Friday, February 10, 2006

The Last Man

It's never good being the last man to a gang bang.

That's one of the slang terms we use in 'the business' to describe the huge throng of cameras and reporters surrounding a high profile subject. Being the last one to join that group means that you usually only get a bad shot of the vip's ear. This happened to me Monday while on a tour of New Orleans to kick off the second legislative special session since hurricanes Katrita hit.

After following the busses hauling legislators, aides, and media folk from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, we found ourselves in the Ninth Ward. Our slow paced trek through the ravaged neighborhood came to a stop, and through the open window I hear chanting. A protest in honor of the governor's visit to the area, how nice. Clutching my camera and mic I roll out of the passenger door and head along the convoy, following the siren's song. Once I've got the requisite video and sound needed to tell this part of the story I look ahead to see the busses negotiating a turn, possibly letting people out, about two blocks away. Since the Jeep is half a block behind us, we decide to go back to it. Three minutes later we're parking it in the same place it was because the military guys say they aren't letting any more vehicles down the street. Any other day I might have argued, but time and opportunity were slipping from our grasp, leaving us with a three block run as our only option.

Halfway to our destination we're stopped by another military type who wants to check our credentials, saying he has no way to know who we are. As we run the rest of the way, I tell my reporter they would know who we are if they had let us drive.

Abandoned tripods are our last obstacle as we reach the crush of reporters and cameras encircling the governor and I work my way into the scrum. Story shot we make our way to the convention center for our live shots.

One last note is this point made by Sen. Cleo Fields, who didn't go on the trip: The governor and FEMA can get busses to take people to the convention center and put on a huge dinner after the joint session, but they couldn't do it when people were dying there with no food and water.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who might still be checking for updates. Overhauling my computer was a fairly simple task which went well, except for a minor problem. Playing with all the new features like editing video and watching and recording TV on it have taken much of my free time. I did take pictures and will post a blog about the build, for anyone who would like to know how to do it.

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