Tag Archives: local news

Five Seconds of Fame

Thanks to my job I'm occasionally interviewed by local TV stations. It's cool in the "I never thought I'd be on TV" sense, but on the other hand it's a little like jumping off a cliff because you learn pretty quickly that the TV folks can make you look as good or bad, smart or stupid, as they want.

Last Friday I was fried. We had our annual banquet the night before and my brain was little more than Jell-O as a result. Luckily I had a light schedule so I was cruising through my day until the phone rang at 12:30. It was the local Fox affiliate looking for some background on a story they were working, and also looking for a soundbite if at all possible. Knowing I was in no shape for an interview I claimed a full schedule. Nominally true, but I really just didn't want to do the interview. Eventually the reporter persuaded me to talk and we set a 2:30 appointment. 

The result? A half hour of prep work followed by a total vapor-lock of the brain as soon as the camera was on. Luckily they took mercy on me and only used about five seconds of the interview, thus minimizing my on-camera freeze

Protest or Small Gathering? Small Scuffle or War on Christmas?

Wachovia/Wells Fargo apparently doesn't require its branches to display Christmas trees and apparently that's a problem for ten people who marched in front of the Wachovia building in Winston-Salem.  That was enough to attract some local news folks, but I don't think the "War on Christmas" story they were hoping for materialized.  From the story:

Ten people gathered Tuesday in front of Wachovia's offices on West 4 ½ Street to protest a company policy they said doesn't allow branches to recognize the Christmas holiday.

Joyce Krawiec organized the event after she said the company banned the display of Christmas trees in its branches…

It should be noted that the Wachovia offices where the protests were held do display a Christmas tree inside. But, Krawiec said she's checked in branches throughout the area and found very few that were displaying Christmas trees…

Wachovia, acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008, said in a statement that the decision to display poinsettias in branches was to achieve a common look within the markets in which the company operates.

The statement from the company also said that company policy doesn't prohibit Christmas trees from being displayed.

Okay, I think we need to come up with a few news rules here:

  1. If you have fewer people than can sit on a school bus it's not a protest.  If you must cover it as a "news" story then come up with a new term for it.  I like Airing of Grievances (think Festivus).
  2. If someone is protesting, er Airing a Grievance, about a corporate policy that ends up not being a policy then for God's sake turn off the camera and wish them a nice day.
  3. Unless someone shoots a mall Santa do not run a "War on Christmas" story. 

If these kind of stories keep showing up I think I'm going to grab four of my friends, a six pack, a couple of hand drawn cardboard signs and head over to the mall to walk around and air our various grievances about saggy drawers, terrible Christmas music, terrible tattoos, nasty body piercings, etcetera, etcetera.  See you on the 6 o'clock news.