The Mug Shot

Who Owns The Neglectful Stripper Mom Story?

Bailout? Pffft. VP Debate? Whatevs. Miami, we have a very serious stripper moms leaving kids in hot cars problem, and the local TV news-ers want, nay, need you to know.

As you might have heard, 19 year-old topless dancer Misti Ellis left her three kids in her black '97 caddy, while she browsed the newsstand inside a Publix and will be charged with felony child neglect. Tragic in a way, though not exactly an issue of pressing public concern, but local newscasts don't want you to switch channels during talk of all those "boring" issues to re-runs of Rock of Love , so they might as well cover the criminal follies of girls who could, in another life, just as easily be vying for Brett Micheal's affection.

Nothing new there, we're used to the tabloid, "if it bleeds, it leads" style news broadcasts now (Hell, Miami's market was the innovator), so instead of complaining we might as well start asking who's doing it best. And in this case it's CBS4, for not only using actual reporting to take the story to its sensational peak, but also for exercising a bit of decency.

NBC6 is pretty much a non-player in the "story", there's no video online, and they've only posted a short article. Local 10's Rob Schmitt didn't get to the scene until a half hour after Ellis's car was towed, and takes the "shame on you Miami, no one else besides the safty aid notified anyone about the kids in the car" approach. We want red meat, not a lecture.

Leaving the battle between WSVN and CBS4. WSVN was on the scene while Ellis was being arrested, and gets the mic up in her face, but doesn't do any more investigation. They ask some fellow shoppers for their take (in fact, CBS4 does as well, and both station interview the same blond-banged woman).

CBS4's Peter D'oench owns the story. He too was on the scene, and has more Mic-in-her-handcuffed-face action. Apparently tipped off by a magnetic ribbon on the back of the car that says "Support Strippers," he's the only reporter that mentions Ellis works as a topless dancer at Tootsie's. Which takes the story into a whole other realm of sensationalism.

CBS4 also gets points for blurring out the faces of the obviously innocent children, while WSVN gives them generous screen time (even showing the face of Ellis's 4 month old).

So congratulation, CBS4! You own this wonderful little story! Hurrah!

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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