Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Election Night Demons Strike Again

We are far removed from the March 4th Primary Election and trust me...I'm relieved. I am not a fan of elections and/or politics. I'm involved with them due to my job. I do a more than adequate job and work hard when these issues are assigned to me, but if it is not a requirement you can bet I'll pass on the opportunity.

There are reasons politics and I don't mix, some of them are hard to explain. Others are pretty obvious.

Below is one my more personal issues with the political devil. This is story was originally written and posted on http://www.akronnewsnow.com/ back on March 6th. I figured with it being a month later I could repeat it with having severe flashbacks.

Keep your fingers crossed and enjoy, ;)

Election Night Demons Strike Again
3/6/2008 6:08:52 AM By: Craig Simpson

Voters and politicians are either happy or disappointed with Tuesday's outcome, but for some of us it was a reason to run and hide.

You either enjoy election day or despise it as a member of the media. As for myself I'm in between, but I'm seriously leaning toward the latter. At WAKR and AkronNewsNow.com we manned several locations Tuesday with the Democratic watching party being my post.

With the focus on Akron and Northeast Ohio the last few months you could expect to run into some media brethren of local, regional and national levels at every location. At the Democratic party, taking place at Bricco (great pizza) in downtown, I passed reporters from WKYC TV, WKSU Public Radio and National Public Radio (NPR).

Bricco: http://www.briccoakron.com/

Being a former NPR anchor/reporter myself at affiliates in Indiana and Kentucky, I thought it was pretty cool to run into a personality you would hear everyday if you are an avid listener. As it was, Linda Wertheimer was covering the same beat Tuesday.

Linda Wertheimer: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1931801

Upon my arrival at Bricco the manager passed on some information I thought was halfway amusing. Apparently, Wertheimer and her assistant were having trouble getting a satellite signal back to Washington in order conduct some live reporting or something of that nature. It isn't good to poke fun at someone's misfortune, but I have had this very same problem happen to me more than once. Finally, someone else was snake bitten.

National Public Radio: www.npr.org

As a result Wertheimer was unable to do anything live at that point and just had to gather bulk interviews for production of stories later on. I had to giggle that this worldwide news organization could not get a signal due to Northeast Ohio's brutal winter weather (among other things).

Being a fan of NPR and not wanting to miss the opportunity I found my way over to Mrs. Wertheimer and conducted an interview with her on how the national media is focusing its attention on Akron. She was as courteous and gracious as her personality over the airwaves seems to indicate. It was also hard to hide my enthusiasm for interviewing a colleague of that magnitude in our industry.

Later on, back at the studios of Rubber City Radio Group in the early morning hours Wednesday I'm in the process of producing stories and cutting up audio for Larry States & the rest of our morning crew. That's when my election night demons couldn't hold their laughter.

Our digital recorders, sometimes, have this unexplainable glitch in which (at various times) will record over a track instead of jumping to a new track once the record button is engaged. As a result the one interview I could brag about to my media friends, my fellow NPR geeks and jealous family members...had been recorded over. It disappeared into the same thin air that kept the all powerful National Public Radio from conducting live election night coverage from downtown Akron.

Wertheimer, unknown to her, had the last laugh. I could hear NPR slyly telling me, "You had it coming commercial radio reporter man!" Was it pay back for leaving? Did I not realize what the consequences were for leaving the ranks of publicly funded, listener supported radio?

I could just see loyal public radio-ists enjoying the drinking from their NPR supporting listener gift coffee mug more than they ever had before. Their children proudly wearing their Morning Edition t-shirts to school the next day like they were made of gold and their would-be bully antagonizers taking notice, leaving them be for just that one day.

All I had really wanted was to add to my National Public Radio souvenir collection. Actually, the only piece I have now is a signed copy of the 1994 NPR Interviews by Robert Siegel (host of All Things Considered). And the reason I have it is because it contains interviews with friends of mine from my home town of Chillicothe, Ohio. The topic of those interviews...ironically...an issue dealing with the Bill Clinton presidency!! Blast you Hillary, blast you NPR!!

In short, my night and morning ended in disappointment. Although it had nothing to do with the outcome of the primary, it came during an election. An election that, once again, found a way to put me in my place.

The only saving grace is that the general election isn't until November. A nice, long eight months away.

In the meantime I'll be looking for a new place to hide. Unfortunately, I don't know whether if I'm hiding from the election day demons or listener supported radio?

1 comment:

Colin Morris said...

This is also the night when I crashed my car on the 1.7 mile drive home from work.

Basically a shit night all around.