News annoyances

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

Yes, it’s still sweeps. So here we go…

Bulldog’s Top Ten TV News Annoyances:

10. Cliches

“Focus in.” As opposed to, what, focus out?

“Now we turn to.” Good Morning America does more “turning” than a carousel.

“Speak out.” (See “Focus in” above.)

9. Weather Teaser

“Old Man Winter dumped 10 inches of snow on us today. What’s the forecast for tomorrow? Mike has the details coming up.” Dang, I dunno, Mike … 10 inches, maybe it’ll still be there?

8. Smart Glasses

Those little circular-shaped wire rims that convey professorial intelligence, thus allowing anchors to read from the teleprompter as if they actually understand the story.

7. Sympathy Tone

Do you notice how the anchor’s voice drops when reporting bad news, then cheerfully recovers to say, “Now let’s turn to Mike with the weather. Mike, what’s it like out there?”

6. Neighborhood Doppler

Hey, guys, I live in South Buncombe. I know what it’s doing in Arden. Whether it’s raining on State Street in Black Mountain right now doesn’t really concern me.

5. “Well, Darcel…”

It’s as if the “reporting live” (when have you heard an anchor say, “Now we turn to Sheraldo reporting on tape from 3 hours ago?) reporters need to say “Well” to jump start their larynx.

4. Program Interruptions

“This is a Storm Team 7 On Your Side Weather Alert …”

What am I supposed to do? Round up the goats? Check the tie-downs on the trailer? Come in out of the rain? Of course, if I’m outside and need to come in, I’m not getting the Storm Team 7 On Your Side Weather Alert, am I? I’m probably looking at the sky and deciding what to do. Which is, now that I think of it, a pretty good idea for the local weather forecasters too.

3. Supposedly “ad-libbed” follow-up question from the anchor to the “reporting live” reporter.

Once, wouldn’t you love to hear the reporter say, “Damn, Tammy, I didn’t think to ask him that.”

2. Question Teaser

“Did Carolina protect its No. 2 ranking? Stan will tell us coming up at 11.” Excuse me, but we just watched the game “live” on ESPN while you showed “Survivor: Yankee Tourists in Robbinsville.” We’re dumbed down and may not remember the score, but we do know who won.

1. Barometric Pressure

Would someone explain why this is important? All I need to know is raincoat or snowshoes?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1


  1. Catnap May 18, 2005

    The thunderstorm warnings have always driven me nuts. What’s the friggin’ point?
    If you are outside you have to be a special kind of stupid to not know a storm is coming. If you are inside, what are you supposed to do when you get the warning? Turn off your tv?
    I like it when 13 had the boy weather guy – I can’t remember his name. Everytime the weather got bad the would have him report from outside in Biltmore Park (which is really the channel 13 parking lot). They did it so much I began to suspect that he smelled.
    Thanks for pointing out the “well” I HATE IT. Every damn sentence starts with “well.”
    I guess it is supposed to make them sound like everything they do is an ad lib. Here’s a clue: It doesn’t work.
    “Well, a man fell down a well today…”
    “Well, Mayor Worley waited 15 minutes to start the press conference because we were late and we knew they wouldn’t start without us.”
    “Well, here’s a vacuos string of puns from our Asian reporter.”

  2. DoneRight May 17, 2005

    When the barometric pressure goes up, my dogs go crazy. Ironically its usuallly when they are ready to eat. This is the only reason why I watch the weather.


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