Tuesday, May 1

Mean is as Mean Does

I’ve talked here about mean bosses. I guess I forgot to mention me!

Honest to God, I’ve never considered myself mean. Often straightforward, sometimes blunt, always demanding, but never (at least to my way of thinking) mean-spirited.

There’s a story that refutes that claim. My-right-hand-on-the-Bible, I don’t remember this at all; but I’m told it’s true by an absolutely unimpeachable source: Jerry Giesler. Jerry was a reporter and anchor when I was news director for WEEK-TV in Peoria in the mid-70s. He’s since gone on to an excellent career in news and station management. Last I heard he was running a station in Ft. Wayne.

Jerry swears this story is true, and who am I to doubt him? But if called upon by a Congressional committee, my answers would all be along the lines of, “Senator, I don’t recall.” “Not that I’m aware of, Senator.” “It depends on your definition of ‘is,’ Senator.” Or maybe just a plain, “Who, me?”

And I don’t recall the circumstances: but apparently Jerry and his photographer had just made a major gaffe on a big story and were returning to the Channel 25 newsroom after having pretty badly screwed the pooch.

I’m told (“…by reliable sources, Senator”) that I reached them on the two-way radio and had a conversation that went something like this:

“I want you two to pull over to the side of the road.”


“Pull over to the side of the road.”

“Pull over to the side of the road??????????????”

“You heard me.”


“Don’t ask questions, just do it.”

“Uh, wait a second.”

“I don’t have a second. You need to pull over to the side and stop.”


“Are you stopped?”

“Yes. Why did you have us stop?”

“Because we have a company policy that only station employees can drive station vehicles.”

LLLoooooooonngg pause.

As I say, I have no recollection of any such incident, Senator. But if it did happen—and Jerry Giesler is an honorable man, who can doubt him?—it was kind of funny, wasn’t it? A little bit, maybe?


simplysimon said...

Very nasty. Almost, no better than Snyder.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I know who you are, and the pleasure was all mine. You still possess the greatest resume "this" market has ever seen, and will ever see. Damned shame, I tell you, damned shame. Be well, friend. Please know I'll be here often. Woof.

Anonymous said...

It may have happened....because, as I recall, young Jerry, his photographer and an intern had just left a story and somehow --left the RCA TK-76 Camera on top of the car. They got all the way to the highway before they heard that screeching sound indicating the station's only video camera was sliding off the car's roof and onto the pavement. They got stopped just in time to see the TK-76 being hit by a passing semi. All three returned to the station--each carrying a part of the camera. Then again, maybe it was some other incident....