Monday, January 17, 2005


The 5 p.m. news — I’m told it was WHDH-TV Channel 7 — had a story about the attempted abduction of a girl by a man who tried to ply her with alcohol.

The way her friend described it on camera, the two girls, ages unknown because I was busy looking through an office book sale while the news played, were walking down the street when they were stopped by a man sitting in his car. The man had rolled down his window, shaken hands with the girls and said hello, then asked one of the girls, apparently in her mid to late teens, if she would join him for a drink that night.

The girl said no, and the two went on their way. The police are looking for the man, who was described as being very tan and having bulging eyes.

It was scary, the spokesgirl said. “It could happen to anybody.”

Indeed, terrifying. All the more so because it could happen to anybody. Lord only knows what would have resulted if the girl hadn’t had the wits to tell the man “No.”

Of course, there may have been elements of this story I missed, but they were also missed somehow by the newsroom editorial assistant whose job it was to watch the news and take notes. She was doing both things, but she, too, kept waiting to hear the newsworthy part of the story.

Perhaps sensing this was not their finest moment, WHDH employees did not bother to post the story on the station’s Web site.

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