Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the news at home

I'm on day 3 of my holiday visit to Johnstown. It's been all sorts of fun so far. My parents and my brother were all here on Christmas Day for presents and a Hanukkah dinner of brisket and potato latkes. Yesterday we went to Pittsburgh, where we visited with some of my friends and stopped to see an elderly relative, then we braved a Best Buy for a little after-Christmas shopping. We're just hanging out at home today, then tomorrow we're off to Reading, PA, to see my uncle and his family.

Last night, after Monday Night Football, the late local news came on. My mother warned me that that particular news was horrible, and she wasn't kidding. The anchor flubbed her opening, then she threw to a reporter in the field, reporting that "a crime has been committed in Blair County." Since this reporter didn't have a camera crew, she was on the phone. And she had no idea what was going on, only saying that there might have been a homicide, but the police weren't providing any details. I don't think she even said what part of Blair County she was in. The worst part was that the station didn't have a decent graphic to put on screen while she talked. Usually, when you have a reporter on the phone, you see their picture in one part of the screen and a map of their location in another part. The station's graphic did show the reporter's photo, although it was a terrible photo that looked like it was cropped out of a candid at a happy hour. The rest of the screen said "ON THE PHONE" and showed a picture of a cell phone. I'm not kidding. I guess that was the picture in case you didn't know what a phone was. We had to change the channel after that. The other local news stations here aren't much better, but that was one of the worst I've ever seen.

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