How Not to Handle a Huge ‘Idol’ Lead-In

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Boy, did Fox 5 News drop the ball last night. The 10 p.m. newscast got a bunch of plugs during American Idol, and teased something about Idol contestant Antonella Barba—the toothsome Jersey girl with the bitchy best friend–and some photos she doesn’t want the world to see.

As there really aren’t all that many revealing photos of attractive starlets available to the public these days, I tuned in. What prurient MySpace voyeurism awaited us?

Of course, the Barba pix wasn’t the top story. You couldn’t blame Fox 5 for sitting on that one for a bit, making viewers sit through yet another fatal car accident report and sad tale of foster parenting gone awry.

Then it was 10:30, and 10:45—before anchor Rosanna Scotto finally referred to the story. Due to some technical difficulties, the revealing photos of Antonella Barba weren’t available at that moment. But stay tuned!

Finally, sports and weather, and the newscast was over.

Today, a search of “Antonella Barba” on the Fox 5 site offers nothing.

What happened? Had Barba’s attorneys stormed the Fox 5 set?

A WNYW rep claimed the station pulled the pix so as to not impact viewer voting one way or the other. The full story appears in the Flash! section of the 2/26 issue.

By Michael Malone