what bugs me

Nightly Crimes Perpetrated by the TV News

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our mothers warned us not to watch television. It's obvious they haven't spoken with some of you.

Newscasters and on-site reporters, as well as weathermen and sportscasters, are constantly saying one another's names: "Bob and Carol, back to you." "Joan and Bill, the traffic on I-66 . . ." "Dave and Diane, the Cherry Blossom Festival . . ." I often feel like I am intruding on their private conversations. I think the constant getting back to one another is unnecessary so the viewing audience can feel okay about listening in. They do hope we are watching, don't they?

-- Kari K. Cantrell, Oak Hill

Why do so many TV personalities, especially newscasters, begin with, "Hi, everyone," "Good evening, everyone," etc.? If I'm watching TV by myself, or in a public place, how important does that make me feel? Not very. Like some of the veterans in their field, why don't they recognize that they should visualize that they are speaking to only one person? Speak in the second person. Use the word "you" as often as possible. Just say, "Good evening." Since you are looking right into my eyes, talk to me.

-- Nick Koval, Rockville

Watch any story about a crime on a local TV newscast. They don't say the "perpetrators" got away. "Assailants" didn't beat up the street vender. "Shooters" didn't wound the child during the drive-by. And "criminals" aren't being sought. At least not according to the newscast. No, rather it seems "suspects" do all this.

If one believes a specific person has committed a crime, that person is a "suspect." In the absence thereof, there is no "suspect." There is a criminal/murderer/assailant/robber/arsonist/perpetrator on the loose. Is the absence of the correct usage of these words indication of further slippage into pc-ness? I suspect so.

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