Amid the doom and gloom associated with the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent impacts, there have been some moments of levity, oddity and general head shaking emerge from the darkness.
Here are some of those moments:
THE PERILS OF WORKING FROM HOME, BROADCAST EDITION:
As many of us have found, it’s not easy working from home. Between slowed internet and a full house, finding ways to stay on task and get work done is tough. It can be even tougher for broadcasters, as they not only have to look professional, but they’re constantly live, regardless of what’s going on around them. A reporter from WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio, learned this the hard way, as his cat became part of a report on local businesses adapting to shelter-in-place protocols:
As you can see in John Oliver’s weekly segment on “Last Week Tonight,” the cat spends the entire live shot making sure its butt is ready for its close up.
However, the winner for lack of situational awareness in broadcast news has to go to Melinda Meza of KCRA in California. During a segment on how to cut your own bangs that was shot in her bathroom, Meza captured a full frontal nude shot of her own husband in the mirror:
The shot, blurred here for decency sake, almost broke the internet. To be fair, I didn’t know how many broadcast double entendres there were, until I saw the “best boy,” “key grip,” and “main package” jokes that flooded Twitter. If you don’t believe this actually aired, here’s a live clip in all its glory. Don’t say I didn’t warn you beforehand.
FIRST PURCHASE: COPY EDITORS
With print revenues taking an even heavier beating during the coronavirus outbreak, the corporations that own newspapers are slashing staff, even as the need for more writing, photography and editing surges. Nothing could be more instructive of this need than the plea for help that ran in the Green Bay Press-Gazette the other day:
As Name Here clearly states, knowledge is essential to democracy. Careful editing is probably a close second…
I HOPE THEY HAD ACCESS TO AN APPROPRIATE TOILET PAPER SUPPLY:
Certain typos keep me up at night while I’m writing a book. The “public/pubic” one is always a bit harrowing, but after seeing this headline from Tennessee, I’m definitely removing the word “shift” from my vocabulary:
That’s got to be one impressive Number Two that Baby Yoda took to make that many visors. The Force is clearly strong with this one. As is his daily supply of soluble fiber…
IF IT’S NOT PURE IRONY, IT’S REALLY, REALLY CLOSE:
The debate over opening the country without a vaccine for the coronavirus has reached peak rage mode on social media. John W. McDaniel of Marion, Ohio, was among those who thought it was stupid to keep everything closed:
A month later, he made the news:
An Ohio man who dismissed the coronavirus pandemic as a “political ploy” and ripped his state’s lockdown as “bulls–t,” has died of COVID-19, according to reports.
John W. McDaniel, 60, passed away last Wednesday in Columbus — exactly a month after reportedly firing off a series of angry messages about the contagion.
“Does anybody have the guts to say this COVID-19 is a political ploy? Asking for a friend. Prove me wrong,” he wrote on March 13, according to the Sun.
JACK IS DEAD. LONG LIVE JACK:
I pulled a clean copy of that ABC7 story. “I feel horrible.” pic.twitter.com/PwiqsM7Pob
— dhm (@dhm) April 21, 2020
In reporting a story on Jack Allard, a 26-year-old two-time All-America lacrosse player, anchor Bill Ritter somberly intoned that Allard had succumbed to the illness and died. He then rolled the video in which New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy proclaims Allard has survived and was released from the hospital. As Murphy made this proclamation, the video showed Allard walking out of the hospital to applause from a small gathering of people.
Ritter did the best he could to salvage that, noting “I feel horrible. Jack is very much alive. Jack, we love you.”
This is why I never would have made it in TV news, as my reaction probably would have been, “Oh… Well, Shit!”
AND FINALLY… MY DEEPEST REGRET
We had a department meeting earlier in the month, as it was clear things were not going back to normal any time soon. Several of our classes had to be canceled for the fall term, due to low enrollment. We had heard rumors of furloughs on our campus, which came to fruition this week. Other schools also dealt with similar cuts, freezes and layoffs.
We realized we’d be down one-fourth of our faculty for at least a year, due to retirements. Questions regarding the need to move maybe our entire program online for the fall or longer bounced around before my boss asked those of us gathered via Collaborate Ultra this question: What are you most worried about right now?
After a long pause, I broke the silence:
“Well, I really wish I hadn’t left that bag of baby carrots in my mini-fridge in the office. Those things are going to develop language skills before I get back there.”