Couldn’t help but notice that WAGA anchor Tom Haynes produced a story Monday about the burglary of his own home. The on-camera premise, uttered during a tease, seemed honorable enough: We ask you to tell your stories of woe on TV, Haynes told viewers. Now, I’m gonna tell you mine.
And then Haynes told his story, with improv’d standups / self-interviews as he gloomily looked at the damage. Aside from an interview with a neighbor who’d suffered the same fate the same day, there wasn’t much else. From a storytelling standpoint, that was unfortunate. Haynes would probably agree that, while jarring to his family, his was a routine burglary. If it hadn’t happened to a WAGA talent, it never would have gotten on TV.
Haynes’s supervisors probably strongly urged him to do the story. The pattern would be familiar; they strongly urged self-coverage of another burglary at the home of a WAGA reporter in December 2005. In that instance, however, the burglary-spree story had been ongoing. The burglary of the reporter’s house yielded some arrests a few hours later. And there was the madcap tale of the priest who called 911.
This story delivered another unexpected surprise: A follow-up two days later, on Christmas. That fact alone indicates how hard-up TV is for news on Christmas Day. I actually like Mark Hyman’s “poor Richards” version better, mostly because he gave me a rare opportunity to make fun of WAGA’s management:
All this leads to the title of this post: This blog will mark the one-year anniversary of its first post this week. I’ve tried to avoid too many self-referencing comparisons, the “back in my day, we got screwed over by management this way” type of stuff that would get awfully tiresome awfully fast. This week, we may self-indulge. Feel free to return for more later in the week, or wait for less self-absorbed posts next week.