KSL 5 has been in decline for some time, but we can now pinpoint the precise moment it totally gave up any pretense of being a legitimate news organization. That moment came during the evening “newscast” at 10:14 p.m., Wednesday, March 19, with a story on the departure of second-tier singing sensation David Archuleta for his LDS mission.
Bruce and Dini tossed to a so-called “News” Specialist standing in front of the magnificently lit Temple, who reported that Archuleta had entered the Missionary Training Center prior to going off to Chile to preach the Gospel. While the “News” Specialist spoke of how the singer’s departure, with its “two-year hiatus,” has “stirred emotion” around the world, we were treated to one of the star’s music videos.
There he is at a piano in the middle of a lake while joyful teenagers sprint toward a swimming hole, all the while shucking off their clothes. They seem to be led by Archuleta himself, wearing a red shirt, which, thank God, he keeps securely fastened to his torso. The highlight, which obviously escaped the KSL censors, comes at the 1:09 mark when we get a shot of a female young person, her half-bare butt cakes nicely flexed, wearing an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, purple polka-dot bikini.
The “news” story goes downhill quickly after the stirring shot of the bikini girl’s nearly naked hiatus. There is a reference to Mormon stars who failed to go on missions—Steve Young, Donny Osmond and Jimmer Fredette—but who nevertheless “served in their chosen professions,” whatever that means. There are interviews with enthusiastic fans, including a fan who supposedly “bears a resemblance” (???) to Archuleta. All “anxiously” await his return.
The “News” Specialist then reports he has found something “rilly, rilly good.” It is a website with a clock counting down the 732 days, 32 hours, 19 minutes and 22 seconds until the faux-hawked one returns. We are told that Archuleta’s manager will be tweeting updates from Chile. (Converts? Tummy aches? Innocent wrestling with missionary companions?)
Back to Bruce and Dini, who report on the Top Five Reasons Utahns Love David Archuleta: 5. He’s cute. 4. His voice. 3. He’s a role model. (Probably because he keeps his shirt on while his friends tear theirs off.) 2. He’s a good person. 1. He’s true to his beliefs.
All this is very nice. But for a full four minutes and 37 seconds on the evening news? That’s eternity in the news business.
Actually, some fairly big news was included in the Archuleta piece, but it got buried in the gooey farewell. Elder Archuleta, to give him his well-deserved honorific, announced he was going on a mission “to be able to have more of that one-on-one time with my Heavenly Father, with God.” Who cares about bringing the true Gospel to the benighted masses in Santiago? First on Elder Archuleta’s To Do List is hunkering down with Heavenly Father for some quality one-on-one time.
It’s no secret that Heavenly Father, or God, as some people know him, has been complaining to anyone who will listen that he just is not getting enough one-on-one time with American Idol runner-up David Archuleta. But we wanted to hear from the Big Guy Himself, so we arranged our own one-on-one sit-down.
Deep End: Thanks for giving us some one-on-one time with You, God.
God: Please, please. Call me Heavenly Father.
D.E.: Heavenly Father it is. Are You relieved that Elder Archuleta has finally cleared his schedule for some quality one-on-one time with You?
H.F.: Well, I saw the newscast, and let me just say up front, I think Dini looks great in green. Anyway, I was of course pleased, but also puzzled, to tell you the truth. Elder Archuleta, and anyone else, for that matter, can get one-on-one time with me any time they want. You don’t have to go on a mission to do that.
D.E.: You mean Elder Archuleta may have been misinformed?
H.F.: Hey, you know me. I don’t stand much on ceremony. You can have one-on-one time with me wherever you are—on a mission, playing the piano in the middle of a lake, even skinny-dipping at your local swimming hole.
D.E.: You mean you don’t have to get on your knees and pray?
H.F.: Heavens, no! That’s why I wish that Tebow kid would stop Tebowing.
D.E.: Good to know. Well, thanks for your time.
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.