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I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a place where the local television news stations were not held by the locals to be generally incompetent or at least moderately goofy. Surely, then, the Buffalo news stations are not unique in this. I’m sure the stations in other cities all find some way to justify calling themselves “the number one news station in Chicago” or Memphis or Tulsa or Denver or wherever, despite the apparent logical contradiction in there being more than one “number one news station”. And I’m sure that in other cities, news stations frequently open a given bit of reportage with the breathless statement that “You heard it here first!”

The occasion for this little bit of rambling and ranting? Well, tonight Buffalo’s CBS affiliate (WIVB, Channel 4, for those curious persons) did a story about one particular pair of old Buffalo buildings that, despite being on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks, are in serious disrepair. My problem with the story? Channel 4 aired this story during its 11:00 p.m. newscast, and as is general procedure they had a reporter actually on the scene, in the vicinity of the two buildings in question. Fair enough (although surely the same material could have been delivered by the anchor). But then this reporter begins: “Behind me you can see the two towers of the Richardson Complex.” Unfortunately, given that this report was shown live at about 11:15 at night, nothing at all could be seen behind the reporter! She actually gestured to the buildings, but because of the darkness — coupled with the fact that the buildings in question were built with dark granite — she seemed to be indicating the empty air.

Keep up the good work, Channel 4.

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