Posted by: Ali Davis | September 25, 2013

An open letter to KABC-TV Los Angeles

Dear KABC,

I just want to compliment you on that awesome news promo last night!

You started off strong, letting viewers know that a man has been “robbing and raping” his way across Southern California.

Excellent turn of phrase! Way to grab the ear! Way to let people know that this is about some dude on a spree, like in a super-cool anti-hero movie, and not someone doing something horrible that people should actually think about.

A lesser news writer might have gone with “Police are seeking a serial rapist for multiple sexual assaults,” but your team knew that that sounded way less fun. It might even make people think about the victims a little bit. Downer.

But that’s just icing, really. It’s not even close to the most awesome part of the promo. 

The best part was when you let viewers know that if they wanted to know what all the victims had in common, they would have to tune in at 11:00.

Sure, some boring-ass lame-O at another station might suggest that the fact that this rapist is targeting women who work in massage parlors is a vital piece of information to actual living, feeling human beings who are in danger. That lame-O might have suggested that you could just give out that information as a public service so that the women who are being targeted could take steps to try to protect themselves and, you know, not get raped.

But you awesome geniuses at KABC know that news is not about getting important information to the public. It’s about buzz and advertising dollahs.

You and everyone involved in that promo made sure to keep the most important thing in mind: That ladies afraid of getting raped just means eyeballs on your newscast. Plus it’s not like ladies who work in massage parlors are real ladies with lives that might get shattered, right?

Anyway, good job all around on making sure you treat the women in your audience like nonhuman commodities and rape as a particularly titillating lead-in to your newscast. I’m sure it will earn you booming ratings and high marks for creativity and innovation when you get to Hell.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any praise for the show itself.

I didn’t get around to watching it because fuck you.

Sincerely,

Ali Davis

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