The fine city of Toledo, Ohio, has suffered several setbacks over the years, from British raids during the War of 1812 to the downturn caused by deindustrialization. Now, Ohio’s fourth-most populous city is suffering another through yet another difficult chapter in its history, this time the viral embarrassment of a segment taped by WTOL, the local CBS affiliate.
Two anchors, a meteorologist, and a traffic reporter at the station filmed the short clip to encourage Toledo Public Schools students ahead of the statewide standardized tests which, to be honest, are the real tragedies of this story.
But despite the sincerity of their attempt, the method WTOL’s on-air talent chose to encourage Toledo’s young people was…bad. Like a real-life manifestation of Amy Poehler’s “I’m not a mom, I’m a cool mom” vibe from Mean Girls, they read off of a script chock full of phrases that sound as though they were taking from the first page of a Google search for “what teens say.”
It was an attempt to bond with the youths that we can charitably call misguided and accurately call painful to watch.
What’s impressive about the clip — beyond that video wall! — is the sheer number of *~~TeEn SaY1nGz~~* they manage to fit into less than a minute. “Slay all day,” “yeet,” “stay woke,” “beyond fleek,” “Gucci,” “goals,” “bye, Felicia,” “turnt,” “yaaas,” “v. lit,” “hundo p” (which doesn’t seem real), “OKURRRRR,” “turnt,” “FOMO,” “extra extra,” and “v. proud” all make appearances in the clip.
We can’t imagine that this clip inspired anything but eyerolls among Toledo’s 23,000-plus public school students, but WTOL’s on-air personalities have a chance to redeem itself. This week’s testing is for English and Language Arts only, so if they want to make another video for the testing of other subjects in late April, they can do one that’s a little more….age-appropriate.