Friday, December 31, 2004

Santa Claus is a What????

This morning, I covered a pretty bad accident that happened in a predominantly African-American area of Cleveland. As I was covering this accident, I was standing near a graffiti covered bus shelter. As I was standing there, I started to read some of the words of wisdom written. This is the one that jumped out at me...

Santa Claus is a white-ass honkie bitch!!!

How can you argue with logic like that????

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I Hate the French

In a classic pissing contest, France has unzipped their fly and tried to outdo the United States in how much aid can be sent to the devestated countries from the tsunamis. What France wants more than ever is to be the leader of the new Europe. The British of the 21st Century, if you will.

Well, they tried to be that in the early part of the 20th century before WWII and look what it got them...occupied. The only things France is number one over the USA is stinky people, smelly cheese, surrendering and being liberated the most times.

This article is from Fox Read on...

PARIS — One-upping the United States, France said Thursday it is the No. 1 donor for the Asian disaster — pledging 42 million euro ($57 million) — following barbs from Washington about the extent of French generosity.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's (search) boast that France was vaulting to "the head of all the contributors" appeared to respond to comments from Andrew Natsios (search), chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which distributes American aid.

In a FOX News interview this week, Natsios said France tends not to be a world leader in foreign aid and often packages its help as loans, which he suggested were inappropriate in emergencies.

"The aid program in France is not that big," he said. "They do not tend to be dominant figures in the aid. The British are, the European Union is, the Japanese are, we are, the Canadians are."

In Paris, France's Foreign Ministry shot down those aspersions. Spokesman Herve Ladsous said French aid for tsunami victims "is clearly donations and not loans."

He also said France gives more development aid than all other members of the Group of Eight industrial nations — which includes the United States — when measured as a proportion of its economic output.

"The figures speak for themselves," said Ladsous.

France allotted .41 percent of its gross national income to development aid in 2003, nearly triple the .15 percent from the United States, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (search).

But the United States led in dollar terms, donating US$16.2 billion (euro11.9 billion) to France's US$7.2 billion (euro5.3 billion) — which ranked third among G-8 nations, OECD figures show. Japan ranked second.

Since Sunday's earthquake off Indonesia and ensuing giant waves, the United States has announced an initial US$35 million (euro26 million) aid package — but also faced suggestions from a U.N. official and others that it has been stingy or slow to react.

France first announced euro22 million (US$30 million) — only for President Jacques Chirac to order that doubled Thursday. That led to the pledge from his prime minister, Raffarin, of an additional euro20 million (US$27.2 million) to prevent epidemics.

Chirac, echoing calls from Germany and Italy, said France would press the Paris Club of creditor nations for a debt moratorium for affected countries. He also called for the creation of a worldwide alert system for temblors and tsunamis and for a European Union reconstruction fund for the disaster.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, back from a tour of affected areas in Thailand and Sri Lanka, recommended that nations go beyond the relief and reconstruction coalition formed by the United States, India, Australia and Japan and laid out by U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday.

"Of course there needs to be a humanitarian action coalition — as President Bush just proposed," Barnier said. "But there also needs to be another international coalition against poverty, for development."

France's confirmed death toll climbed to 22, with 244 injured. Another 560 were missing, and "their families are waiting anxiously for indications of life, of hope," Raffarin said.

A military plane carrying 10 coffins was heading to Asia to bring home French victims, officials said.

My First Story

As a news videographer, I've seen a LOT of blood and guts in my day. I've been in television for 15 years, so nothing really fazes me. Well, let me qualify that last statement. Hardly anything fazes me. If it involves children, then it bothers me. This is NOT one of those times though.

No, this is my first story I ever covered as a news videographer. First time I went out by myself.

A virgin, you can say.

I was sent to a man vs. train fatality. Not a car vs. train. MAN vs. train. I was expecting a mangled car. Nope. WRONG.

What I got was a drunk who was using the railroad tracks to navigate his walk home. Apparantly, he was so plastered that he NEVER HEARD THE TRAIN COMING!!

The one thing that I can be sure of, is that he never knew what hit him. And, as we all know, trains can't stop on a dime. So, the train hit him. Then it dragged him. Dragged him three quarters of a mile down the track before it could stop. The poor man was left in pieces.

There were pieces of him left that whole section of track. Finger here. Right foot there. Section of brain on metal track.

And all I could think of when I saw it all... COOL

We Three Thieves

It was another overnight shift. I was driving down Lakeside Ave. getting ready to make a left turn onto Ontario Ave. I look to my left and I see sitting near the intersection, a Ford Bronco II that has plowed itself into a parked Grand Am. It's been there for a while and there's no one around.

I call to my assignment desk and tell them about what I'm seeing. I also tell them to call the cops. I alert the desk that I'm sticking around in case anyone wanders by bleeding or at least until the cops show up.

So, I wait...

And wait...

Annnnnd wait....

Twenty minutes go by. No cops. This is a major feat because the intersection of Lakeside and Ontario in Cleveland is in front of the Justice Center and Cleveland's police HQ.

