This is puzzling. Why did WAGA do a tax-deadline live shot Tuesday at 10pm in Decatur? Is “lazy” too strong a word?
The post office live shot is an irresistible staple of local TV news on April 15. It usually makes sense. Each year, TV captures the good-natured last-minute scramble to file before the midnight deadline. And Decatur is certainly conveniently located to WAGA.
But chances are, every single taxpayer showed in WAGA’s coverage had no April 15 deadline. That’s because the IRS granted extensions to residents of DeKalb, Fulton and six other Georgia counties declared federal disaster areas from the March tornado. Decatur is the seat of DeKalb Co.
Sure, it’s possible a stray taxpayer from Henry or Rockdale County made the long drive to the Decatur post office to file taxes. But the odds were slim to none.
Denise Dillon’s story was solidly standard-issue, as tax deadline stories go. It would have made much more sense (and been more fun, perhaps) to bust taxpayers for not realizing the traditional deadline didn’t apply to them:
Dillon: Why are you here?
Taxpayer: Tax deadline.
Dillon: You live in DeKalb?
Dillon: The IRS says you have until mid-May to file ’cause of the tornado.
(OK, so it’s not the greatest material, we admit…)
Dillon briefly mentioned the deadline extension. But the station should have sent its live truck to Gwinnett or Cobb County, whose taxpayers actually faced a filing deadline at midnight last night.