MEDIA: Action Reactions


  Ever want to just smack a TV reporter? (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) I do every time I see one take on the cloak of a cop, as when Steve Ryan of Channel 13, a fine reporter generally, does  things like a "jaywalker" segment in which he plays GOTCHA! with people who cross busy streets recklessly and illegally.
  They're oblivious idiots, no question. But why do reporters think that people who commit any infractions have to answer to reporters as if they were law enforcement? It's smug and self-righteous when Ryan confronts jaywalkers and demands (albeit politely) that they explain themselves to him as if he were law enforcement.
  I had to side with one woman who snapped, "None of  your business!"
  Despite an admitted moral queasiness, I have a similar reaction to Chris Hansen, the self-appointed sex police-slash-reporter on "Dateline's" endless "To Catch a Predator" segments. I'd thought it nearly impossible to feel any sympathy for these degenerate abusers, but when Hansen insists they explain themselves to him, I find myself wishing one of them would say, "Hey, where in the code of criminal justice does it say I have to answer to you? If the cops are outside" — as they always are — "I'll make my embarrassing, humiliating statements of denial and then shameful admission to wanting to sexually abuse a minor because I'm a sleazebag to the guys with the badges, not a pest with a microphone." ...
  On a note more amused than irritated, Channel 13's Tricia Kean on Sunday was forced to read this "news" item: "It is the mother of all Mother's Days on Wisteria Lane, but fireworks could erupt when Susan's mother-in-law arrives for a visit." Cue clip montage.
  A couple of minutes later, Action News went to a commercial ... this commercial: "It's the mother of all Mother's Days!" Cue clip montage, then: It's an all-new 'Desperate Housewives' on ABC!
  So just to recap: It was the mother of all Mother's Days on "Desperate Housewives"!
  For the real in-depth scoop — Susan's mother-in-law planned to teach Susan how to be "a chef in the kitchen, a maid in the living room and a whore in the bedroom" — I was hoping for an ABC News Special Report from Charles Gibson. (OK, I just wanted to hear Charlie Gibson say, "whore in the bedroom.")