Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dillweed Defined

Viewfinder BlueI've heard lots of stupid questions from people with cameras on their shoulders. Hell, I've asked lots of stupid questions with a camera on my shoulder. But never have I witnessed the kind of criminal insensitivity described by Live Apartment Fire contributor Scott Hedeen. A former photog himself, Hedeen tells of an encounter so crass it reminds me of a certain reporter... But I digress, check out this stupid question:
Can you please hold the picture still?” from a WAGA photog to a woman holding a picture of her murdered child. Upset… she was showing a picture she carried with her all the time of her daughter… confronted in front of a deadline addled TV crew… crying… she holds the picture out in her trembling hands. I zoom in… hold the shot for 5 secs and pan up to get the facial expression of the woman. The reporter I’m with gets that….but before we could tap into the emotion of the situation… here…goes the cameraman mentioned above.

“Hold it steady!!! Please!!” The woman then pulls back and her husband grabs her and pulls her away.

Then…all eyes turn to the WAGA photographer.

“Nice one...” “Are you a complete jerk?"
Yes, yes he is. But so's anybody who lets a press-pass around their neck or a logo on their tit convince them their deadline is more important than the little people in the viewfinder screen. I've said before the most flippant cynics in broadcasting are those who never leave the newsroom. I stand by that, but it's certainly true many a misanthropist can be found in the field. Usually though, we behave ourselves in front of civilians. Usually.

A word on Live Apartment Fire. I first became aware of this site after the author featured me back in September. But even after that particular rush faded, I've continued to visit, for L.A.F. sports the kind of snarky insight found only in a jaded veteran of television news. Give it a click and get an idea of the kind of blog I'd write if I didn't have to depend on an affiliate for my legal tender. On second thought, no I wouldn't. That kind of thing would require me to watch local news. I don't do that now and I ain't about to start now. YOU however, should ingest at least three hours a day of local broadcasting - preferably of the El Ocho variety. (How else am I gonna feed my offspring?)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out. Your blog is a thing of beauty. I wish I could write like you, and I get paid to write.

Regarding the anonymous photog: He's actually a smart guy who's fun to work with. Like the rest of us, he railed about the crassness of TV news. He (and others, reporters too) just had a limited sense of self-awareness sometimes. I wasn't present for the appalling moment Hedeen describes, but I'm not surprised either.

Btw I watch as little local news as I can get away with, but more than I watched when I was actually in the biz. It's rather eye-opening.

turdpolisher said...

you beat me to the plug. what's new?

i've been checking out the site for about a month now. good stuff.

Senator's Forum said...

New site??? I'll have to check it out.