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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Essential Credentials

Like J. Alfred Prufrock, measuring out his life with coffee spoons, TV journalists measure out their lives in press credentials, resume tapes, and war stories. I’ve already shared some tapes and war stories, so I guess it’s time to break out the you-know-what’s. As the mythical Prufrock once said, “let us go and make our visit”.

I have to admit these are fun to peruse—especially the ones with embarrassing or corny pictures on them. Here are a few that reflect some big events, not only in WCIX’s history, but also South Florida’s.

(Click images to view them full screen)

My first WCIX press credential, shortly after I made the move from electronic graphics to producing. Between a marathon stretch of shows, and producing Troubleshooter for Gail (Gayle) Anderson, I didn’t get to use this one very much.

The Pope’s visit to South Florida was a total clusterf@ck, and I’m not just talking about the media circus. Traffic in the Westchester and Doral areas was rerouted, and it took me more than an hour to drive the 4.6 miles to the station. We sure could have used a chopper in those days.

This pass got me into the parking lot and the stands for the 1990 FedEx Orange Bowl. After getting all the soundbites and B-roll that we needed, sports reporter John Deutzman managed to score a few cheap tickets from a desperate scalper. So we very quietly, and without anyone knowing (shhh!) sat down and watched part of the big game, which turned out to be a real snoozer. Come on, guys, let’s see some offense! Soon it was time to head back to the truck for our 11PM live shot. No one was the wiser.

I didn’t get to witness Nelson Mandela’s visit to South Florida. Instead, I stayed behind to produce a 15 minute instant special. I sure produced a lot of instant specials in those days! In typical Miami fashion, the headline was Mayor Xavier Suarez’s snub of the South African leader, who had refused to condemn Cuba’s human rights record. Several other Cuban-American mayors, and some local business leaders, also joined in the snub, which ultimately wound up costing the city a lot of $$ in lost convention business.

Thirty four world leaders gathered in Miami for the first Summit of the Americas, but once again, the headline became who WASN’T there: Cuban leader Fidel Castro. To this day, practically no one in Miami can tell you a thing about the summit or what it accomplished. All they remember is Fidel being told he wasn’t welcome!

This next credential has nothing to do with the old Channel 6, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s certainly the most colorful.

Whoa, baby! No one messes with The Blue Lakes Bugle -- my first reporter gig, with my elementary school newspaper. Even then I wanted to write about rock ‘n roll, but the teachers and advisers were gonna raise a fuss and gonna raise a holler. So I stuck to writing about the PTA, science projects, and not-so-burning issues. Jimmy Olsen had nothing on me!

Or as T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock pondered, “Would it have been worth it, after all?”

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