So, as I'm sitting there, I see three figures in my rear view mirror dart behind my car. I look to my left and sure enough, three teenage boys head to the Bronco. They immediately start to pull open the drivers door.

One kid got it open and popped the hood. Another kid opened the hood and started tinkering with something in the engine. The third kid is standing on the sidewalk with his head on a swivel, looking for cops or someone passing by.

I hop out of my car, get my camera and start rolling on these idiots. I'm about twenty feet away from them as they continue to hotwire this car. The third kid, who was on "lookout" finally notices me taping them. "Hey!!", he shouted, "we're being videotaped!!" Then he proceeds to cover his face with his t-shirt.

The second kid, comes out from under the hood and heads to the driver's side. I yell out, "The cops are on the way..." The second kid looks over and pulls out his cell phone and says, "I already reported it stolen."

The three geniuses finally get the Bronco started and they hop in. As they back up, they do more damage to the Grand Am because the bumpers locked and they backed up really fast. As they drove away, they were looking back at me and laughing.

So, I call this back to my assignment desk and tell them what happened and that I have it all on tape. They should call the police and let them know what direction they headed.

And I wait...

And wait....

And wait...another twenty minutes. STILL no cops show up.

Then I see an EMS unit a couple blocks away hauling ass with lights and sirens. Then two fire engines and two cops cars follow. Behind me, three police cars go by with lights and sirens blaring also. I call my assignment desk and ask my guy if anything is going on downtown. Russ, my desk guy, tells me they're checking out a car accident close to where I'm at. A possible flipped car. I tell Russ, I'll head over to check it out since it's only three blocks away.

And, you've guessed it. I get there and there is the Bronco that was just stolen, laying on it's side under a bridge overpass. These three kids didn't make it a full three blocks on their getaway when they rolled it. Of course they weren't around but I informed they police what I witnessed and had on tape.

The lieutenant blinked and asked, "You have it on tape???" I told him I waited and no police showed up but three kids and they started to steal the car, so I taped them. He asked if I could make him a copy of the tape but unfortunately what I shoot is my station's property and unless it is demanded under a subpeonea, I can't give it to him.

I don't know if they found the kids but if you ask me, if they're going to steal cars, they need driving lessons first.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Oh the Joys of Overnight News Gathering

Working overnights, as I do, is a test of the soul. Things just sort of "happen" to me. Ok...sometimes CRAZY things tend to happen to me. Sometimes I get involved when I don't want to.

One early morning, as I was out doing beauty shots of downtown Cleveland's skyline for our 5 a.m. show, I get someone pounding on the side doors of my live unit. "Call the the police..!!", this guy is screaming. Now, I can see out of the tinted windows but, it's dark and all I see is a guy holding a towel to his head.

I yell through the doors, "WHY??" He responds," THIS is why...", and pulls the towel away and blood starts gushing out of a wound in his head.

Ooooooooh Kayyyyyyyyyyyy...

Well, I dial 911 and have the EMS services come to my location... "Can't miss me. I'm the Channel 3 live truck in the middle of Mall C."

I then called my producer and told her the story of the bleeding man. She says, " can't take pictures right now??" Ahhh...a MENSA member are we???

So, I get out the first-aid kit from the truck to get some gauze for him to use. When I opened the door, all I hear is "Crazy m***** F***'in B****!!! Hit me with a whisky bottle. Effin b****, C-word, b**** c-word, etc..."

When I go to give him the gauze, he starts walking away from me, still mumbling to himself about the woman that hit him. He walks away across the street, leaving a blood trail. All the time I'm yelling for him to stay with me so EMS can help him.

Just then, a woman appears out of nowhere, yelling about "Yeah...I hit him...he deserved it!!! He put his hands on me and I didn't appreciate it!!!" The odor coming off this woman was knock-out strength. I mean this woman had a FUNK to her.

Well, the EMS unit shows up, and two very attractive female paramedics get out of the ambulance. The redhead asks me if I called 911 and then asks where the victim is? "Follow the blood trail", I told her and showed her the path.

The funky woman starts yelling to the EMS crew, "Take me to jail!! I hit him with a bottle...he done put his hands on me and I didn't appreciate it!!!"

"Apparantly, she didn't appreciate it", I told the driver of the ambulance. The EMS crew calls back to their dispatch and ask for a police unit to show up. Then they get back into their ambulance and leave. They leave me with a woman that has already attacked a man with a bottle. And right now, she is looking not that mentally stable. Plus, she's still stinky.

The police came and took my statement of what I witnessed. Then he went to go chat with the woman. I warned him about her odor. Minutes later he came back wide-eyed. "I thought you were joking about the smell!!"

They arrested the woman for public intox. And I went back to shooting the skyline.

I love the overnight shift...

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Who I am

My name is Brian and I am a news videographer in Cleveland, Ohio. GO STEELERS!! I'm also a Conservative in a vast left wing, liberal media conspiracy.

I hope to drop a note here and there on what happens to me when I'm at my job. Plus I get to espouse my views to those who will read them.