On the second page of the Times today is a story about the warring factions among the media at the Syria peace talks in Geneva. It made me giggle that even in a “respectable” journalistic endeavor as war and peace the media can act like babies just as the sports media does.
My only journalistic experience comes in sports, and usually it’s very calm and sedate. On a team’s beat, you see the same people and develop relationships with them. You quickly get a sense of what certain people want. For instance, the tv people want the easy soundbite so we usually let them go first and get out of the way. If certain folks like TJ Simers comes along, then you want to get your question in as quickly as possible before he goes off on one of his cross-examinations (although they can be highly amusing at times.)
But then there are the abnormal days, such as when a scandal erupts or the team is in the playoffs. While fun, those days can be spent trying to jockey for position, talk over people to get your question in, having to use elbows and quite possibly having your cuss-out being aired on live television.
I hated the two times the Vancouver Canucks played the Kings in the playoffs. I really got a sense as to why Canadians hate Vancouverites — they’re whiny, think the whole world is conspiring against them and are just plain cunts. In the hallway outside of the dressing rooms at Staples Center, the CBC crew broadcasting the series in 2010 blocked the middle of the hallway so they can do their on-air postgame interviews. Meanwhile the dressing rooms were opening to the media, and we could not get past the tv crew in order to get to the Kings’ room.
The whole lot of us were grumbling about it to which I just shouted blindly, “Can you guys fucking move?” To be honest, I don’t know if that was aired on CBC, but I didn’t care. Soon thereafter the seas parted, and we were able to get into the Kings’ room albeit tardily and resigned at the back of these scrums.
I’ve been lucky to not have been hit in the noggin by a camera or elbowed away (though I have had to throw some elbows with the Vancouver media.) Other people weren’t quite so fortunate, especially my media sisters. For some unknown reason, they take the brunt of the abuse in these scrums. I just don’t know why. I can’t imagine it!
I guess hearing about the shenanigans at the UN gives me a sense of comfort that it isn’t only sports that is chaotic.
By the way, the above is probably one of the few photos of a media scrum I have taken in my years doing this. Most of the time I was busy doing my job. Also I hated when the Boston Red Sox media came to town. What a bunch of sniveling sanctimonious shitheads.