Teens having sex at home!!! Oh my! Oh. Wait.

You know it’s sweeps week for local TV when they do stories that seem, well, a bit sensational. That’s what WFMY’s story on parents who let their teens have sex at home seemed to me. It also seemed unlikely that this is a trend in the Piedmont or North Carolina…particularly a North Carolina that just voted the way it did.

So, I turned to Google. Here is the beginning of WFMY’s story that aired last night. Patty Skudlarek told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex, she’s not only OK with him having sex in the family home, she actually prefers that he do it there.

Here is the beginning of ABC News’ story that aired last year. Patty Skudlarek strives to be a responsible parent. That’s why she says she told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex, not only is she okay with it, but she’d prefer that he do it in the family home.

Here is the beginning of a Tampa Bay television station’s report last November. TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Patty Skudlarek strives to be a responsible parent. That’s why she says she told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex she’s not only okay with him having sex in the home, she’d prefer it.

WFMY never says that the story is local. But it never says it isn’t. Best I can tell, the parents interviewed in the studio aren’t from here either. (They are the same ones interviewed in the ABC report below.) In fact, at the end of the online story, it shares credit with the Tampa story.

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I suppose this kind of racy story gets ratings and the sweeps period is when you want ratings. But, to me, it is just the sort of story that erodes trust in the media. No evidence of this as a trend happening here. No suggestion that the people pictured are not from around here. And a story that gives the impression that society is going to hell with loose morals and bad parenting.

9 thoughts on “Teens having sex at home!!! Oh my! Oh. Wait.

  1. Roch Smith has been detailing WFMY’s “issues” for several months. It’s what happens when you become more interested in the presentation instead of the ingredients.

  2. Interesting to note that the local CBS affiliate swiped content from ABC News. No matter, I still see it as a waste of seven plus minutes of valuable airtime.

  3. Both stations (Tampa/Greensboro) are owned by Gannett. It’s pretty common for station groups to share. Your point, however, is well-taken.

  4. Thanks, Terry. I wouldn’t have thought much of it if the station hadn’t promoted it bigtime for the past three days. Best I can tell, there isn’t anything local about it, except that it used comments on the station’s Facebook page and the voice over is the local anchor.

  5. Is there much difference between this and, say, a print paper that uses wire stories from locales far away (horrible murder 40 states away!!)? Other than the sex-at-home drool-bait, the only reasons they led with this story for 3 days are:
    1. Ratings
    2. Ratings.
    Or they had nothing else newsworthy. (not that this is…)

  6. The difference to me, Sue, is that the paper doesn’t promote a wire story for days and doesn’t act as if the wire story was done by the paper or that it featured people from here. (Maybe that’s why papers have low ratings.)

  7. Becomes more egregious when you tally up the money the stations make on political ads this year. Sadly, there’s little evidence any of that money stays local to fund more reporting.

  8. no dummies, they simply see what’s ‘working’ for the huffington post and drag out whatever they have in the archives.

    huffington sure has a lot of sex toy/porn stories of late, be on watch.

  9. Your comment piqued my curiosity, John, so I checked and you’re right; it has nothing to do with N.C., except that parents here probably worry the same as parents anywhere about their kids’ becoming sexually active. Worse, the story is not even “new” news. The piece aired in June 2011 on “Good Morning America” where one of the show’s producers worked on it with psychotherapist Kerry Cohen, author of “Loose Girl” and “Dirty Little Secrets,” both books about promiscuous teenagers. Among the “parents” interviewed in the segment, Chloe Foreht is a social worker and Carolyn Meyers-Wartel is a psychotherapist, both in the greater NYC area. To quote the old salsa commercial, “New York City!” Maybe WFMY thought the only thing separating those people from Tar Heels was a “Why?” Sure, teen sex is a “sensational” topic, good for ratings. But I believe it would have had much more impact if WFMY had used the GMA piece as the springboard to dive into the subject with N.C.-local psychotherapists and family counselors. How much effort would that have required?

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