Atlanta’s newest / oldest celeb

Ann Nixon Cooper 2002 AJC photo

Ann Nixon Cooper 2002 AJC photo

Word is that local TV news crews began showing up at the Atlanta home of 106-year old Ann Nixon Cooper as early as 1:30 Wednesday morning.

Cooper is the woman referenced repeatedly in President-elect Barack Obama’s victory speech Tuesday.

No field personnel would actually pitch such a ridiculous idea.  It came from a manager, probably with a corner office, whose calendar just flipped to November.

Kinda makes you wonder:  What kind of material might a TV station expect to gather at the home of a very old lady at 1:30 in the morning?  Are you craven enough to actually insist that a reporter knock on the door at that hour?  Or does the reporter simply launch a stakeout?

The answer, one would hope, is the latter.  Perhaps your live truck engine (and those of your competitors) make enough noise that somebody inside pokes an eye through the curtains to check the source of the racket.  If the door cracks open, you beeline toward it.

(Have you disobeyed an order by failing to knock on the door at 1:30am as directed?  If you’ve walked to the door, tapped on it with a fingernail, then walked away — then the answer is no.)

You’re there to play defense:  Let your competitor be the fool to bang on the door, then invite yourself along in the unlikely event that the 106 year old woman grants a 2am interview.  If a limo shows up with a network producer inside, then it’s time to start getting aggressive and ridiculous.

Maybe we’re the only ones who find the very notion very tawdry.  Yes, Joe the Plumber got similar treatment.  But Joe wasn’t a 106-year old woman.

Turns out Cooper’s caregiver spoke to the assembled and politely asked them to leave, inviting them to return after daybreak.

Cooper graciously granted interviews to all comers. The stories had an unexpected element:  Obama personally phoned her a few days ago, and she missed the call.  The call is on her answering machine, and it’s not a robo-call.

Cooper wasn’t a great interview.  But the local story was a must-have.  Doesn’t mean, though, that it’s a must-have at 1:30am.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Atlanta’s newest / oldest celeb

  1. Scott Hedeen...XnewsPatriot

    “open up!! it’s the news!!”

    seriously? if election prep was that important… can’t we figure out an 106 yr old in Atlanta is voting? i worked on a MLK special in 98 at WXIA… we found some amazing stories similar to this one just by showing up on Auburn Ave. Obama’s election to president was NOT spot news… jeez.

    as for local coverage? Obama’s election was HUGE… the people here in the city who remember all that went on in the 50’s and 60’s… the hard fought battle in the Civil Rights movement meant alot here.(Advise to anyone who gives a damn… go and interview John Lewis… i did… several times…and it blew my mind!)

    but… if you were going to base yr coverage on yr viewer base… Barack Obama got beat in our state pretty bad.
    yes… GA… Democrat to the core… it’s called Dixiecrat… and no one worth their red clay salt would be called a republican… “for god’s sake ma’am… that’s the party of Lincoln!” …but in reality… this state has wildly been conservative. In the area codes… 770… 706..and 912… (add 404 to all tv reporters who live inside the perimeter..)…it’s the 404orest…and it’s as Bob Barr Newtian as it can get.

    The point being…

    how do you cover news in a state that voted mostly republican? isn’t it all about what the viewers want? Clear enuff. basic stuff. John McCain won big here last night…and I don’t think i saw alot of his and the losing side last night… What I got was gushing…almost crying… tv “personalities” who were “surprised” is not what i wanted to see. WXIA gave me alot of that last night.

    Oh wait…I also got some local radio DJ’s spouting off in attempts to justify their day jobs. Again… armchair quarterbacking here… but… Murray the K didnt tell me who to vote for or how to feel about it… invest time in NEW bands who people are really listening to…. ok?..

    i’m happy Obama won… i voted for him with a smile on my face…sure.. if John Lewis was running for and won the prez job…i’d be loving it more…BUT… something about “gladfest” reporting makes me ill and reminds me why i’m such a malcontent by nature.

    Reply
  2. Scott Hedeen...XnewsPatriot

    oh wait… just thought about this…

    Barack Obama… 44th President… Hank Aaron… #44!!

    Swarm! get reaction!!

    Reply
  3. Don B Johnson

    Hey Scott, I’m on my way to interview you..But I should tell you one thing, I’m riding my bike down to lower my carbon foot print. I should be there in about three months. Can you wait that long?

    p.s. God we are glad Obama won…How do you stand that RED state?

    Reply
  4. atlbigear

    Scott, you would have made a much better guest on election night. A few people were scratching our heads here about the Election Night plans, but things are changing here. I honestly could not tell you who came up with that, but it has me rethinking things here especially since it feels like some have bigger voices than others in the new order.

    Reply

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