Daily Archives: June 9, 2008

Dumpster Diving

John Bachman couldn’t have been happy about his assignment Thursday. Seems WSB’s news desk got a phone call from a construction worker at the West Paces Shopping Center in NW Atlanta. The construction worker told the desk about a dumpster on the property. Inside the dumpster were boxes of paper. The paper appeared to have been discarded from a law firm and contained “sensitive information.”

The desk sent Bachman to investigate the dumpster. We wonder if there wasn’t just the smallest whiff of schadenfreude amongst the WSB desk jockeys as they sent their young, square-jawed weekend anchor to explore a pile of trash. We wonder if Bachman did any career soul-searching during the drive.

At 5:06pm, Bachman found himself doing a live shot next to the dumpster. The camera peered in, where the paper was visible. Bachman’s thankfully-brief package identified a tax form, legal documents containing social security numbers and other stuff that clearly belonged in a shredder, not intact in a dumpster.

If Bachman actually reached (or climbed) into the dumpster to retrieve paper, he had the good sense to not show himself on camera doing so.  Likewise, he declined to interview passers-by about how they felt about the dumpster and its contents.

But he did get hold of some of the paper. His photog shot a closeup of some letterhead, identifying the law firm that apparently discarded the paper. We saw Bachman standing next to the dumpster, on a cell phone, trying to reach the law firm.

Bachman reached an attorney.  Bachman told viewers the attorney admitted he was “embarrassed.” Bet the attorney wasn’t the only one.

Yes, there’s a serious issue here about identity theft. And maybe a generous soul could give WSB credit for doing a (thankfully brief) expose on a law firm’s sloppy disposal of some sensitive paper. But we’re not feeling generous here. We’re feeling a little sad for John Bachman, who had to do a live shot next to a dumpster. Thursday will not be noted as one of his career highlights.