Fox-5 overrides privacy for lighthearted 'Ambush'


Smile: You're on Way-Too-Candid Camera.

Asleep in the pre-dawn hours, you're jostled awake, forced to pry your eyes open and squint into a camera aimed at you in your own bedroom, an entire city ogling you -- live! -- in your nightgown or jammies (or do you snooze in the altogether?), your cowlicked, bed-head hair flopped over the pillow, a mic thrust at you by a reporter stretched out next to you in your own bed, trying to yank the covers off you.

Say hi to Vegas, sweetie!

Amusing as "Extreme Amy" Carabba can be in her reports, who'd blame her groggy interviewee for inserting Amy's microphone where only a proctologist could find it?

"Ambush Makeover" segments on Fox-5's morning show find exceedingly effervescent Amy bushwhacking sleeping women in their homes, promising a beauty redo at a local salon. (Who doesn't look like they need one at that hour?)

Last week, just past 5 one morning, her dismayed prey pulled the covers over her head after Amy strode into her bedroom, cheerfully exhorted her not to hide and ordered the lights on. Her crimson-faced victim then tried to shield herself with her hand, wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look of utter mortification.

Waiting outside was her husband, who "nominated" her for this treatment, and whom his wife not-so-jokingly threatened to kill once she summoned the nerve to speak.

"If we tried to do it without the husband's or family's permission, it might be over the line, but other than the initial shock of, 'Wow, I'm on TV in bed at 5 a.m.,' it winds up being a good thing for people when they see what they're getting out of the deal," says Fox-5 news director Adam P. Bradshaw. "We haven't had any complaints."

Allow us, then: This is flat-out wrong.

Archaic as it seems in a voyeuristic-exhibitionist media world, privacy hanging on by its sweaty fingertips should alarm us, even given something so seemingly benign.

Gross invasions such as this one trade on the notion that in a reality TV/YouTube era, everyone's eager to be on camera and owes everyone else some exposed intimacy for our entertainment.

Refusing would be ... rude. And at this moment in pop-culture history, plain un-American. When is an emphatic (expletive) you! called for?

Hiding her face, this woman's encounter with Fox-5 resembled a perp walk, except in bed, wearing a nightgown, charged with ... needing a facial scrub?

Approaching the bedroom door, Amy even whispered: "She's gonna freak out."

Hubby's consent? Bogus justification. Should Fox-5 assume every husband has his wife's best interests in mind? She -- not a newsmaker, doing nothing to warrant media exposure -- was denied a say in her own public embarrassment.

Try it on Fox-5 females, why don'cha? Olivia Fierro? Monica Jackson? Heidi Hayes? Amy herself -- pasty-faced, stripped of makeup, morning crud in her eyes, without the advantage she denied the poor soul she pestered -- the composure that comes with being fully awake.

Bubbling with sexy-goofy charm, "Extreme Amy" is often impishly entertaining -- this time, impishly inappropriate.

You could try waking up men in bed instead, Amy. Just beware those who pull the covers over both of you.

That's a whole other extreme.

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0256

 

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