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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Doggies in the news

Let me be the first to point out an important fact before I continue: I have never, ever had sex with a dog. In fact, unless you count a girl who lived in Lathrop Hall my freshman year in college, I haven't had sex with any kind of animal. Ever.

With that out of the way, let me tell you why I'm glad I'm no longer in TV news.

There's been a recent spate of news stories in my adopted hometown about dogs attacking humans. Generally the news judgement is pretty good and unless someone is mauled and subsequently dies, the TV stations ignore the story completely. As it happened, though, this spate started when a news editor was jumped by an unleashed Rottweiler and got a couple nasty bites. After that, every news organization jumped on almost any story that involved a dog attack. I finally lost it when a two-year-old kid wandered away from his house, into somebody's backyard, and got bitten badly enough...to need stitches.

That's right. Stitches. Not even a lot of them. And it was on TV.

So, my wife, still a news producer, comes home and I offer, "You know, man bites dog is a news story. Dog bites man is not."

She got sort of defensive, but I think she eventually saw things my way. As I see it, unless somebody ends up in the morgue after a dog attack, it's not much worth using the public airways for it.

So, imagine my surprise when this story made air today. That's right, it's a story about a kid screwing a dog

Now, let me be the first to day something else: I think screwing dogs is wrong. Just wrong. I even agree it should be criminal and I'm glad, especially in this state, that it is. Funny thing is, under the law here, the kid has been charged with the same crime as if he'd done it to a human being. But that's another rant all together.

But is it news? There's the rub (if only the kid knew about the rub, we wouldn't be in this mess).

Beastiality is an abhorent thing, but I'm not sure it's exactly something we need to hear about during the lunch hour. Now, there's apparently a method to the madness. Apparently it's news because the kid is out on bond for alleged sexual assaults on children. I agree that's news.

However, 30-seconod news stories about the kid's continued sexual deviancy probably moves beyond the realm of good taste. Especially when I'm eating my turkey sandwich. If the point is the kid has some serious issues and shouldn't be out on bond, great. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about the bond and bail process, the judges who use or mis-use their discretion, etc, etc.

But save the doggie-doing, especially 30-second noon hour news bits with no context.

Or, put another way, man screws dog isn't news. Dog screws man...now that is a story.

Of course, it is the last day of the ratings period, so what should I expect?

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