Monday, November 03, 2008

Dreading the Election

Obamathon LIVE!Obamathon WideMcCain reads teleprompter
It’s Election Eve and your local news photog ain’t lookin’ forward to tomorrow. Why would we? Long lines, crowded ballrooms, crushed supplicants, the occasional dangling chad ... it may be Democracy in action, but it can make for lousy television. Don’t get me wrong: I’m as eager as anyone to see Dubya go back to brush-clearing in Crawford (instead of wiping his ass with the Constitution), but the whole way we go about tallying the votes is a bit much for your above average lenslinger…

You ever jostled for oxygen on an overstuffed camera riser - just to get the same shot as the next grumpy cameraman? Ever sopped up grease from a fast food bag while old ladies picked at rubber chicken plates? Ever backpedaled with one eye open before a crestfallen incumbent? Ever dodged the glares and daggers of inebriated supporters as their hero made his concession speech? Ever stayed up all night cutting update after update after update for the next morning’s newscast? I have and it never fails to suck.

Even the winner’s camp can be a stone cold drag. Whether the new Governor gained office by the thinnest of margins or the Senator-to-be faces a mandate not to foul things up as much as her predecessor, count on their acceptance speech to be pushed back to j-u-s-t past the last possible second. I know, I know, there’s political theater to be staged, but explain that to the producer in my ear - the one who’s been mainlining Red Bull since the afternoon editorial meeting. He’s got a show to stack and nothing short of an alien abduction is going to convince him you’re not screwing him on purpose.

Then again, I’m a feature guy at heart. I’d rather cover a rubber duck race of one than point a camera at the new leader of the free world - much less the guy who just won the right to scrape up roadkill. I’m sure there are photogs out there who live and breathe this stuff. I just ain’t met him (or her) yet. So while you’re at home Tuesday night, wrapped up in your afghan and praising or cursing the President-Elect, know the photog nation is still hard at work, their feet are killing them and no matter who wins the keys to the liquor cabinet on Air Force One, they’re due back in their respective newsrooms shortly after breakfast - where a half dozen needless follow-ups await.

Now go get your vote on.


turdpolisher said...

nicely put. i drew the poll-watch live shots. should be done with that early. who knows what menial tasks the suits will find fo me after 8pm.

Horonto said...

Colleagues are off to the USA. Ohio to be precise. Something going on in Mentor.

I'll be home tonight with the kids tonight trying to get a peek a the Amnets and the local Canadians spin on things. It will be easier after 9:30 when the kids are off to bed and the Simpsons are over.