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Ch. 2 misleads viewers, Colbert delivers Trump-like non-apology

WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) co-anchor Maryalice Demler introduced Wednesday's segment of the series "If My Parents Only Knew" by saying "this week we've asked teenagers" about issues concerning them.

Demler and co-anchor Scott Levin repeatedly have said things like "as we continue our series" and "we sit with parents and teenagers" and "our series" in their introductions.

By "we've," "our" and "we," Demler and Levin don't mean Channel 2. They mean other stations in the Tegna family of stations besides Channel 2.

There is no Buffalo component in the series this time, which may explain why no one talking is identified in a graphic.

If Channel 2's viewers only knew or were told, it would be better for everybody. There is nothing wrong with using material from other Tegna stations in the same way Channel 2 carries NBC stories, but the introductions make it seem like it is Channel 2's work.

The practice is misleading at the very least, untruthful at worst.

It isn't the first time Channel 2 has done this with "If My Parents Only Knew," which it has carried before.

Ideally, the station would introduce each segment by identifying it is a Tegna series that should have resonance in Buffalo.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner explained that the series is "what we refer to as a silver platter series from Tegna. It was created to run with little modification. The idea is for Tegna to take a universal topic and highly produce a series of pieces that would be valuable to viewers around the country.  It is not compulsory for us to air it but it so well done and it gets such great response that we promote and give prime real estate to it."

"This is all part of our goal to bring more unique, quality content to our viewers that they won’t see anywhere else," added Toellner.

Speaking of Tegna, one of its new programs, "Daily Blast LIVE" will be carried by Channel 2 in the fall. According to a release, "'DBL' is a live, 30-minute multi-platform news and entertainment show designed to complement people’s busy lifestyles with unpredictable, entertaining and trending news. This new program will be led by industry veteran Maureen FitzPatrick, who most recently led 'Hot Bench' to one of the hottest shows in syndication today."

"DBL will bring the latest trending stories to viewers 24/7 with broadcast and digital teams delivering a fun, entertaining and exciting half hour to the viewers. The show will run LIVE in every market and time zone that it airs, providing audiences across the country with the unique opportunity to participate LIVE with the show and its hosts at every moment. Viewers can become a part of the show’s conversation by sharing their reactions and opinions on stories, voting on content and submitting videos and other content that may appear on the show."

The program will be produced from KUSA in Denver and be carried by 36 Tegna stations..

The release doesn’t state where Channel 2 is going to carry the program, but Toellner expects it might land in the 2 p.m. slot currently carrying the syndicated Tegna program "T.D. Jakes." "DBL" should be able to improve on Jakes' program, which doesn't even get a 1 rating here.

In Tuesday's blog, I mentioned that I saw portions of Stephen Colbert's Monday monologue on Twitter before "The Late Show" on CBS aired and then watched the show at 11:35 p.m. to see if the attack against President Trump would air as delivered.

I wrote: "It was so devastating that there was potential for severe editing." I later added "it included a crude word suggesting we are being ruled by a would-be dictator and another word that had to be bleeped out."

I had no idea what the word being bleeped was, but when it was later revealed it led to suggestions that Colbert was being homophobic and calls for him to be fired.

I wasn't surprised Wednesday night when Colbert opened the show by saying that he'd do the monologue again but would have changed "a few words that were cruder than they needed to be."

In other words, the editing I expected would have helped and there were hours to do it. The show tapes in the late afternoon.

You could say Colbert was issuing a Trump-like non-apology.

Colbert answered the homophobic charge without mentioning it. His first guest Wednesday night, Jim Parsons of CBS' top-rated "Big Bang Theory," said as a gay man he didn't feel the word that Colbert used was homophobic.

Advertisers on Colbert's show realize the host has been attacking Trump nightly for months, which would make it seem unlikely they would drop the show over this even if he went over the line as comedians and late-night hosts occasionally do.

Fox has canceled the series "Pitch" about the first female baseball pitcher in the major leagues. I enjoyed it and thought series lead Kylie Bunbury was a star. But as I said before it premiered, not even famed writer-producer Steven Bochco could make a baseball series work. His "Bay City Blues" failed in 1983.

The Buffalo Bills announcement that they’ve declined the fifth year option on former No. 1 pick Sammy Watkins that would have kicked in after this season may amuse drivers on the 190 North who see a billboard with a Bills player wearing No. 14. That's Watkins' number. Of course, Watkins will be a Bill this season. But the billboard seems a little strange considering the circumstances surrounding him now.

Email: apergament@buffnews.com

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