I used to think that the Midwest generated an inordinate amount of hysterically bad local television journalism. I was never sure whether the lack of substance (or a lack of a sense of irony) indicated that too many TV reporters grew up in sanitized pods, made the assumption that their audience did or just spent far too much time sniffing hair gel.
Then I watched a broadcast on a local Washington DC station, where the anchor stumbled through horrifying murder statistics and a puff story about zoo babies with a clock behind him that remained bizarrely crooked for the entire broadcast. And I watched some New York City-area broadcasts with their own amateur qualities. I realized we heartlanders are not alone.
Of course, John Stewart’s Daily Show has made the parody of the self-absorbed TV “journalist” obliviously reporting on a story that seemed clearly insane to the rest of us into an art form. But I’m glad to see that the real thing is still out there, alive and well (in this case, from Michigan). Although, watching this, I have to suspect that the producers have a sense of humor: