1. At work, we receive clips of video shot by TV stations and networks from all over the world. Usually, these clips are accompanied by a script or, at the very least, some bare facts about the story. Earlier this week, I aired video of a fire at a high-rise apartment building in Dallas, Texas. The accompanying script included this sentence: The flames have now been distinguished.
2. Earlier this evening, I saw a package about the hostage drama at a Clinton campaign office in New Hampshire. The story was voiced by (but not necessarily written by) a reporter who works for the network's affiliate service. The story included the following description of the man who was, at that point, still holding one person hostage: He's a white man, in his 40's with salt and pepper hair.
Usually, physical descriptions of suspects are only given when the suspect is on the run! In this case, the cops knew exactly where he was. So, why include the description (which, even if he was on the run, wouldn't help anyone catch him)?
While I was pondering this curious piece of writing, things got even curiouser when, a few lines later, the reporter said that the hostage taker was a guy known to police because he has a history of mental problems. So, not only do cops know WHERE the guy is, but they know WHO he is. Which makes including a description - especially one that's so generic - in the script even more ridiculous!