Curious Why We Showed 2-Faced Cat

By Ken Tucci, WBZ-TV

Does WBZ have a policy about what it shows during its’ newscasts?  Remembering that noon and 5 and 6 o’clock newscasts are during meal hours, and many people like myself watch the news during dinner, what possessed you to show video of a deformed cat without some sort of warning?  – Keith, Brookline

We certainly didn’t mean to upset anyone.  The story Keith mentions is about a cat born with 2 faces.  His name is Frank n’ Louie and he just turned 12, setting a new record for longevity for this type of feline.  In fact Frank n’ Louie was going to be euthanized until the woman who adopted him, well, adopted him.  She was told he wouldn’t live long, but here he is 12 years later.  They call them Janus cats, which refers to the Roman god Janus who had 2 faces.   Diana Perez did the story.

We thought the story was interesting and certainly unusual.  We also thought the cat was kind of cute.   You can see the story here and draw your own conclusion. 

To answer Keith’s broader question, we often discuss what to show and what not to show in our stories, especially when they involve violence.  Sometimes we give a little warning if something we think might be uncomfortable to watch is coming up, or if it might not be appropriate for young children.  We didn’t think the cat story needed a warning.   Ultimately our news director makes the decision.  For example, on the same day we showed Frank n’ Louie, we did not show a photo of a deceased Michael Jackson that was part of the ongoing trial of his doctor. 

Certainly different people have different sensibilities.  Sorry if the cat story bothered you.  That wasn’t our intention.

For anyone who saw the story….what’s your opinion?


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