Television news has become such an omnipresent force in American life, that the industry has created an interesting yin and yang. Opposing forces bound together by fiber optic cables and satellite dishes. On-air personalities and their audiences intertwined, yet separated, by distances measured in miles and even greater distances measured by perceived social rank. The latter giving rise to a favorite spectator spectacle known as the tv reporter blooper.
A natural phenomenon when those, who hold themselves up as larger-than-life figures, lose their tenuous grasp of gravitas and screw up. Which, of course, makes them easy targets for the masses they presume to enlighten with their knowledge, wit and flair. However, those in the masses, who feel the need to tear down such carefully crafted and impeccably coiffed personas, are usually forgetting an important lesson. The reason they are able to take such joy in revelling in the mistakes of others, is they actually don't happen very often.
Television stations aren't usually in the habit of putting blathering *** on the air. So, the tv reporter blooper can be a hard quarry to bag. While it is true that modern technology enables much greater dissemination of these events when they occur, they're not as prevalent as many may think.
Television reporters and anchors may have inflated estimations of their looks, voices and talents, but that doesn't change the fact that most really do know what they're doing. And are pretty good at it. If they weren't, the normal checks and balances of audience shares and ratings points would earn them a pink-colored ticket on the Darwin express out of town after a bad Nielsen book or an unfavorable consultant-driven focus group study.
To that end, it is in their best interest of self-preservation to limit the number of tv reporter blooper episodes. Now, that's not to say that all efforts directed toward that end are going to be successful. Reporting from the field is fraught with potential pitfalls. Unnerving factors like gusts of wind, idiots in passing cars shouting obscenities and honking their horns or unpredictable animal behavior can all lead to hilarious flubs.
If the reporter is lucky, the videographer won't make a copy of this flub to amuse his or her co-workers. If the reporter is unlucky, it will live on in station lore. And if they're really unlucky, the incident will happen Live.
How the recorded evidence of the transgression is made available for public consumption is, however, unimportant. The response of the viewer to the tv reporter blooper is really the driving force. As long as there is a desire for people to dismantle instead of create or dismiss instead of accept, there will always be fodder for their enjoyment.
Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
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