As many of you did, I watched the immediate aftermath of what we all knew what would pretty much go down in Ferguson.
It regrettably did not disappoint...the DA made a speech longer than War and Peace, announced the Grand Jury's decision not to indict and then on cue, Ferguson began burning.
As if on cue, CNN began acting like CNN with reporters reporting about their own plight after the fires, violence, mayhem and destruction began in earnest. Don Lemon was there which immediately hastened my decision to leave CNN and head to BBC. Naturally I had about enough with BBC and migrated between CNN, Fox News, (guilty pleasure), and MSNBC too because I truly need and yearn torture in my life.
*Someone tell Don Lemon and Jake Tapper they should pinch themselves ever day; in the case of Lemon, an all-around drama guy with biting intrigue and enough chutzpah to satisfy an orphan who kills his parents and asks for mercy.
CNN: God's gift to the world and Jon Stewart.
*I will resist the temptation to go after the local TV fools who can't help themselves. Most of them are really good people and have no malice intended and just want to do their best under difficult circumstances
NBC Bay Area was my first local glance and before you knew it, their news chopper was directly over Downtown Oakland looking for anything; something, maybe they could get a shot of a black opp smashing windows on Broadway...nothing, at the time, was happening--back to regularly scheduled programming...In fact, early on, as usual, even at nightfall, Downtown Oakland was calm and peaceful. Passionate speech, civil disobedience, protesters echoing the heed and call for "responsible behavior." In other words, precisely the kind of images that are fine and dandy but aren't good for overhead chopper shots that had a thirst for the usual Oakland display to come later on, hastened by the scene of eager-beaver reporters dying for the first sign of vandals and unforeseen mayhem and mischief...cue the live shots and head for 580.
Hwy 580, early evening. The weather was unusually balmy and cooperative for a blockage and takedown. Helicopters abuzz. News vans, Highway Patrol, OPD, Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. and plenty of visuals. The blur is about to begin in earnest. KGO-TV and KTVU made their mark. KPIX was in place. Gasia Mikaelian began getting really excited. So too, PIX's Veronica De La Cruz, her first rodeo here--GAME ON!!!! Yeah, for once VDLC had some TRENDING issues --real and genuine too, what a bargain.
The scene began shifting back to Downtown Oakland where it was getting late and more time for the dedicated trouble makers to begin doing what they do best: break windows, spray paint, Fuck the Police and play to the camera and provide overhead shots while Gasia shouted and breathless reporters could accommodate the mob and they could accommodate the giddy reporters.
The freeway scene at 580 was legitimate breaking developments as motorists were unable to navigate both east and west. The OPD had to ask for mutual aid from the CHP and AC Sheriff's officers. A sea of protesters, probably in the 500 or so, perhaps larger, provided actual breaking news! Huzzah.
50 or so black opps near the 9th and Broadway corridor was not so newsy but then again it never is or was even though the news guys here insist on thinking it is because, by god, we have all this equipment and damned if we're not going to use it! The end result is what the end result usually is; a low-grade mob inspired by the local electronic mob inflict mayhem and vandalism on the Oakland streets. It's morning--time for more live shots. Mike Brown. Buster Brown. Oscar Grant. Live and Local.
No time to rip and critique with intensity --I know you guys are just doing your job and are at the behest of the assignment desk. Deadlines, live shots, and you're not CNN but then again at least Ferguson, scene of the real mayhem provided smoky, genuine news and who can turn away from Sarah Sidner.
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