AN: Happening Now or Happening Not?

America’s Newsroom viewers did not know whether to believe their eyes or their ears this morning. In a “News Alert” at the very end of the show, guest host Alisyn Cameota announced to her audience that search-and-rescue teams were “looking for a missing couple” that had been “hiking in the mountains Malibu, California” and that their car had been found but that they were still missing.* Simultaneously, producers aired for them a “New Video” footage of an apparent helicopter rescue with a chyron below emblazoned, “Crews Rescue Man & Woman Hiking in Malibu, CA.”

As AN concluded, the poor viewers were left with a real case of cognitive dissonance. Happening now or happening not? AM gave an entirely new meaning this morning to FNC’s “We report: You Decide.”

Author’s aside: FNC’s ironically named show “Happening Now” waited almost an hour to “decide” for you: You can believe your eyes.**

America’s Newsroom – 02/16/10 (@10:59 a.m. ET)

Happening Now – 02/16/10 (@11:53 a.m. ET)

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