You think the photog who recorded video of those restaurant rats knew he was capturing history? Freelance cameraman Rafael Garcia Jr. is credited with shining his light (and lens) through the Taco Bell/KFC’s window, after local stations received phone tips about rodents doing the hokey-pokey in the fast food joint’s dining room. This, my friends, is why the space aliens who crash-landed in Roswell gifted us with all this new technology. I mean, covering global politics is good, I suppose - but nothing titillates the denizens of our twisted orb like something real, something important, something, well…skeevy. Taco Bell’s mouse club is a textbook example. Within hours of Garcia’s landmark ‘get’, his footage ricocheted from satellite to living room, holding a nation no less than enthralled with the scampering health code violations. For a few minutes the cable nets even stopped ripping flesh off Anna Nicole’s corpse to dish on the fast food rats. By midnight, the whiskered little fellas were reading the Top Ten list as Letterman pretended to chortle off-screen.
It just goes to show you how easily we in the Fourth (and Fifth Estate) are distracted by something stupid. Is this what Gutenburg had in mind when he invented the printing press? What Al Gore was thinking about when he created the internet out of PVC pipe and elbow noodles? I think not. I remember what my journalism professor said - you know, the one whose classes I never once attended… I’m told he spoke at length about using our journalistic powers for the greater good - and not be sidetracked by the slippery and the salacious. It’s one reason I’ve dedicated my entire career to covering nothing but substantial issues, eschewing the prurient and the silly in a lifelong quest to serve --- Hey look! Is that a squirrel in a top hat??? Roll the sat truck, I‘ve got a job to do!!!