“And, he was naked.”

So, what’s the lead story on the late news Tuesday? Could it be the Pennsylvania primary? Not on WGCL. Thankfully, for those of us who revel in the clownish tendencies of local TV news, WGCL had a much more creative lead: An “exclusive” story about a scion of a prominent Atlanta business family who barricaded himself in a Waffle House bathroom, and had to be pepper-sprayed and extricated by Atlanta police.

The young man’s situation was vividly reported by Harry Samler, a day after-the-fact. Samler’s photog trained his camera on the door of the women’s room as Samler emerged from the john on-camera, intoning that the young man was found “holding one of those metal toilet paper dispensers. And, he was naked.” The public restroom standup always adds a touch of class to any TV story.

Samler’s piece contained a revealing line, saying the family “is dealing with a personal crisis.” The family released a statement (which WGCL failed to convey in a graphic) saying the young man’s erratic behavior was not due to drugs or alcohol, indicating a deeper medical issue. Yes, it was all in the public record. But was it more newsworthy than the Pennsylvania primary– if it was news at all?

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

4 thoughts on ““And, he was naked.”

  1. rptrcub

    While naked people are always good for a laugh, it sounds like this guy needs some help. It would have been helpful to try to investigate this part of the story, but of course, that’s not going to happen.

  2. Fence Sitter

    The story strikes me as exploitative. Even though it involves Cathy’s grandson and unfolded in a public restaurant, I believe it is essentially a private matter as the young man appears to have suffered some sort of manic break (episodes of which can first manifest themselves in the late teens or early twenties).

  3. mild mannered reporter

    Reminds me of a tease I saw Art Franklin do for WAGA a few weeks ago…at the end of the whole thing, rattling off some serious headlines, he hurriedly added, “all that plus a naked man who went on a rampage, tonight at 10.”

    Could NOT stop laughing.

  4. Wrangler of Found Light

    Harry’s story was a GREAT talker, maybe not a great lead, but that is often what news is, the “hey did you hear about…”. That’s what we do…


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