We've been hearing a lot of those lately, from inconvenient tweeting to being mean to Matt Drudge in private e-mails. But here's a good one, Romanesko: a few people working for KARK, an NBC affiliate in Little Rock, were fired after they made a video spoofing the life of a local TV reporter. In the video, reporter Pete Thompson complains about his crappy job and hopes to get a better one in Miami. "It was hot as shit outside," he says in a voice-over. "At least in Miami they have beaches. And good coke." Eventually, he begins a stream of invective about how awful it is having to do things like interview idiots at the Malvern Brick Festival before finding some bricks to shoot for B-roll, until he finally slaps an interviewee.
Part 2 is more about this guy than about how awful it is to be a TV reporter, but they're both pretty profane (you can watch the videos here). The station would seem to have a right to be upset that it was shot in their facilities, but if they had shot it elsewhere, would it be justified in firing them? There aren't many employers that take too kindly to their employers satirizing them.
One smart piece of advice bloggers and writers sometimes get is that if you're asking yourself whether something you wrote is inappropriate and might get you into trouble, the answer is probably "yes," and you should seriously consider not writing it. But if you're fed up enough, the voice telling you to do that can get shut off. There's a venom in these videos, particularly the first one, that makes it clear (to this viewer anyway) that whoever wrote the script really does hate his or her job. It just goes to show, being on TV doesn't mean you lead a glamorous life.
-- Paul Waldman
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