Fox News affiliate Fox 59 in Indianapolis, Indiana is searching for America’s next homeless star. Last week the station sent reporter Tisha Lewis out into the snow covered streets of downtown Indianapolis where she asked homeless people: “Do you have any talent?”
Doral Chenoweth, the 47-year-old web producer for the Columbus Dispatch who filmed Ted Williams, seemed to find Columbus’ golden voice with a little more tact than Fox 59’s attempt. Chenoweth developed a relationship with Williams before he shot the 97 second video that would go viral. But Lewis’ report comes across as exploitation when she goes out asking two homeless sisters to sing for her. To make matters worse, Lewis made it a point of noting that “the sisters say they are drug and alcohol free,” coming across as if she thinks all homeless people are on the streets because of substance abuse issues.
Fox 59 WXIN news director Lee Rosenthal released a statement to viewers who wrote in complaining about the news segment.
“We hear you and understand…The intention wasn’t bad — it was to show there are many good people with legitimate talent who have fallen on hard times and just need a break, like the one Ted Williams got…Unfortunately, the execution of our story came across the wrong way…The good news — after our story aired, several businesses came forward, offering both of the women jobs, as long as they pass a background check…We are keeping viewers updated on the help for these two women and, hopefully, our story, in the end, helping them…Again, we didn’t mean to offend any one or do any wrong — and we apologize for how it came across…Lee Rosenthal”