When people do their jobs, the mammogram debate, when the jocks step up, what hath the San Francisco Giants wrought, and those magnificent cameras in their flying machines.
This has been quite a 24 hours for people who fake things.
Hurricane Sandy, of course, brought all the phony image-people out. If you saw an image of the storm on Twitter, there was a pretty good chance it was fake so that by the end of the day yesterday, a normal person (people who don't have a thing about creating fake images) had zero faith in the medium.
The old media wasn't having much better of a time, at least when it reported the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water. It wasn't.
But there were more.
We found out last night (h/t: Ben Chorn) that Ray Dolin of Julian, W.Va. is a phony, too. I mentioned him on 5x8 weeks ago because he's hitchhiking across the country, he said, to do research on a memoir about the kindness of strangers, only a stranger shot him in Montana. That story was fake.
He admitted that he was trying to kill himself by trying to shoot himself in the heart and he missed, and wounded himself in the arm. He insists his memoir project is real, but there aren't enough suckers in Montana to believe him.
And, finally, there's Kyle Wood, the openly gay campaign worker for a Wisconsin Republican, who got some media attention yesterday because he was beaten up by at his home in Madison by two liberal gay men. He way lying, it's been revealed.(2 Comments)
One thing we've learned from the coverage of Hurricane Sandy: old school is still cool. The still photographer is still the most fearless and respectable journalist.
They differ from the TV types because few people know their names. They focus on the story they're covering, not making themselves the most visible element.
And then we have our friends in the TV business...
Despite the protestations of some network news directors that reporters who stand in water are on a par with combat reporters, they're getting little love today.
The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf calls them out...
There are a lot of journalists I respect for putting themselves in harm's way -- journalists who chronicle wars, report on conditions in refugee camps, challenge the lies of repressive political regimes, or otherwise gather information that wouldn't be disseminated save for risking their lives.
That isn't what CNN and Velshi were doing. If standing in hurricanes for hours at a time were necessary to report on them, newspaper staffers would do it too. On TV, a camera mounted on a street corner might not be as entertaining. It might lack the drama of a human being in danger.
But it would adequately convey all the newsworthy information.
All in all, the still images captured by the pro photographers have all been almost unanimously more impressive than any video, with or without a reporter standing in the middle of it.
I've several times said that one of the most remarkable news conferences by a politician that I've ever seen was the one New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had after the Cirrus plane, piloted by a pitcher for the New York Yankees, slammed into an apartment building.
He just kept facts coming, delivered in a fashion that he knew what he was doing, without much in the way of flash. If leaders appear to know what they're doing, people tend to feel better about things.
Today's news conference on the situation in New York was similar, and left reporters with few good questions to ask because he'd already answered them (full news conference here).
These sorts of situations give us a good glimpse in the styles of leaders. There are few similarities between Bloomberg and New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie, who gets his points across in a more emotional way.
Two styles, both seem to get their message across in dramatically different ways.
These sorts of things are "part news conference, part fireside chat, and they require the full portfolio of executive skills: confidence, calm, empathy and wit," the New York Times says.
Which style do you favor in a leader?
Theory: The proliferation of jack-o-lantern artistry has made the world a tougher place for kids who carve three triangles and something resembling a mouth into your basic pumpkin.
Though tacky, is this Hurricane Sandy-themed ad offensive?
The AdFreak blog says, "clothing brands appear to have committed the biggest brand fails of Hurricane Sandy, with both American Apparel and Gap forgetting that death and loss make a poor springboard for promotional messaging."
The sensitivity meter, it's safe to say, was pretty much turned off in sombody's office. But in other locales, it's turned up pretty high.
At the time, this seemed like a pretty innocuous tweet...
BREAKING: Frankenstorm upgraded to Count Stormula #sandy— Hailey Zureich(@zhailey) October 30, 2012
Jim Romenesko's journalism blog, however, carries a message from the head of the Michigan nurses' union that doesn't so much criticize the original tweet as the fact the Detroit News retweeted it.
From DAWN KETTINGER, communications director, Michigan Nurses Association: We've been watching from afar in Michigan, seeing all the horror our fellow human beings are facing, and also stories like nurses heroically saving lives by evacuating hospitals last night in NYC, literally keeping vent-dependent babies alive by manually bagging them as they walked them down flights of stairs. Then we see media doing things like this [the Detroit News retweeting the "Count Stormula" crack].
But does a retweet indicate a disrespect -- or even a lack of sensitivity -- for first responders?(3 Comments)
How long is a reasonable period of time to accept waiting before the government forces move in to help you put your life back together?
This is a picture from today of the Breezy Point section of Queens, where a fire in the middle of the hurricane overnight destroyed dozens of homes.
And a few minutes ago, NBC's Matt Lauer tweeted this:
Just toured devastation in Rockaway Beach N.Y. Crushed by storm and fires. People asking if @fema knows they need help.— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) October 30, 2012