Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spies on the Riser

Let's get this party started.With all the real news crews covering the Democratic Primary, what schlub do you think got stuck covering the Republican shindig down the road? Here's a hint: It rhymes with "hymn-singer". Yep, I got to lay all four eyes on John McCain and all I had to do was rise hours before dawn, drive a live truck to Wake Forest, slather our traffic guy (turned political correspondent)'s live visage across the land, pull 400 feet of heavy cable deep into Wait Chapel, pass through the same metal detectors a half dozen times, chit-chat while the bomb dogs sniff my gear, fight for a spot on a riser full of lifers, stream McCain's speech live(!) to the web, interview departing audience members before they got to the cars, roll up 400 feet of heavy cable, breakdown the live truck, drive back to the station, review my footage, transcribe the soundbites, write a script around them, find someone to voice it, edit a minute-twenty report and write a few wise words for the anchors to say once the damn thing was over! And it's only Tuesday.

McCain reads teleprompterBut enough about my life; let's talk about John McCain. He seems like a nice enough fellow. Entering Wait Chapel, he alternated between emitting gravitas and making goofy faces. One gets the feeling John McCain might like his own late night talk show one day. Maybe that's why he read his speech from a teleprompter; he's practicing his delivery for an 11:30 timeslot. Dude just needs to be careful, for all those scrolling words can throw you off - especially when your handlers don't update the script. Why else would McCain have thanked the good people of West Virginia for all their support - here in central North Carolina... Hello, Cleveland!

McCain packs 'em inNo bother, for the capacity crowd soaked up every syllable of McCain's dissertation on judicial nominations. That's dedication, for I fazed out shortly after the Arizona senator stopped poking fun at special guest Fred Thompson. A word on Fred Thompson. After the speech I was man-humping a thick clot of that heavy cable through a doorway when who pops out but the politician/film star. Immediately two co-eds moved in and asked to pose with him for a picture. Thompson obliged and the girls got their shot - which almost inspired me to ask the same favor. I didn't, and in the process, preserved my tenuous grasp on photog credibility. See, we professional camera handlers don't ask for photos...

Stone Faced KillaOr at least that used to be the case. With the advent of digital photography and the onslaught of social media, it's increasingly acceptable to whip out a camera just about anywhere. That includes Tripod Row, I guess - a place once reserved for journeyman lensers with official press passes and aviator shades. These days the elevated scrum is alot more diverse. Bloggers, vloggers and even a few lost joggers now dot the landscape - er, platform. While it's not uncommon to see newspaper folks with videocameras the size of baked potatoes, it's still a little odd to see a TV news photographer break out a small digital and start taking snapshots of his competitors, the ceiling and anything else that passes his way.

But how else am I gonna stay alert during all this political posturing? The security guard took my Red Bull...

2 comments:

Duff said...

I need to get me some aviators and a don't-give-a-shit smirk. Oh, to be a professional!

Rick said...

teleprompter gaffes ... you see barkley's?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWGILBNhIng