Thursday, May 13, 2004


I could have sworn that a few minutes ago FOX-25 flashed an ad onscreen for its nightly news that said, among other things, it had “serious reporting.”

This is kind of sad, like a restaurant offering “edible food,” and not the first time Fox has gotten a little silly with its commercials. The last time I paid attention, which is admittedly years ago, the ads were touting “Fox undercover,” with images of reporter Michael Beaudet (a fellow Emersonian!) chasing after people with camera and microphone and asking incisive questions. (“When did you stop beating your wife?” being the tone.)

When the Boston Herald had a union demonstration and a Fox camera crew showed up to cover it, I asked its members, in a manner full of fellowship and good cheer, whether they would speak to their higher-ups about the ads. They were unsure what I meant.

“Well, you see him running around with a microphone,” I said. “That’s not undercover.”

“It’s investigative reporting,” they said, a little testily.

“Sure, but investigative, undercover — not synonymous,” I said.

I can’t remember where the conversation went from there. It went nowhere good.

But it proves one thing: Fox really does have “serious reporting.” Very serious, indeed. No sense of humor at all.

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