TV Station Uses Puppets to Cover Trial

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  • WOIO-TV, Cleveland

It's a little bit of The Today Show [hey, they once had a chimpanzee as a regular]. It's a little bit of The People's Court. And it's a lot of Howdy Doody.

An Ohio TV station, barred from bringing its camera into a courtroom, has decided to cover a federal corruption trial with puppets. The news director of WOIO-TV, a CBS affiliate in Cleveland, thought that by using puppets, his station could lampoon the trial, which includes testimony about hookers, gambling and sexually transmitted diseases, while telling the tale of alleged bribery and racketeering. The station calls its reports, "The Puppet's Court."

Karl Idsvoog, journalism professor at Kent State University, wasn't impressed. "Why would anyone approve that to go on the air because it was dull and boring," he said.

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