asks the grandma, who didn’t want her face on television: “What does your shirt say?” The pistol-packin’ granny answers, “Keep Calm and Carry.”

Marcinkiewicz narrates: “She grabbed that .38, stood at the top of the stairs and called 911. She stayed on the phone with dispatchers until Ambridge police arrived and arrested the burglary suspect. … She said police were there so fast, she didn’t have to take matters into her own hands.”

Our faceless heroine confesses, “I didn’t want to do it, but I knew that if I had to … I would have shot.”
Let’s be glad she didn’t need to.

White Fire
In a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ruth Ann Dailey tries to explain events in Nice, through a conversation with her daughter, in which she explains, “The fire is war anywhere, at any time, not declared by nations but carried out by self-selected true believers of various and sundry causes.”

“When did it start? For Americans, 1983, perhaps — the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Or maybe it was the taking of American hostages in Tehran in 1979. Whichever you pinpoint, some will argue that the U.S. had it coming — payback for our actions in the Middle East during the Cold War.”

That only leaves out the slaughtering of thousands of black men and their allies by the KKK and maybe some anti-Semitism here and there … well, you get the idea. All of these things happened well before 1979.

File under: Things only an unwoke white woman can write. 


RIP “Chilly Billy”
Local icon Bill “Chilly Billy” Cardille, host of Chiller Theater, died last week after suffering from cancer. My Saturday nights as a kid were made all the better by the movies he showcased, like The Hills Have Eyes and Gargoyles. Pittsburgh is going to miss him.



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