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NBC5 comes up snake eyes again

Hey, NBC5, Snakes On a Plane pretty much bombed.

No matter. D-FW's most consistent pseudo news provider struck again on Monday's 10 p.m. newscast after anchor Mike Snyder primed the prime-time pump by teasing a snake "explosion" and "invasion."

Reporter Brett Johnson did the honors this time, reporting from Ellis County on a woman who had a non-poisonous snake die and decompose inside her dryer exhaust vent after it slithered aboard from a nearby pond.

Snyder and co-anchor Jane McGarry first stood before a giant "Snake Alert" graphic. She grinned and even he looked perhaps slightly chagrinned. Johnson said that North Texans are "seeing more of the slithering reptiles" this year. Or at least on NBC5 they are.

Return with us now to that thrilling Meredith Land May ratings "sweeps" story, teased by full-blown carnival barking from the ever-dependable Snyder.

"They are poisonous, slimy and invading North Texas," he informed viewers. "See where snakes are slithering."

He then went for the kill: "A Dallas neighborhood is on edge tonight as deadly snakes invade their area. Good evening, I'm Mike Snyder."

Land then led the May 9th late night newscast with the tale of a Texas coral snake spotted in a backyard. No slouch in the overkill department, Land intoned, "Herpetologists say pick one up and you are dancing with death."

Both stories were garnished with appearances by congenial Daryl Sprout of snakeencounters.com. He's the go-to guy whenever NBC5 needs a snake story, which is all too often.

Johnson took a more benign approach than Land Monday night, noting that the snake that died in the dryer exhaust vent was adept at killing rats and mice. Nonetheless, the aggrieved woman said her husband is shooting them on sight with his shotgun.

Johnson then closed his middle-of-the-newscast piece by placing a mouse trap with cheese on what looked to be some utilitarian NBC5 metal shelving.

Kill those rodent-eating snakes and you'll only have yourselves to blame for an increase in the rat and mice population, he warned.

NBC5 no doubt will be right on that one, too. Suggested Snyder promo: "North Texans aren't Mickey Mouse-ing around tonight as a deadly battalion of diseased, killer rats marches toward unsuspecting homeowners after outlasting a batch of slithering reptiles gunned down by a vigilante homeowner. Our team coverage begins with . . ."

***Meanwhile, McGarry's at times bizarro nbc5i.com blog is touting Laura Bush as the optimum Republican candidate for president in 2012.

"I would say there's no way that would ever happen . . . But can you think of a better candidate?" McGarry theorizes. "Mrs. Bush is poised, intelligent, well-thought of by Republicans and Democrats alike. And she IS a Texan. She's a woman who might win the White House, if she wanted to."

Clearly, too much exposure to Mike Snyder can be very hazardous to a co-anchor's mental prowess. Or vice versa.