Touched by an Angel

Season 3 Episode 12

The Journalist

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 1996 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

At a television news station, Monica is the new weather girl and Andrew, a cameraman. sam explains their assignment is Rocky McCann, a hard-edged investigative reporter. Evasive regarding Tess's whereabouts, the special agent angels tells the duo he is supervising them because of the universal ramifications of broadcasting. Monica, attempting to befriend the reporter, agrees to help her with the research. Andrew's first assignment with Rocky is a story about Horace and Zelda Wittenburg, an elderly couple with four foster children. Impressed during the visit, the angel of Death is mortified when Rocky's story aired, it is an expose alleging child abuse. Monica, who biggest story is an upcoming lunar eclipse, sides with the reporter, while Andrew is frustrated by her rush to judgement. He confronts her, but Rocky tells him overlooking details on an earlier story led to a tragedy. After she reports Zelda had been arrested decades earlier for kidnapping her own son, the Social Services Department removes the foster children from the household. Chagrined that Monica uncovered that research, Andrew reminds her Rocky needs an angel, not a research assistant. Sam then advises Monica to concentrate on the weather, hinting the eclipse may be more important than she thinks. Andrew revisits the Wittenburgs to apologize for Rocky's actions and learns Zelda's kidnapping charge had been dismissed because she rescued her child from an abusive first husband. The angel's visit ends abruptly when the police raid the house searching for evidence. Rocky soon learns her anonymous tip about the elderly couple came from a dubious source. Heartbroken, Horace and Zelda intend to commit suicide unit Andrew appears, revealing God still has work for them. Monica discovers the reporter's zealousness resulted from an accident on a Ferris Wheel, the Eclipse, that disabled her husband. the angel informs's Rocky God wants her to be his child, not his avenger. Once exonerated, the Wittenburgs agree to help the newswoman take care of her husband, William. At the conclusion of the case, Sam reveals Tess has been on loan to another department, Natural Phenomenon and acts of God, responsible for the lunar eclipse.moreless

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  • A scathing indictment of scandal-hungry journalists

    It is a common belief among many that journalists too often prefer to push their own political agenda over giving an honest report of the facts. In this episode, Rocky is a no-nonsense investigative reporter who is using her job to make up for past tragedies. In the end, her determination only causes more people to get hurt, forcing her to face up to the real reasons for her obsession.

    The episode featured wonderful acting work, especially from Kay Lenz, John Randolph and Peg Phillips.

    However, the story tended to strain credibility. In real life, Horace and Zelda would've had every reason to sue Channel 6 news for slander. Also, Channel 6 News would also have reason to dismiss Rocky for her recklessness (as happened with CBS News in Oct 2004 after Dan Rather tried to criticize George Bush's military service by using documents that turned out to be forged).moreless
Kay Lenz

Kay Lenz

Rocky McCann

Guest Star

John Randolph

John Randolph

Horace Wittenburg

Guest Star

Peg Phillips

Peg Phillips

Zelda Wittenburg

Guest Star

Paul Winfield

Paul Winfield


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions