Every time I leave town and turn on local television news in the city I visit, I get a new appreciation of how often Buffalo's local TV news carries things that matter to the Western New York community.
On Sunday, I mentioned a story about a psychic on a Los Angeles newscast anchored by former Channel 4 anchor-reporter Glen Walker had me quickly searching for the remote during my recent visit out West.
During Presidents' Day Weekend, I was in Washington, D.C. and found one newscast even more laughable than what is going on in Los Angeles.
Because the D.C. area hasn't had much snow, the station's meteorologist did a lengthy filmed comedy piece to kill time rather than use it for something meaningful to the community.
Even unintentionally funnier was an interview with a man who took out an advertisement on Craigslist offering $250 a month for someone to sleep next to him in his bed in a nonsexual manner.
I'm not making this up.
Then there was a story that I felt I had seen before. It was a story about "Revenge Porn" that was part of a series called "If My Parents Only Knew."
After a few seconds, I realized I had seen it before. On WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), a week ago. Except for some localizing, it was exactly the same story that appeared on Channel 2, which made me realize I was watching a station, WUSA, owned by Tegna, the same owner as Channel 2.
When I watched it on Channel 2 a week ago, I hadn’t realized that the highly-promoted sweeps series was a Tegna-produced story that is offered to other stations it owns to localize.
The story also tested my memory because I vaguely recalled seeing a "Revenge Porn" series on Channel 2 some time ago. After a little research, my memory was confirmed. Channel 2 reporter Michael Wooten ran a lengthy story about "Revenge Porn" during the November sweeps in 2013.
The 2017 version had a twist – the victim in "Revenge Porn" was a teenage male.
Here is an edited version of what I wrote about Wooten's story in 2013.
As predicted from watching promos, the story … was a cautionary tale advising young women that it isn’t so smart to send nude or provocative pictures to your boyfriend, because someday he might become an ex-boyfriend and post them online.
The message probably could have been delivered in 30 seconds, but Wooten’s initial report was around six or seven minutes, an uncommonly long time for any news story.
The scariest part of Wooten’s report concerned a Midwestern survey that concluded about 80 percent of college students practice sexting. However, he didn’t define sexting. College students told me it isn’t just sending nude pictures; it also is talking dirty.
I feel a little dirty writing about this. I thought I knew all I needed to know from Part 1, but Part 2 of Wooten’s series aired at 6 p.m. the next day at about the same length. Why did we need Part 2?
The answer to that question is easy. The same reason we needed a return to "Revenge Porn" in the series "If My Parents Only Knew."
Because it is a sweeps month.
A story like "Revenge Porn" is practically the TV news equivalent of paying someone $250 a month to sleep in the same bed.