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More Messages: Snow and Sickness

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These days, plenty of stations use graphics displayed at the bottom of TV screens during entertainment programs to convince viewers that it's worth sticking around for their late evening newscasts. But few of these pitches are as desperate as the one Channel 2 tossed during last night's episode of

Everybody Hates Chris

, the underappreciated sitcom conceived by Chris Rock. The line read "Enough Snow to Call in Sick?" -- and even though it was followed by the words "Snow Hits Mountains," the implication was clear. A big storm was on the way, and Denver residents had better tune in the outlet's 9 p.m. update to discover how bad the situation was likely to be.

The problem? It simply wasn't true. By Monday evening, every forecaster in the city was predicting that the snow expected for the mountains would not significantly impact the metro area. The Tuesday morning report by Channel 2's Angie Austin (pictured) was typical: high winds in Denver, and perhaps the possibility of a stray rain shower, but no snow.

In essence, then, Channel 2 asked its viewers a leading question that had no basis in reality. It's the equivalent of running a crawl asking "Madonna Nude in Times Square?" or "Dick Cheney Shoots New Lawyer?," only to subsequently reveal that nothing like these things actually happened.

In other words, no film at nine. -- Michael Roberts

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