Eggs, Ice, and Nudity: Local News Channels and Their Ridiculous Heatwave Stories

Categories: Media, Schmedia

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xinhuanet.com
We'd known Friday temperatures would break 115 for a some time and that it would be the hottest day of the year up to that point. And as the rest of us planned our weekends or accepted the reality of record-hot days with a shrug, Phoenix's wiliest reporters plotted ways to explain just how hot it would be.

Broadcast news coverage on Friday was both ridiculous, funny, and unnerving. At the least, it was an interesting look at what lengths local TV news outlets will go to grab eyeballs and how shallow their bags of tricks have become.

Here's the lede of one online article:

A blazing heat wave expected to send the mercury soaring to nearly 120 degrees in Phoenix and Las Vegas settled over the West on Friday, threatening to ground airliners and raising fears that people and pets will get burned on the scalding pavement.

Oh, yes, burned on the scalding pavement. Quick solutions: indoors or shoes.

Channel 5 did our thinking for us, and jotted a list of factors to keep in mind during the weekend heat.

Garden hose: The water in it can be rather hot for the first few seconds after turning it on.

Engine coolant: Make sure the coolant is full . . .

It seems every year local TV stations cook something on the ground or ask folks at various water parks how they beat the heat. This year, Channel 12 constructed a live feed of a 300-pound block of ice melting. The banner read, "LIVE: Ice vs. Arizona Heat. Yes, you are really watching ice melt."

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A poll also gauged viewers thoughts as to how long they expected it to take for the ice block to melt.

"1-2 hours?"
"2-3 hours?"
"3-5 hours?"
"More than 5 hours?"

Our favorite -- and the correct -- answer: "Who knows, who cares?"

The live feed showed a diligent reporter on the corner of Second and Van Buren streets taking measurements of the melting progress. One major problem was that the news team had placed the ice block in the shade.

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