I don't ask a lot from local news. Like a lot of viewers, I make my decision on which station to watch on a regular basis according to a number of factors, chief among them likability of anchors and reporters. Even though the local CBS affiliate, KFMB Channel 8, has had a number of misfires in the past few years when it comes to keeping talent, I still prefer Barbara-Lee Edwards to pretty much anyone else doing news at 5:00pm each night. And that's even with the cast of dullards who share the anchor desk with her. Better anchors sit at the bottom of San Diego Bay.
So, okay...I get the fact that the Tiger Woods affair(s) story is news, at least to some--maybe even a LOT--of people. I get it that the idol of millions with the--up until now--squeaky clean reputation has let a lot of people down. But I don't get leading your newscast TWO nights in a row with the story, based on the slim local tie that the first woman to admit an affair with the world's most successful professional golfer is from Escondido.
First off, there's a certain snarkiness to all of this. It's really apparent that the first woman who was "revealed" as his mistress this week was all set to show and tell but probably only because the second woman had already made big bucks off of US Weekly (reportedly six figures). So the Rachel chick from NYC gets on a plane to go talk with media-whore/scumbag attorney Gloria Allred in LA and they plan a press conference for today, which gets mysteriously canceled. Why? Well, I'm willing to bet that being the second woman in a week to announce an affair to remember isn't as lucrative as being the first. Ms. Allred saw her payday go up in smoke.
Secondly--and here's the shame on you part, CBS 8--when your lead story consists of a live shot outside of the W Hotel downtown--where, shockingly, Tiger and the Escondido woman had sex (Gosh, who knew people had sex in hotels? I'M STUNNED)--AND a report based entirely on the current issue of US Weekly, it stops being reportage and becomes something akin to plagiarism. And really, really crappy plagiarism at that. I mean, c'mon...seriously? The entire story was lifted from that magazine article and "spiced up" with sleazy tabloid show music, to make it sound even more lurid than it already was. I expect a lot better from both CBS 8 and especially Phil Blauer, who is one of the market's best field reporters. If I want to see crap like this, I'll stay tuned to Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, both conveniently also on CBS 8, following directly after the news.
I have my suspicions that maybe CBS 8 has a new news director or a new consultant or something. The music on the news opens changed this week, and that's almost always the first thing a new news director or consultant does, just to pee in the corners and mark their territory. Next will be graphics and/or the set (except in this economy, the latter costs a fortune for little or no payback...I'm still convinced that viewers watch based on talent and not how pretty the set and graphics look, but no news director buys that thought process). A new news director might also signal a different attitude as to how news is covered on any particular station. And anyone who has worked in TV news for even a short time knows that often reporters have little say on what they're covering when they get into work. I'm willing to give Phil--and anyone else stuck with a particularly stupid or lurid story (you get to decide which the Tiger Woods story is)--the benefit of the doubt on that.
This story may very well be Tiger's downfall--a least on some level--and the news media seems to be taking particular delight with that fact, especially CBS 8. But if you don't mind, from now on I'll just play through. I think we all need a drink at the 19th hole--and maybe a shower, too--after watching the sleazefest I saw at both 5:00 and 6:30pm tonight.