Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Read About How I Hate the Local News

Back when I worked as a reporter in Little Rock, I learned to hate the local news. It all started when I spent months on a story that was important to me -- and turned out to be **award-winning,** if I DO SAY SO MYSELF -- about underfunding of AIDS drug assistance programs in the state (Arkansas had the lowest state contribution per patient to help AIDS patients buy drugs). So anyway, I spent months writing this big story and spending all this time with these sick or not so sick people, hearing their stories, and then finally one Sunday, we published it on the front page. Sure enough, that night at six, the "reporters" from the local news ripped off my story, did one-off crappy interviews with my sources, asking them the same questions I did, and ran their piece on it. Thanks, guys. Also, I dated one of the on-air reporters for KATV Channel 7 (hey, Justin!) who turned out to be a smarmy, self-absorbed cock (imagine! a local tv news reporter!) so that further soured me on them. Of course, I learned my lesson about dating shallow types who make money off their genetic good fortune and high cheekbones, which is why after 6 years in New York I thought it would be a good idea to date a model and Luke Wilson's ass double. And we all know how THAT turned out!

AHEM. Back to the matter at hand. I have a piece today running on my friend Carl Bialik's website, Gelf. It's a sendup on the local news and its alarmist tendencies. You can read it here. You can also read the interview they did with my friend Chuck, which is a good interview because Chuck mostly answers their questions by saying things like, "I don't know," and "I have no idea," and "Hm, let me think about that," and yet the writer still manages to squeeze a good story out of it. I asked Chuck about it and he said, "You know those people? It was weird, I thought they said they were calling from 'Elf Magazine'." And he was still nice enough to do the interview, even for Elves.

In other news, I'm having drinks tonight with a friend I met like four years ago while spending a couple weeks rock climbing in El Potrero Chico, Mexico. When i showed up I was the only girl at camp except for these two Norweigan ladies who hardly spoke any English, or Spanish. The ratio of men was about 5:1, and it seemed like they hadn't seen a girl in about six months. So, I had a lot of climbing partners to pick from, which was nice, since I went alone. The other day, this friend, Merrick, sent out an email saying he was now living and working in NYC. The last time I saw him, we were on top of an eight-pitch climb called Black Cat Bone in the middle of the Mexican desert, staring across 2,000-foot sheer limestone faces, and tonight we're going to be drinking PBRs at Welcome to the Johnson's, or something. What a crazy world.

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