How about this one I wrote and aired at WDIV-TV in Detroit:
“They are freaks of nature! Strange and bizarre albino frogs when we come back!”
Well, the Detroit albino community was none too happy. We were flooded with calls that “Albinos are NOT freaks of nature!” Oops.
Or this one that I wrote and aired on WBNS-TV in Columbus:
“He’s the biggest porker on the planet! Why this fat slob is desperate and dateless as Eyewitness News continues…”
That tease would have been fine if the video of the pig aired. Instead, the tease videos got switched and we accidentally rolled video of Columbus Mayor Dana Rinehart. Oops.
And another from WDIV. This is a touchy one as the city of Detroit was urging the media to downplay the Devil’s Night violence that occurs every year on the night before Halloween. Traditionally, on October 30th, vandals set fire to anything in sight in and around Detroit, whether it’s abandoned houses, occupied houses, schools, whatever. The city erupts in a wall of flames. On this night in 1990, it was clear that despite all of the citizens groups and police out in force to prevent arsonists from striking, the arsonists were winning. This night was one of the worst Devil’s Night’s seen in the last decade. I had Chris Hansen, Mike Wendland, Anne Thompson, Bob Pisor, Dan Mountney, a virual army or reporters and live trucks across the city covering what could only be called an “orgy” of arson. And fortunately, station management had the balls to ignore the city’s pleas and report the truth – that Detroit had once again been torched. Here’s my tease that led the 11pm that night:
“Tonight, an orgy of arson – and the massive effort to fight the flames”.
That’s a fair tease. Not overdramatized. It just stated the facts. The next morning, much of the news in the papers was that WDIV went all out on coverage instead of downplaying the violence as the city had requested. My “orgy” analogy was used in many headlines. Funny, the papers didn’t have the cajones to call the violence an “orgy” on their own (defying the city’s request), but they had no problem quoting us over and over about how bad the violence truly was.