"Toronto mayor Mel Lastman is being sued for $6 million by a former lover and her two sons," reads Victoria Sinclair from a teleprompter, showing the confidence and poise of a seasoned news vet. Her hands move stealthily to the front of her stylish power suit and begin to unhook the top snaps. A few moments later, while discussing the crisis in the Middle East, Sinclair whisks away her skirt in a deft movement, and then pushes the straps on her bra to the edge of her shoulders. As the show continues, she gracefully slides her underwear down her shapely hips in mid-sentence, and by the time she gets to the abysmal performance of the NASDAQ, the eloquent 34-year-old anchor isn't wearing a stitch. For added effect, Sinclair removes her hair clip and tosses her brown tresses like a model in an Herbal Essence commercial.
No, this is not another Moses Znaimer creation, and you can't get it on cable, or even satellite. The Naked News is part of the burgeoning dot-com theatre scene flourishing thanks to streaming video technology.
You only need the latest version of Quicktime or Windows media player to view it.
The all-female cast of The Naked News is filled out by some talented ladies who keep you abreast of current events: Dianne Foster, the quirky weather forecaster, bouncy Carmen Russo and bubbly Holly Weston, who alternate duties on sports and entertainment. All the women use stage names to protect their... er... anonymity, and the show is shot somewhere in the Toronto area, the exact location kept under wraps.
The idea of using nude women to spice up an otherwise dull genre of television may seem like a stroke of genius, but it is not completely original.
Svetlana Pissotskaya, a Russian newscaster, created a buzz earlier this year when she went the full monty during a broadcast on a Moscow television station, and the Czech Republic's most popular weather show features a stark-naked man or woman who gradually puts on clothes in a reverse strip tease until they're dressed for the day's weather.
Critics may dismiss The Naked News as yet another porn site to add to the glut of nudity that pervades the Internet, and they are partially right.
The show is not devoid of innuendo, but there's no vamping for the camera and the women do not strike provocative poses. They are newscasters who just happen to be naked.
Sure, the show can be titillating, engrossing and often gripping, but then again, isn't that what all newscasts strive to be? Maybe CNN should take note. After all, as Victoria says, "The Naked News is about more than nudity. It's about the rights we have to make choices, be proud and offer a fashion statement."