Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Third Rail

Today's column for the Daily Banter focuses on the New York Post's instantly notorious "dead man" cover from yesterday and the question of journalistic ethics.

Here's the opening shot:

"Denis Leary used to do an amusing bit years ago where he said that one of the best things about living in New York City is that there are so many interesting ways to die. It isn't simply a matter of the usual daily trials of living in a big city -- the potential to be shot, mugged, hassled by roving gangs of brown youths of indeterminate Latin American lineage, etc. -- it's the almost unimaginable and constantly evolving urban landmines that are indigenous to New York and that present an everyday threat, whether you choose to deny their existence for the sake of your own sanity or not. You can be killed by a block of ice falling off the top of a skyscraper. You can step on an inadvertently electrified manhole cover. You can fall through a storm grate on a sidewalk.

You can get pushed in front of a subway train."

Read the Rest Here

1 comment:

TheReaperD said...

This one leaves an especially bad taste in my mouth as I had a conversation with this type of bottom feeding freelance reporter on the day of the September 11th attacks. You'd be hard pressed to prove to me that the two were not cut from the same cloth. Chez, if you value your blood pressure or your lunch, you might want to quit reading.

My experience with this type of bottom feeder is as follows. I heard of the first plane strike on the radio as I was driving my job on September 11th working as a Customer Relations representative at an Apple call center. I watched the second plane strike while at my desk at work. We received word that all of the Apple Stores had been evacuated in the state of New York as well as other locations and all shipping in and out was stopped and anyone who wanted to go home could with no penalty. As I had no friends or relatives in New York or the Pentagon, I decided to stay. Everything at my work was going alright, I even had some nice conversations with some of the customers about the incident and one person who had a daughter who worked at one of the New York stores and was trying to find out if everything was OK as she was unable to contact the store. The daughter arrived home while I was on the phone. Then I got a call that still makes me angry to this day. A jackass identifying himself as a reporter from New York city was transferred to me because he was demanding a supervisor. He was yelling that his laptop was in for repair and he needed it to record the events and he demanded that I get him another one from one of our stores in the area immediately or he was going to sue us. Once I informed him that all of the Apple Stores in the area had been evacuated as a precaution and that his "demand" was impossible he got really livid and then demanded to know when his would be back from repair. He was even less happy to hear that all shipping had been stopped in and out of New York, halting any chance of his laptop being returned. Almost at the top of his lungs, he yelled something along the lines of "This is the biggest news story of my life and I can't record it. Do you have any idea how much money you're costing me?" I replied with "Are you aware of what has just happened?" His reply was the last straw for me. "Yes, I felt the impact when I was getting ready this morning." My final statement was "People are dying out there and you were close enough to feel the blast and all you give a damn about, you piece of shit, is how much money it's costing you?! Fuck you!" I hung up on him before he could reply then told my supervisor, who overheard the last part of the call, that I was going home immediately. I'm sure he filed a complaint against me but, I never heard anything about it either from H.R. or my supervisor. I've never had respect for the profession since. I'm sure there are good freelance reporters but, I've never really gotten past that call.