Tuesday, December 9, 2008

IT SOUNDS LIKE A NICE STORY AND ALL, BUT WHERE'S THE VIOLENCE?... And a fabulous SNL video, plus an old lady on fire!

Book Status: switching from a daily update on status to a weekly update.

Relationship with Newt status: Serious Trust Issues

Okay, so my book is about a teenage reporter in Blackfoot Idaho. Everybody says to write what you know, and so you probably could guess I, myself, was a reporter in Blackfoot Idaho.

In a previous revision, Sensei Ted mentioned that my main character, Lane, seems to be a little obsessed with covering violent news stories. I had to laugh, because he was right! She totally looked for the tragedy in every potential news story! Although this trait doesn't necessarily make for a likable main character, I have to admit that it's a little bit true.

Not that reporters are violent themselves, or are happy when tragedy strikes others, or are heartless weenies. But tragic stories make for compelling news. It's just one of the annoying truths about journalism.

"What kind of tragic news could possibly happen in little old Idaho?" you may ask yourself. Well, let me tell you. South East Idaho is filled with rivers, canals, open roads, wandering children and stupid teenagers. (Not that Idaho teenagers are especially stupid, just that all teenagers are... well... ummmm... wonderful great readers. Fabulous critique partners. Just not the best drivers.)

So when teens have licenses to drive, and long straight open roads to drive on, it pretty much means that every week I'll be covering a "death-by-auto-accident" story. Or a "kid falls in a canal and drowns" story.

I don't know if it was my non-formidable appearance, or my high, nasally unassuming voice, but for some reason I was often sent to get family reaction post-tragedy. I called it the Death Beat. I really really hated it.

I would stick a camera and microphone in the face of grieving family members, and say whatever I could to make them talk. (I think this is where my self-loathing really took root).

Anyway, that is why the following SNL video is so dang funny! It's a parody of Keith Morrison from Dateline NBC, (if you want to check out the real Keith Morrison, click here). The humor is spot on!



  1. I love that video and I can still watch it after I have already seen it about 10 times. That voice is stuck in my head. And after that, "An old lady on fire, all tonight!'

    Yeah, those reporter years were often not too much fun hearing what you had to talk to some of these families about...but you always did it well and I think, always comforted the families. You were fabulous.

    I am little hurt that my time or two of being the camera guy on your live shots was not mentioned, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

  2. Oh yeah. Sam was the camera guy a time or two.

  3. So all our preconceived notions about Idaho teens getting brutally murdered from poisonous potatoes was all a hoax? I'm so glad it was a much less violent death. I don't think you t.v. people are warped at all. I totally believed the reported on SNL was really concerned as he was interviewing. Great job!

  4. I knew you were in Blackfoot, but I didn't know about Sam-a time or two-very interesting. What channel, & time SNL?

  5. Ah, Blackfoot! Ben and I think of you everytime we pass through ;) He told you the joke about "his little friend" didn't he??

  6. I love that skit. And I totally don't think morbid, violence loving women are "unlikable" characters--there's nothing wrong with that, right? RIGHT?