Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Mid-Term Election Hero

The mid-terms are over, and I feel fine. Not because the candidates I felt strongly about won their races. Not because Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are getting divorced. Not because I had a really good cup of coffee yesterday afternoon.

No, I feel fine because I was privy to some of the most honest election coverage I’ve ever seen.

Let’s be real, a newsroom has to be one of the most bustling, busy places during elections. So many races to cover, so many reporters to dispatch. There has to be an anchor that is the ringmaster of this political circus. And locally, on 6abc, that anchor was Jim Gardner, my mid-term election hero.

My Hero

Now, I only watched about ten to fifteen minutes of election coverage. I’m not a very political minded person, and I had ironing to do. But this wonderful man, Jim Gardner, made those few minutes as sweet as any leftover Halloween candy.

First act of heroism:

The station always sends a reporter to cover each of the candidates’ campaign headquarters. To cover each of the numerous candidates, they end up sending out these second rate reporters. People you’d normally never stick in front of a camera (or any ocular device for that matter): the third string meteorologist, the janitor, the editor’s mom, etc.

And if the reporters are bad, just imagine how far down the chain their film crews must be. "Great, here’s my spot to shine, and I get stuck with some dude whose qualifications are that he once taped his dog taking a poop."

Case in point, Miss Erin O’Hearn, covering the Fitzpatrick/Murphy race (Irish unite!). Cut to Erin (we’ll pretend we’re on a first name basis) at Murphy’s headquarters, where she is in a silent movie. Her lips move, but so sound whatsoever. My hero, Mr. Gardner (Mister, ‘cuz he’s the man) comes to her rescue, citing “sound difficulties”, and moves on to the next campaign headquarters.

But Erin would make a triumphant return, oh yes, coming out of a commercial break. This time, we can hear the gathered crowd behind her cheering for their candidate, but nothing she is saying into the microphone. How’s that work? This time, Mr. Gardner is a little slower to jump to her aid. Erin, speaking with all her might into a dead mic, is then interrupted by an increasingly irate Mr. Gardner, “Erin, Erin, still not… we’ll come back.” And he had to yell for her to hear him on her earpiece over the assembled crowd, which was, by the way, coming through crystal clear.

But Erin was back after the next break to complete this unholy trilogy. This time, her voice was a shadow underneath the hulking sound of the crowd, with Mr. Gardner imploring her to yell so she could be heard… and then the screen flickered for a moment and was then filled with a defeated Mr. Gardner, who deadpanned a lovely “…and now, we can’t even see her.” And he had this “you’ve got to be f*cking kidding me” look on his face. Priceless.

Get it together, woman!

Second act of heroism:

In the midst of a huge political shift, Mr. Gardner was then forced to deliver this breaking ‘news’:

“Britney Spears filed for divorce today from her husband, Kevin Federline. The two have been married since 2004 and have two sons together. And so, they… are… done.”

His delivery of that last line was FAN-TASTIC!

Such dichotomy in that sentence. An end not only to their marriage, but also their retardedly half-witted fame. Well done, sir!

Britney and K-Fed divorce? That’s not news, you douchebags. If you really care that much about two people you’ve never met (actually met and had a conversation with, not a sweaty palmed handshake and an effort to get them to sign your t-shirt), please do us all a favor and go jump in front of traffic.

But not on the Blue Route southbound. I have to get home in time to watch Mr. Gardner on the news.

Hugs and Handjobs,



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