Channel 6 Dances On The Graves Of Children
If crazy Keith Olbermann was still in a position to issue his "Worst Person in the World" awards, today would be a toss up between Channel 6 reporter Angelica Duria and her boss, WITI president and general manager Chuck Steinmetz.
By way of background, Channel 6 is trying to attract viewers by having its news anchors and reporters do a stupid little dance called "the Dougie". Think of it as kind of a low-rent version of the "Harlem Shake". That sound you hear is Walter Cronkite rolling over in his grave.
Anyway, most of the participants in this little exercise busted their moves inside the television studio. For reasons that pass understanding, Duria decided to shake her booty while on assignment.
That assignment? Duria was covering the West Allis fire scene where a five-year old girl and two four-year old twin boys had lost their lives!
You really don't know where to start with this one.
It is one thing to do your dance at Brewers Opening Day or while covering a pub crawl on St. Patrick's Day. It's quite another to do it at an ongoing crime scene where three children have recently lost their lives.
That somebody at Channel 6 was so stupid as to ask Duria to dance at the crime scene is bizarre. That Duria was so clueless and unprofessional as to actually do her dance is incredible. That Channel 6 general manager Steinmetz doesn't appear to understand how offensive this stunt was is telling.
In the interest of full disclosure, as I think everybody knows, I appear daily on our sister television station Today's TMJ 4. l have also been known to wear a football jersey or a funny hat during certain segments if I feel it to be appropriate. The key though is having a sense of what is appropriate for the time and place.
In some ways, Milwaukee is a small town - and over the years, I've known a lot of people who work or have worked for Channel 6. I have to believe that some of them are completely embarrassed by this latest stunt.
If not, what's next?
Will Channel 6 superimpose the video of Duria dancing at the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek. How about filming her doing the bunny hop in front of the Azanna Spa? Maybe they can send her to Arlington Cemetery in advance of Memorial Day and have her do the twist in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Either full- or part-time, I've hosted a radio talk show in this market for over 18 years. During that time, the most difficult decisions I've had to make involve knowing how to approach breaking new stories that involve the loss of life. For example, how long do you wait to discuss a story where a bunch of teenagers have died in a car crash?
These calls are tough. Knowing not to dance on camera outside a fire scene where children lost their lives isn't!
Anybody with an ounce of common sense should have known this was inappropriate. That the reporter and the television station didn't says a lot.