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November 7, 2006
Local TV News Sweeps: Day 5

'Twas the night before the election, and all of our local news stations had the good sense to devote some of their broadcasts on Monday to the issues.

Ah, but do not fear. There still was plenty of time for sweeps-month whimsy. And one child molester story, but plenty of other crime to freak us out.

The best story for pure entertainment value - one that The Bee ignored this morning, by the way - was the burglar in Sacramento, who was caught by the cops with his pants down. Great visuals of the "perp walk," with the dude shuffling along in his skivvies. And the voiceover from our local reporters didn't disappoint, either.

Over at Fox40, Thomas Drayton (left) tried to keep a straight face when introducing the piece.
Drayton: "Let's go to Teri Cox in the newsroom with more on this bad guy in boxers."

Cox: "Not a pretty sight, Thomas."

Channel 3's Deirdre Fitzpatrick, reporting on the same story, may have a future as a comedy writer.
"He could've come out with his hands up. Instead, he came out with his pants down. Caught red-handed and nearly bare-bottomed, Captain Underpants got nipped by the dog and tucked into the squad car."

Great stuff. But then, Channel 3 had to go and ruin it with yet another plug for its "Crime Tracker" software on its Web site.

Meanwhile, several of the stations had "special reports."

* Channel 13: Pallas Hupe reported on overcrowded prisons, complete with a visit to a facility in Solano County where, after the slo-mo shots of tattoed bad boys behind bars, she quoted prisoners as saying the place is a "hell hole" and "like living in a sewer dump."

more prison.jpg

* Channel 3: Fitzpatrick again, this time with a story called "Cruise Crime." As Edie Lambert ominously said in the introduction, "Your safety on the high seas may be highly compromised." Fitzpatrick then interviewed a woman who said she was raped by a Royal Caribbean Cruise security guard, but the man went free because the ship was in international waters and no one had jurisdiction. It was a thorough report, but a little cheesy when Channel 3 showed "re-created scenes" in black and white of a hand grasping a woman's arm.

Other "highlights": Fox40 on "Mom Jeans" that make women lose 10 pounds (!); Fox40 on "procreation vacations" in the Bahamas, where couples wanting to have kids can frolic and have fertility specialists at their beck and call; Channel 13 on yoga at your desk, and Channel 3 with a report on a Delaware man, a convicted child molester, who was forced by a judge to wear a T-shirt saying: "I am a registered sex offender."

And what about News10? At 6 p.m., six of the station's 12 stories were about the election races. At 11 p.m., five of the 14 stories were on politics. And no, it didn't have a peep about the pants-down burglary suspect.

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