Thursday, December 4, 2008

How WTAE Stole Christmas

Christmastime is here and there's nothing better than sitting around the old HD LCD and watching family Christmas programs. I especially like the classics; "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Rudolph TRNR" (which is kind of disturbing on many levels) and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Through the Christmas magic that is the FiOS Digital Video Recorder, we can even watch them a second or third time. Joy to the World!

The other night "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (HTGSC) was on our local Pittsburgh ABC affiliate, WTAE. The story is a little hard to follow for a 5 year old and impossible for a 2 year old; especially since ABC cuts to a commercial every two and a half minutes. That's not WTAE's fault, but I'd rather have someone sponsor the show with limited commercial interruptions. However, WTAE does control their news tease; you know the "Snow's coming, the world is doomed; film at 11" thing.

We watch as the Grinch starts stealing the Who's; not The Who's; Christmas. (If he tried to steal The Who's Christmas, Pete Townshend would beat him over the head with his guitar and Roger Daltrey would kick his Grinch-ass six ways to New Year; but that's a different story). So during a commercial break, Clay asks why the Grinch is doing this and all the other million questions a 5 year old has at Christmas. The commercials end and we turn our attention back to the screen. But first, channel 4's Wendy Bell comes on with a very important new tease: "Santa's Helper mugged outside a local mall, film at 11", she says almost cheerfully. Try explaining that to a five year old.

It's already bad enough that I can't watch a football game with Clay without him singing "Viva Viagra", but what were the people at WTAE thinking? I wrote them an email asking exactly that question. So far, no reply. Tonight we watch "Santa Claus is coming to Town". What will they tease tonight? "Local man bags 12 point Rudolph, film at 11". "Police crack down on Ho Ho Hos in Hill District, film at 11." "Global warming melts North Pole, 247 elves unaccounted for; presumed dead, film at 11". Merry Christmas.

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