September 30, 2007
It looks like WOIO/19 “19 Action News” anchor Sharon Reed isn’t proud of taking her clothes off in front of a camera, anymore.
Some three years after Ms. Reed became perhaps the most infamous local TV news anchor in America for her “Body of Art” series, the anchor and her station are now making the rounds of various websites, trying to get them to remove the racy pictures.
The Plain Dealer’s Michael K. McIntyre quotes Sharon’s immediate boss, news director Dan Salamone, in Saturday’s “TipOff” column:
There are as many as two dozen Web sites still using images and or videotape from this story. I have sent them letters. It’s our copywritten material. They don’t have the right to use it.
We actually knew about this a couple of days ago, when an unrelated search brought us to another blog – not the one mentioned by Mr. McIntyre (wizbangblog.com). That blog was unrepentant, and even posted a copy of Ms. Reed’s E-Mail threat. So did the folks at Wizbang.
Since the latest entry includes a repeat of one of the “Body of Art” pictures, and since we here at OMW don’t wish to increase Ms. Reed’s, uh, exposure – for entirely different reasons – we won’t link the entry in question here.
Feel free to use Wizbang’s handy “search” function, put in Sharon’s name, and enjoy. Or not.
For their part, the blog folks enlisted a lawyer who specializes in defending blogs from this sort of thing. Quoting lawyer Ronald D. Coleman:
Your wish to un-ring the bells sounded by the singular performance depicted in these images, while understandable, is not a legitimate ground for you to prevent their reasonable use in connection with news reporting about that performance.
And here’s where WOIO and Ms. Reed become inhabitants of Hypocrite City, a special subsection of the Reserve Square news dungeon.
OMW chuckles at the contention by Mr. Salamone – that the pictures should be pulled for copyright reasons, and that “fair use” isn’t a defense for the websites and bloggers in question.
Ah, but back in 2004, these pictures popped up on websites all over the world! And oddly enough, Raycom Media, WOIO or Ms. Reed said NOTHING. They weren’t sending out letters to webmasters, as far as we know, asking the removal of the pictures. (If we’re wrong on that, we’d like to know.)
They WANTED the pictures all over – so they could PROMOTE their willful ratings sweep stunt and drive up their ratings!
Fast forward to 2007, where even WOIO/WUAB general manager Bill Applegate said in a recent Plain Dealer interview that the “Body of Art” series was one thing he had second thoughts about.
And just days later, the Naked Anchor In Question starts firing off E-Mails threatening legal action against sites that still carry the pictures from three years ago.
How, as Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” might say, “conVENient”.
Oh, and a heads up to Reserve Square.
It should be noted that OMW has never run the actual pictures in question. It happened before we started here, and we’re not a “skin blog”. We don’t make a habit, for any reason, of featuring women removing their clothes in front of a camera, TV news anchors or otherwise.
So, Sharon, feel free to search OMW – the “Search” box is right at the top – but you won’t find the pictures.
We’ll close by quoting Mr. McIntyre’s last line on the subject:
Un-ring the bell? Shouldn’t have unbuckled the belt.