A stylish yet squirrelly mayor deserves befitting coverage. And Lithonia’s mayor, the porkpie hat and neck brace-wearing Joyce McKibbens, got it on Thursday’s late news. WXIA’s Duffie Dixon provided the style, with a nicely shot-and-edited piece on a chaotic council meeting wherein the mayor, as McKibbens put it, “dismissed myself” and abruptly walked out. Dixon’s piece had one priceless reaction shot from a woman in the audience as she watched the proceedings disintegrate.
WSB’s Eric Philips gave the meeting a more chaotic flavor. His quickly edited evasions from uncommunicative council members gave the audience a nice sense of the squirrelliness of these public officials. But it may have also been a bit misleading. Dixon had some of the same council members speaking calmly and rationally afterward.
On WAGA, Julia Harding’s best lick came as she and a photog followed one evasive councilwoman down the street. As Harding tried to ask her what happened, the council member answered by summoning a police officer and asking him to get the pesky reporter away from her. It spoke volumes about the councilwoman.
The Lithonia story is good clean fun for reporters. It’s a story about adults behaving poorly, and doing so without killing or abusing each other. It’s perilous, though, because many of these same adults have a tendency to grandstand in the presence of TV cameras. Wednesday, it got quite ripe as police handcuffed mayoral aides, who responded with category-five hysteria.
Some of that occured last night, too, as aggrieved officials and residents held hands and spoke in dramatic tones afterward. Thankfully, TV played that down. There was plenty else to do.
(Thanks to Millie!)