Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Word to the Herd
Some folks only see their competitors on a spreadsheet. I run into mine at train derailments, cop car conventions and, of course, ribbon cuttings. Not surprisingly, the more mundane the assignment, the happier the chit-chat. Let’s face it: no one’s gonna skunk the other guy when you’re all lined up to talk to the Tomato Queen. Or even a well-meaning executive, for that matter. Thus, you’ll see many of the above formations outside pseudo-news events. Some call it teamwork, others collusion. I however know it by its proper name, an inelegant appellation to be sure, but one that’s oh so fitting: It’s a Gang-Bang. And while that term may offend your sensibilities, too late: We’ve been calling them that since before Andy Rooney swung his first wool-encased elbow.
Me, I like ‘em. You would too, if you spent much of your day squinting into a tube, slaving over a hot dashboard, or merely trying to dig that tripod foot out of your lower intestinal tract. While I have little desire to carry any young reporters through their seminal assignments, I’m always up for a cross-town camera cluster. The other guys and gals seem to agree - especially in this time of One Man Bands, Multi-Media Journalists and other Kitchen Sink Carriers who have either volunteered or been outright deceived into working alone. Why it’s a time to compare opinions of protocol, transfer valuable camera acumen or just spread the kind of vile gossip we newsies tend to live for. Come to think of it, who wouldn’t dig a little midday huddle, a chance encounter we all knew would happen when we first read the press release...
Just don’t think it’s always a love-fest. Au Contraire. TV cameras are, after all, Asshole Magnets and a few of those orifices have infiltrated our own seething ranks. Think YOU despise the guy on the Tee-Vee with the shellacked head and aura of entitlement? Try scrunching up next to him outside a Meth-Lab. Or how about that sports reporter who sleeps in his car? That IS a pickle slice stuck to his cheek. And while we’re on the subject, how about that local news shooter who thinks he’s the official scribe for the Photog Nation? Dude speaks in couplets! And when he’s not yammering on about the psychological ramifications of High-Def lenses on aging News Queens, he’s slinking away to pop off yet another photo of some utterly dull camera cluster ---
Oh wait - that’s me.