I’ve always loved seeing reporters chase after people. Perp walks, defendants on their way into court, people trying to get to their cars or into their homes — it’s a TV news meme that never gets tired. In fact, I wish there were a channel that showed nothing but reporters hounding people. That’s something I’d watch.
Not that you get any good answers to the questions shouted out by the press.
Generally people don’t say anything, but that doesn’t stop reporters from trying. One time I saw video of a reporter yell to an accused murderer, “Why’d you do it.” That’s what’s known in the business as an open ended question.
But you never know, they might stop and talk. Or someone might say something nutty or toss out an F-bomb, which is always entertaining. In extreme cases they’ll try to get a piece of the reporter or photographer, which supplies priceless video that’s played over and over again. Either way, the spectacle of someone pursued by reporters is great video.
Here’s a real life example. When John Sweeney showed up at jail last week, WNYT’s Kumi Tucker was waiting with some questions:.
KT: Anything to say as you’re walking in?
KT: Are you still going to be sentenced next week?
JS: You’d have to call my lawyer.
KT: Why did you decide to come in early like this? Is it so you can get on with the rest of your life?
JS: That’s sort of the idea.
All we really learned about Mr. Sweeney is that he knows when to keep his yap shut. It makes for pretty ho-hum reading, but watch how much better it is with the video.
Have you ever seen someone so eager to get behind the jailhouse doors?
So what should you do when confronted by reporters? My advice is do what this guy did: run away.