Our local ABC affiliate is proving that terrible summer television isn’t just making viewers stupid on a national level. ABC 26 is stooping to new lows — and allegedly, stopping crime —with its hilariously pointless feature, Wheel of Justice:


Still don’t get it, even after that simple, pictogram-style advertisement conveying an even simpler concept? So there’s this wheel — the Wheel of Justice — of “dirtbags” presumed to be guilty of crimes ranging from theft to first-degree murder. Anchor Michael Hill and a special guest take a spin and out of the four or so suspects, the undiscriminating wheel lands on just one — the one viewers and local law enforcement should care about apprehending.


Yes, this is real.


The obvious questions that come to mind: Why not give equal airtime to all these guys? I suppose “Regular Poster Board of Justice” didn’t have much of a ratings draw. And are we really going to let mere chance dictate whether a thief or a murder will be given top priority? (The Wheel of) Justice really is blind.


But more than being inane, I learned that this concept isn’t even original. A Google search of “Wheel of Justice” (not the most reputable method of inquiry, but…) rendered not only our local version, but counterparts in Houston, New York and Ohio (Houston’s version has a supplementary “Blog of Justice” on its Web site, which I also hope to also see poorly imitated by ABC 26).


But as dumb and unoriginal as it is, The Wheel of Justice has helped to apprehend at least 13 of those dirtbags since the segment’s debut in May. Although not the most efficient way to get things done, Wheel of Justice is proof that what New Orleanians need to be proactive in curing our city’s woes might be game show-style news segments. Advice to ABC: create the Wheel of Political Competency and the Wheel of Quality Public School Systems and perhaps we’ll solve some problems.