If the list of reporters honored by The Lenslinger Institute was any shorter, we might get around to writing it down. At the moment though, only one name echoes down these hallowed halls: Stormin' Bob Norman. He's the Miami reporter who didn't let a dude in a plastic hat get away with manhandling his partner Mario Alonso. The back-story is a bit dense; something about garbage company contracts. But what's important here is that the journalists were well within their rights when they set up on a public street to shoot video of a recycling plant in Pompano Beach. Enter one furious foreman. "You can't take pictures of the plant!" he barked as Mario trained the camera on him instead. That's when the foreman got all grabby with the glass, prompting reporter Bob Norman to give the smaller man a friendly SHOVE! A tussle ensued, until the apoplectic hardhat scooped up the crew's wireless microphone and stormed off with it, (presumably to launch his own TV network centered around short, angry men in safety gear). This doesn't sit well with our new buddy Bob, who demanded the microphone be returned, then waited calmly while the foreman called 9-1-1.
"Hello, Police? I just attacked an innocent news crew and stole their microphone. Can you come out here and remind me what a bitch move that was?"Okay so the foreman probably worded it differently but it doesn't really matter because once authorities did arrive, they listened to both sides, watched the video and suggested Mr. Ass-hat return what was never his to begin with. In the end, the foreman even shook hands with the WPLG crew and at last check all seemed rosy in the Sunshine State. Normally, this is where we step in and issue an official Schmuck Alert for crimes against the camera. That we're happy to do (Schmuck!), but it's what Bob Norman did during and after the episode that has this esteemed panel awkwardly trying to high-five itself. Norman didn't have to push the man away, but he did. The investigative reporter explained why in a wry slide show that appeared on his station's website shortly after the incident.
"Mario is completely vulnerable at this moment and the camera itself, which is ridiculously expensive, is also in jeopardy."
"In defense of man and property, I push him back. As you can see his hand is still on the camera."
"I'm thinking, he's short, but he's pretty strong ... and it looks like we're going to go at it. Space is my friend with this little bull."
Norman's station could have saturated the airwaves with looped footage of the whole goofy affair, but for a while they held their fire. The slide show and its more than apt captions drew a few eyeballs without mangling the mission at hand. Norman's eventual piece wisely centered on all that he uncovered and treated the attack of the hardhat as the mere curiosity it was. Well played, Bob Norman. Well played. As for that other guy...