Using the lure of a “twisted take on local headlines,” KOMO 4 eleven o’clock news team Dan Lewis and Mary Nam succeeded last night in tricking unwitting viewers into sitting through an entire newscast filled with tedious stories and depressing tales of woe.
A new Seattle-area parody news website was used as bait in ads promoting the newscast during the seven, eight, nine and ten o’clock hours, and the story was dangled in front of viewers like a caramel-covered strawberry marshmallow as the anchors led into nearly every commercial break during the 30-minute broadcast at eleven. However, each time the program returned, anchors pulled the old bait-and-switch.
“It’s April Fools’ year round,” promised the promo before one commercial break, after which the news team proceeded to put the already tired audience completely to sleep with tales of a rat-infested home and yet another Mariners’ loss.
“The new twist on local news that pokes fun, and makes you look twice,” said Nam, who followed up her tantalizing promise with a story about the “Beacon Hill Groper” and a series of so-called golf “highlights.”
“It’s a time-honored newsroom tactic,” said Lewis, who has been anchoring news for probably like forty years or something. “You put the story that the viewers are actually interested in way at the end of the newscast, and taunt them with it for hours, getting them to sit through all the boring stuff that we throw in there just to fill the time.”
“It’s true, we pretty much do this every night,” said Nam. “A few nights ago it was a story about free ice cream, the night before that it was a bit about kittens or something, I don’t know.”
Before getting around to the attention-grabbing story about an entertaining new parody news site, the newscasters had blabbed their way through no fewer than two dozen coma-inducing stories. By the time the promised segment finally aired, any viewers that had not passed out from boredom were rewarded with a fleeting 45-second spot about the remarkable new site.
“Tonight’s news was so boring, I could barely even stay awake,” said Nam, “this trick is as much for the viewers as it is for us.”
Tune in to KOMO 4 News at Eleven tonight to be tempted with promises of an exciting tale of real-life pirates on the high seas, only to be delivered yet another half hour of mind-numbingly dull accounts of allegedly newsworthy events padded in before the story you really want to see.