Until recently, TV news was the least permanent medium. A broadcast viewed through the rabbit ears one moment was scattered into a gazillion radio frequency bits headed to Pluto the next. Mistake? Hope nobody noticed. Blooper? Preserved, only if some smart aleck happened to be videotaping it and made a copy.
Melissa Sanders’ unfortunate plunge on WAGA more than a decade ago preceded the Youtube age. But the blooper had already had currency as a videotaped outtake. Then, somebody uploaded it to Youtube and it gained a measure of permanence. But immortality comes when a TV news clip somehow becomes part of the culture. Last weekend, the show known as the Family Guy gave this local news clip animation immortality:
The original clip has gotten 550,000 plus views on Youtube. Saturday Night Live also did a brief spoof, with Scarlett Johansen playing the part of “the grape stomping lady.” (H/T to Rodney Ho for finding this on Youtube…)
Here’s the original in all its ugly glory, as shot by WAGA photog Gus Valdes. Who knew that this clip would get this kind of immortality?
(Btw, aside from knocking the wind out of her, the fall tore Sanders’ anterior cruciate ligament. She left WAGA a few months later. We don’t know her current whereabouts, except as a permanent presence in cyberspace.)