Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Word to the Herd

Field Presser
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.


cyndy green said...

Note to self: Definitions that will NOT make it into my book.
Gang-bang (a cluster free-for-all/many on one)
Drive-by (similar to spray-it-and-say-it but without the juice flying)
Perp walk (in the old days the cops used to hold their heads high by grabbing a handful of hair)
Spread yer legs (set up a tripod)
Emile-break (there used to be this reporter...uh...well, let's just say Emile-breaks were frequently requested after a day with this dude)

Amanda said...

Whitewashing the book, eh Cyndy? ;-)

Well as long as you put my favorite term in there - "triple-A interview"...(spelling the "A"s out is optional)

cyndy green said...

Another goodie:
AVANHI (asshole v asshole, no humans involved for gang v gang shootings)

Kenny Cravens said...

Good to see Caroline and Peterson still holding down their respective forts in the Piedmont. Hope all is well, Stewie. Sorry you didn't make it to the outer banks for Earl.