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June 6, 2007
Where's Scooter on local TV?

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AP Photos/Charles Dharapak

I rant, therefore I am...

We realize it's called local TV news. The emphasis for our four stations, naturally, is on what's going on in our area.

But - and this has long been our pet peeve - there are many times when our newscasts simply ignore major national and international stories. Perhaps they assume that everyone watches the early-evening network news for that, but recent ratings show that's not true. When we do get national coverage, too often it's simply because it is accompanied by cool video.

The glaring lack happened again Tuesday night. We were watching Channel 3 (KCRA) - your humble media correspondent rotates which stations to frequent, by the way; tonight, it'll be Fox40 - and not a single second was devoted to the surprising 30-month jail term given to ex-Cheney aide Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

Granted, it was a strong news night locally, what with the cop shootings in Shingle Springs, a couple of eye-pleasing wildfires, and a Channel 3 update on its real-estate scam investigation.

But couldn't they find a quick 10 seconds for Libby's sentencing? I mean, c'mon, take away one highlight clip from sports guy Del Rodgers or lose that funny show-ender on the drunken golf-cart driver.

Local news honchos shouldn't assume that viewers have caught news of Libby on the noon, 5 or 6 p.m. reports. Hey, some of us work all day.

Fox40 provided a 1 min 30 second report, complete with tape. News10 gave the Libby story 30 seconds during the first 15 minutes of its late newscast. Channel 13 waited until 40 minutes into its hour-long late news show to give 10 seconds to Libby's sentencing. (This morning, The Bee ran a front-page headline with a "teaser" to a story inside on Libby - and that might be considered by some as under-playing the story.)

I've pretty much given up on local TV news to give me stories from Iraq. But to ignore a Bush administration official going to jail? Bad call.

You can be darned sure that every station in the market covered the Paris Hilton going-to-jail saga.

Where's the love for Scooter?

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