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Strange Choices by Ch.2, ABC


PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10:  Actors Leslie Hope...

Leslie Hope and Bruce Greenwood

What in the world possessed Channel 2 to have doctors create its news policy? What in the world possessed ABC to carry a documentary-style horror series?

Those are today’s questions.

Let’s start with Channel 2’s latest bit of grandstanding. On Monday night, anchors Maryalice Demler and Scott Levin announced that the station will no longer carry video of the LeRoy High School students who are exhibiting mysterious tics and verbal outbreaks likened to Tourette Syndrome because doctors feel it is bad for their recovery.

“2 on Your Side not only takes journalism seriously, we also take seriously our role in the community,” said Demler. “If not showing the teens truly helps, then we are all in.”

Levin acknowledged that Channel 2 couldn’t control what other media outlets do, including its own network (NBC) in covering the story. “We’ve decided because doctors say this is best for these kids in this situation ” that the station is not showing the video unless or until other diagnoses are made.

Channel 2 News likes to tell its viewers why it doesn’t cover things. This announcement follows a recent announcement earlier why it wasn’t providing details of rumors and reports that were unconfirmed about another big story.

Sure enough, Channel 2 couldn’t control its own network. This morning’s edition of NBC’s “Today” started with video of several LeRoy teens exhibiting the tics. At around 7:45 a.m., “Today” also ran a lengthy report featuring video of a few LeRoy teens and their tics and added that similar video is being posted on Facebook and You Tube.  

The question isn’t whether Channel 2 can control its own network or social networks. It’s whether it should give up news control to doctors who think these TV news reports are bad for their patients. If Channel 2 used this policy nightly, a lot more stories about other topics might not make it on the air since some psychologists believe TV news can be bad for our health.

Now I can live without ever seeing the video of these teens again. It can be gratuitous at times. But Channel 2 had a couple of alternatives before announcing its policy. It could have stopped running the video without making some big announcement that seems like a criticism of other media. Or it could have just run the video when warranted and leave the policing of news to someone else.

Presumably, the LeRoy teenager have parents. Let them try and keep their children away from local TV news. After all, doctors expect the help of parents when treating children– not the media.

Now on to “The River,” the ABC series about a missing host of a TV adventure series that has a two-hour premiere starting at 9 tonight on Channel 7.

It is easy to see what made ABC decide to give a very different looking series a try for eight episodes. The success of the movie “Paranormal Activity” undoubtedly had some influence on the network. So did the fact that Steven Spielberg is an executive producer.

But different can be a tough sell on network TV.  And “The River” isn’t easy to watch because of its hand-held camera video style and is even harder to explain.

It stars Bruce Greenwood as a world-renowned TV host and former People magazine cover boy, Dr. Emmet Cole, who was lost in the Amazon several months ago. He is seen primarily through flashbacks. His wife, Tess (Leslie Hope of “24”) needs to persuade their angry son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson) to go on a search mission to get a TV crew to finance the mission and make a TV show about it. Paul Blackthorne plays a TV producer and Eloise Mumford plays the daughter of a missing cameraman. The cast of characters also include a cameraman, a security guard and an engineer with a daughter who has paranormal gifts.

All of the characters have secrets and few of them are who they appear to be. In between some weirdness involving dolls, insects and dangerous ponds that grab people, the characters reveal their pasts in clichéd one-on-one discussions.

Things can get a little dull waiting for the horrors to occur and they’re not all that scary. “The River” didn’t grab me, but it wouldn’t shock me if it could scare up viewers who are searching for something they haven’t seen before on TV and are unlikely to see again.

Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 4


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7 responses to "Strange Choices by Ch.2, ABC"

  1. JFH says:

    Channel 2 took the same stance when they didn’t cover the Niagara SPCA story while it was all over the local print and media outlets.

  2. Joe says:

    I only wish their do not show policy applied to:
    1) Mayor Byron Brown at ribbon cuttings and social events
    2) reporters at the airport the day before major holidays telling us the obvious…duh it’s busy
    3) reporters outside on hot days telling everyone it’s hot…and drink lots of fluids

  3. Gman says:

    How bout another story about a cat left in a box. Ch 4 ran with on Fri,Sat, Sun, & Mon. Even was a featured report by who else but Luke Moretti.( no one investigates like Luke) ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!

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