Behind the Scenes: Crazy Callers

by - November 02, 2011

Make no mistake, crazy people call the newsroom all the time. Whether they want to 'make a comment', relay a story idea or are potential stalkers, we get at least 10 crazy phone calls a day.

The best ones are those who feel entitled to tell me how to do my job.

Take tonight for instance. This person from somewhere up north called to demand we give him credit for a video on our website. He was insistent that he was the only person who could possibly have the video and was upset that we had somehow 'altered' it.

It took me a good five minutes to convince him that we did have rights to use the video as it came from CNN and we pay good money to use material contributed to them. He was also reluctant to believe that the video was from the dash cam of a police car and had been contributed by a local television station.

He was convinced that we had stolen his video from YouTube somehow and vehemently demanded that it be removed from our website if we refused to give him credit.

Of course I refused to do either and directed him to call the contributing station.

Good luck, guys. This guy's a real winner.

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  1. You and I have shared horror stories about nuisance callers before, Ashton. When I was producing and anchoring I had a drunk who called every night during the Watergate scandal to defend Richard Nixon. The guy seemed to be reading from a prepared script because he said the same thing every night and I still remember it all these years later. It was like an open letter to Tricky Dick:

    "To me..... (5 second pause for dramatic effect)..... you are doing a good job; but be careful about those around you who are trying to bring you down."

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

  2. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time. It would have been awesome to work in this business back when investigative journalism actually meant something and had measurable results. I envy you for that, my friend.