OpinionBoston TV news so boring not even a sexual...

Boston TV news so boring not even a sexual harassment scandal generates buzz


As soon as it might have been an enormous information story in Boston — a scorching blonde feminine ex-TV reporter suing her previous network-owned station, accusing an older on-air expertise (additionally feminine) of partaking in “unwelcome sexual harassment within the office.”

In reality, simply such a lawsuit was filed earlier this month in federal courtroom right here, by Karen Hensel, towards her former employer Channel 10, its company proprietor NBC Common, and the ex-news director of the ratings-challenged station.

However the story vanished rapidly. What as soon as would have been the speak of the city for days, a staple of tabloid headlines — “Dream Group Turns Nightmare Information!” — generated zero buzz, wherever.

No person cared. Oh certain, it was tawdry stuff, but it surely would possibly as properly have unfolded at a neighborhood Payless shoe retailer, or perhaps the Orange Julius on the mall. As a result of the local-news “expertise” who had been as soon as celebrities at the moment are virtually as nameless and interchangeable because the commuter forward of you within the drive-through lane at Dunkin.

Tv, particularly native tv information, is so over.

Chet and Nat are usually not coming by way of that door. Neither is Liz Walker nor Bob Lobel, and even Bob Bleepin’ Gamere. Tom Ellis and Tony Pepper, we hardly knew ye.

They was once family names. Now there are not more than two or three anchors in Boston that anyone outdoors of the Marian Manor nursing residence may pick of a lineup.

The lawsuit is just not truly as prurient because the headlines urged, with all of the references to sexual harassment. Primarily it concerned two feminine office rivals — Hensel and a girl recognized solely as “Jane Doe.”

Each had been assigned to what the station known as its “investigative unit.”

This 2017-19 cleaning soap opera was ongoing on the station often known as NBC10-Boston. They’ve Sunday evening NFL soccer, and, er, that’s about it.

The newscast has reportedly been on since January 2017 and the subsequent time I tune in would be the first. Put one other approach, I catch NBC10 about as typically as I watch all the opposite native “newscasts.”

In accordance with the lawsuit, Hensel was harassed by Jane Doe due to the older feminine reporter’s jealousy about, properly, you’ll be able to determine it out.

“Ms. Doe’s conduct and actions had been designed and meant to intrude with plaintiff’s work efficiency and profession success in an effort to make Ms. Doe out as that the main feminine investigative reporter on the station.”

Keep in mind, this pitiful also-ran outlet is owned by NBC — longtime employer of such crusading journalists as Brian Williams, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Matt Lauer, Tiffany Cross, Mike Barnicle, Pleasure Reid, Chuck Todd and naturally the truck-demolition unit at Dateline NBC.

Keep in mind when NBC “Information” faked the Treyvon Martin 911 name? Or after they led their clownish nightly newscast with the completely bogus Julie Swetnick rape expenses towards Brett Cavanaugh? Or after they breathlessly reported that the FBI had been operating “wiretaps” on Michael Cohen’s telephones?

I may go on for days….

However you get the image. And this was NBC’s native model of one in all their vaunted “investigative” models.

Karen Hensel is, properly, not unhealthy. I had no concept who “Jane Doe” may be, however my listeners got here up with a reputation. And once I noticed Jane Doe’s publicity shot, I understood precisely why the lawsuit stated she had been so obsessive about Karen.

It’s a narrative as previous as time. Key phrase: previous.

Anyway, amidst all of the back-stabbing within the newsroom, Hensel was advised by a producer to “cope with (Ms. Doe) one of the best you’ll be able to. You know the way she is.”

In accordance with the submitting, Jane Doe discovered that Karen had began going out with a small-town police chief in Worcester County, and dimed her out to administration. Ultimately, in November 2019, Karen was fired. (She now works in Miami for the sister station of Ch. 7.)

Hensel is in search of unspecified damages for wrongful termination and so on. You don’t need to be Jeffrey Toobin to know that this one can be settled out of courtroom. The company fits by no means need any discovery in circumstances like this.

To make the submitting even juicier, Hensel threw in one other spicy R-rated story from the dismal outlet, involving an unnamed “male assistant information director” who was allegedly tagging nonetheless one other feminine reporter.

Similar to in an previous nation track, this third-rate romance, low-rent rendezvous led to “a reported confrontation on the station involving the male assistant and the partner of the on-air journalist.”

As Moe Bandy used to sing, “It’s a cheatin’ scenario….”

If any of this had occurred in, say, 1985, wow! Again then, each newspapers had not less than one, generally two reporters, assigned to Boston tv, to not point out completely different scribes simply overlaying native TV sports activities information. Plus, not less than on this sheet, there was additionally a each day gossip column that had spies in all of the newsrooms.

In these days, when a second-tier TV cupcake acquired busted for shoplifting at Filene’s Basement, it acquired extra ink than when an SJC justice acquired lugged for the very same factor. An early-morning stabbing of a flamboyant native sports activities anchor within the Fens after a protracted booze cruise within the harbor — cease the presses!

Being in native TV information in Boston was once just like the Cheers Bar — everyone knew your identify. Now, it’s like signing up for the Witness Safety Program. You’re snatched off the road, by no means to be seen once more.

In these long-ago days when native TV information meant one thing in Boston, we used to joke about slogans for the stations we labored for:

“When the information breaks, we repair it.”

“If it’s information to you, it’s information to us.”

However now, no person cares. Simply ask “Jane Doe.” And it’s most likely simply as properly.

Native TV information was all the time approach overrated as a commodity, extra by the popinjays and mountebanks within the dwell vans and the make-up rooms than by the bored viewers who had been simply on the lookout for an up-to-date climate report and the most recent scores in these halcyon pre-Web days.

And that’s the way in which it’s, November 25, 2022.


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