We’re not going to cluck and turn up our noses at the fact that WAGA sent one of its news anchors to a pole dancing school for a November sweeps story. We’re not going to stand in judgment, nor spout pithy homilies about the lengths to which TV stations will go to find an audience, any audience. You’ll get none of that here.
And we’ll post a link, here. Go ahead. We see you clicking. We’ll wait.
Finished? Now, we’ll analyze what we saw, and didn’t see.
Here’s what stands out: Suchita Vadlamani managed to do a pole dancing story without mentioning or even hinting at the fact that the regimen is rooted in burlesque. Or “adult entertainment.” Or stripping.
We suspect that she followed an edict issued from on high. A couple of decades ago, TV news couldn’t get enough of strippers and news about them. We recall producing, like, a six- or eight-part series about Atlanta’s “adult entertainment” industry in the early 90s. That stuff went away overnight one day, about mid-way through Bill Clinton’s presidency. A weird new puritanical mindset kicked in, not that it was a bad thing.
Yet Vadlamani has it both ways. There she is in high heels, wrapping her legs around a pole. Why the high heels? She doesn’t say “because strippers wear them.” And the bed of music is evocative (best we can remember…) of the stuff DJs play at strip joints. But it’s never acknowledged.
WAGA probably knew that to do so would invite some smart aleck to say what we aren’t saying: “Hey — your news anchor was kinda actin’ like a stripper on tha TV!”
Notice how Mark Hayes and Jeff Hill also manage to avoid saying something similar afterward. Smart guys. Yet, you can see that Hayes had to summon all of his powers of restraint. He barely succeeded.
In that spirit, we will restrain ourselves from giving this story a grade. Too many double entendres come to mind. You’ll get none of that here today.
Now if you don’t mind, we’re going to switch back to the 700 Club.
H/T to an anonymous LAF reader. Holler at us if you see comparably worthy. Contact info is to the right.