Oh boy. Can someone at ABC please reign in Ryan Owens and Taina Hernandez, please? The pair, who host overnight broadcast World News Now, inexplicably broke into laughter several weeks ago when reporting on Owen Wilson‘s suicide attempt. Then, on the same episode, they started laughing while reporting on a tornado.
We understand that faux-pases happen sometimes. God knows we’ve been guilty of our share. But Broadcasting & Cable got a hold of the story and makes an interesting point:
Taken together, the clips are hard to dismiss as isolated incidents. All of this comes at a time when ABC News is resurgent: World News has surpassed longtime leader NBC Nightly News to become the No. 1 evening newscast; GMA‘s morning gains have Today looking over its shoulder; and Nightline has grown its 11:35 p.m. audience in the face of an entertainment division just begging to take over its time period. So it’s all the more puzzling that ABC News would countenance such sophomoric antics. Said one ABC News staffer, “Isn’t anyone watching this stuff?”
Viewers are taking notice. Ryan, Taina, we love you both, but you gotta straighten it up a little. Whether it was just a really funny joke during commercial break or both of you feverishly huffing nitrous oxide in the studio bathroom… it looks bad when it hits YouTube, y’know?