Scare News

How many of you out there have been given a news break/blurb like, “Is your water killing you? Film at eleven.” or similar? Then, horrified you tune in at eleven and they go, “No, it’s not, but here’s an isolated case…” This really pisses me off! If there is news shouldn’t they just TELL me? Isn’t that their job? Or is to force me to watch their news cast to get the details I may need?

You can count the number of apples in one tree but never the number of trees in one apple.

I remember a local (San Francisco) news station doing this about ten years ago:

“Fire at a Richmond post office. At eleven, we’ll tell you if any mail was lost.”

Of course, none was.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

It’s part of their job to sell you on tuning in and they feel like that approach works. Apparently it does.

Read a newspaper instead. You’re not as likely to find a headline on page one that says “Famous celebrity dies. Buy this paper and find out who.”
Even when newspapers suck, and a lot of them are real Hoovers, they still pretty much tell you things outright instead of just teasing you.
I see those flagrant teases all the time on Atlanta stations and, as a journalist myself, they drive me crazy. In exactly the same few seconds, they could give you actual news instead of a tease. I once saw one in which they showed a house on fire and said “An elderly woman was trapped in this house fire. At 11, we’ll tell you if she got out alive.”
When they do that, they’re making it clear that their main goal is to get the viewer at any cost, not to deliver news to the public.
– Greg, Atlanta

I don’t watch the news anymore instead I try to read articles online from Reuters or AP which seem to have more raw facts, then all this interpreted garbage on TV. Although I suppose if the local drinking water were ever contaminated I’d be in trouble. Oh wait … that did happen once and I heard about it from people all day long.

There’s a decent book on the subject of TV News:

How to Watch TV News
by Neil Postman and Steve Powers
copyright 1992
Penguin Books USA Inc.
375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014, USA
ISBN 0 14 01.3231 7

What the heck, it beats watching the news.

(The Original EnigmaOne)
Common ¢ for all ages.

The teasers don’t bug me as much as the interuptions for ‘important breaking news.’
If the water is contaminated that would warrent an interuption,it affects me now.The fact that a local sports team has traded for some athlete doesn’t, even I cared what am I supposed to do about it? A major fire or a highspeed chase maybe ,I know to stay away from that area.An announcement that the police chief has announced his retirement? It is the ‘scoop mentality’ gone haywire.The $ major tv stations broke into programing here to report that ‘channel X has just learned’ that the police chief had announced(at a conference attended by all the news organizations) that he was going to retire at the end of the year. For twenty minutes they blabbed on about it. Panic in the streets! Abandon hope! Chief to retire someday!

Last year in the SF Bay area, shows were interrupted for a news flash that a dead baby had been found in a garbage bag in the dumpster of a restaurant parking lot. They had all these experts speculating how it got there, witness accounts of who found it(“I started to open the bag when I saw a tiny hand and came in and called the police”) and what cars were seen in the area that day; possible causes of death; plenty of “We’ll keep you posted” type crap; they almost had the whole theme music and graphics going for the “baby in the bag.” After like 3 hours of this crap the coroner finally came and opened the bag. It was a dead opossum. Can you believe it? We were ROLLING. The newscasters were all hemming and hawing. Squirm city. I loved it.

voguevixen, that reminds me of one that was on our local news recently; I wish I’d saved a newspaper clipping because the paper goofed it up, too. A baby was found in a dumpster, the police roped off the area, and everyone in the city was freaking out. It couldn’t be determined if it was a full term baby or a late-term fetus (“those satanic pro-abortion people probably had something to do with it!”), nor was the cause of death clear. They shipped it off to the coroner and waited expectantly for the autopsy results. It was a doll.

I am not making this up.

Holy you-know-what! I hope they were shame-faced! That really bugs me. They jump on things, make wild accusations and it’s all crap in the end. Oopps, another pun?

Six words: National Public Radio; British Broadcasting Corporation. You’ll get more information, more accurate, of a much wider scope, with less bias, and much better in presentation, than you will from NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Time, Newsweek, and all the rest of those outfits all rolled up into one great big sticky ball.

The other night, I had one ear on the news, and I heard something that I’m certain would end up on the Darwin Awards, except I don’t think it was an urban legend.

Apparently, some guy died at a car lot when he was crushed under a car. This doesn’t seem too incredibly strange, until you realize why he was under the car in the first place . . .
I am not making this up. The local news may very well have been making it up, but I’m not.

Bosso bizaro! Thanks to all who replied. And yeah, I don’t tune into the local news anymore. I adore NPR since I think they wait until they have something to say before they post (broadcast, whatever). Also, on-line services have much to offer as do print news.

However, I guess what I’m looking for here is other stories (like above) of hysteria, bullshit or outright LIES to get you to tune in. This intrigues me. What crap have they used to get you to tune in and you went, “you lying shitheels! That’s not what you said at the news break!”

Obviously, I’ve refined my OP after reading the replies. And again, thanks for the FYI and I agree: TV news sucks. But tell me what you’ve seen/heard them do to get you to tune in.

OK, here’s one that fits your post better…one evening they said something like “Is your bottled water dangerous to your child? Tonight at 6!” Well first off what does that make you think? Those so-called purified water dealers are slipping crack into my kid’s water or something. Well, no. It turns out that BIG NEWS FLASH bottled water doesn’t have flouride in it like city water does. So if your kids are drinking bottled water and you’re not giving them flouride drops, well they may get a cavity! Horrors! In the baby teeth they’re going to lose anyway! What kind of God would allow this to happen!!! Oh, and I’ve already had my say about the teams that send someone out to do a live report somewhere where some obscure thing happened like 3 hours prior. “I’m live at the scene where, although an empty field NOW, was earlier today the scene of an amazing spectacle! With me is the sister of an eyewitness who is no longer present…what can you share with us?” ZZZZZZZZZ!

voguevixen I think you are going to steal my heart! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! How shameless, how lame… And they just don’t stop!

One of the local NY stations got in trouble with the FCC about ten years ago for something like that. During “L.A. Law” they kept having newsbreaks: “One of the stars of tonight’s show found dead–news at 11!” Turns out it was a bit player, and everyone did come down pretty hard on the station for that.

Not quite on topic, but I heard a really lame attempt at a “scare” teaser tonight:
“The threat of a drug-resistant germ is spreading!” I didn’t tune in.

I generally avoid watching the news; I watch the fake news with Jon Stewart instead.

Actually, that teaser was for exactly what it is. Apparently, four children have been killed by an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph infections in Minnesota and…Montana, I think?

Well if that’s the case, it’s more than just a threat spreading.