ABC’s World News Now Laughs It Up, At All The Wrong Times

By Chris Ariens 

Anderson Cooper, Thalia Assuras, Juju Chang and Alison Stewart have all experienced the laid back atmosphere of ABC’s overnight broadcast World News Now. Even Aaron Brown loosened his tie during his anchor days. But the current anchor team of Taina Hernandez and Ryan Owens is under increased scrutiny after several instances of laughing during the reporting of tragic events.

Broadcasting & Cable‘s Marisa Guthrie reports “a collection of clips curated by a YouTuber known as bigboss969696 shows that in the past three months alone, the duo has giggled through segments on such lighthearted topics as terrorism, wildfires, breast cancer and the Iraq war. At one point, Owens and Hernandez (known online as “The Laughing Taina”) break into laughter while reporting the death toll from flooding in Texas.

Now a TVNewser emailer claims “ABC’s computer people are checking to see if someone from the overnight crew has been posting [the] clips.” The emailer claims, “Some of the clips that are online never actually aired and are missing the ‘ABC News’ bug.”

Perhaps in an effort to show that the current anchor duo is no more or no less casual than previous anchors, we were sent this clip. Still, laughing at tragedy and show stunting can be perceived by the viewer as being on opposite ends of what’s acceptable from people delivering the news.

As for Hernandez and Owens, ABC News senior vice president Jeffrey Schneider told B&C’s Marisa Guthrie that the anchors were reprimanded and that their behavior during the Owen Wilson segment was “clearly inappropriate.”