Monday, May 01, 2006

Telling Moments In Live TV Coverage

A while ago, while one of CNN's correspondents in Chicago was describing the scene at the massive immigration demonstration, he said, "... There is a sea of American flags (andmostlyMexicanones) ... ." [Keyboarded in such a way as to try and provide the verbal delivery of this snippet, a subjective activity, I willingly grant you.]

Well, don't choke on it, man! If that's what you see, that's what you see: It's called reporting. It's a pain if the picture doesn't match the preferred message (been there, felt that) or if it looks a bit counterproductive to wave another nation's flag while demanding rights from this one, but that's how the cookie crumbles. Or the news breaks. Whatever.

For the longest time, the small picture on the screen, whether purposely or not, indeed featured a sea of Old Glory. But for the most part, when one of the cameras pulled back and/or the picture went full screen, the scene changed to reflect the "(andmostlyMexicanones)" part. Of course, this says nothing about all demonstrations, everywhere.

I'll also absolutely grant you that I'm not "watching" the news minute by minute today; I do have the coverage continuously on in the background, but I'm focusing on a number of other things at the same time. Still, this jumped right out at me, not because I was listening for it or expecting it, but because I've an editor's mind and I notice this stuff reflexively.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, if I'd been watching Fox or MSNBC and someone had done something analogous, I'd have noticed that, too, raised the same eyebrow, and chuckled in the same way.

Addendum: I'm not sure when this is going to appear. It's supposed to have published, but yet it's not on the blog. Speaking of "that's how the [blogger] cookie crumbles ... ." Heh.