By Drew Olson Special to Published Nov 11, 2007 at 10:18 PM

November is sweeps month for local TV stations, which means they pull out all the stops for sensationalism.

That means a lot of pre-packaged "project" stories, often with salacious title teasers like "Is your coffee maker killing you?" that make the "Dirty Dining" segments look like "60 Minutes."

Sometimes, the reports are well-reported and actually have a redeeming social value or a positive impact. More often, they're just designed to grab attention.

I happened to be watching Fox 6 during the 10 p.m. newscast tonight when I heard a promo for an upcoming feature, apparently dealing with some unscrupulous behavior at a salvage yard.

The title?

"Scrapyard Scumbags."

Gee, I can hardly wait to tune into that one. In the meantime, I can't help wondering just when "scumbags" worked its way into the realm of acceptable discourse. As a child, that was one of several words that probably would have gotten me sent to my room.

I don't mean to sound prudish, because I quite often say things that are equally and sometimes more offensive on the radio.

But, I expect the "real" media to have higher standards than that.


Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.