More Messages: When Elves Go Bad

A November 14 More Messages blog chided Channel 2 for asking a rhetorical question in an on-screen graphic that was misleading at best, and flat-out false at worst, as a way of enticing viewers to watch the station's 9 p.m. newscast. Well, staffers at the outlet took such plugs to a new level during last night's season-ending episode of America's Next Top Model. The first part of the item read:

"Elf Sex Criminal..."

That was followed by:

"Local Santa Helper Exposed"

Okay, okay: This time around, at least the tease was based on something real -- in this case, Westminster Mall's decision to fire a guy who was taking photos of children on Santa's lap after it was discovered that he's a registered sex offender. Moreover, this Denver Post story confirms that the creepazoid did indeed wear an elf costume. But "Elf Sex Criminal"? Come on! That conjures up an image of The Lord of the Rings' Legolas having illicit congress with a cave troll, and then flashing the kiddies after he was done -- or wasn't that what they meant by "exposed"?

Be sure to tune in Channel 2 during prime time tonight -- because the more desperate the folks there are to boost their newscast's ratings, the crazier their captions become. -- Michael Roberts

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts