"Angry Neighbor" in Palo Alto
Friend and NBC Bay Area colleague George Kiriyama posted this video after an encounter with an "Angry Neighbor." He and a number of other Bay Area reporters were in the Palo Alto neighborhood of Steve Jobs. They were covering the bumbled burglary of his home.
Having been a general assignment reporter for many years before finding myself on The Unit, I can fairly say I have been there, done that. As in, I've been somewhere I wasn't wanted and the Angry Neighbor/Drunk Dude/Meth Head/Curious Citizen/Local Character/Town Crazy et al has come up to share their viewpoint. Usually unsolicited but that's fair. We're on a public sidewalk and we are The Media. I understand there's a bullseye focused on us, particularly when we've descended onto YOUR sidewalk like a swarm of bees with noisy live trucks and huge cameras and messy cords.
We have to have skin thicker than soy paper. But we are not monolithic punching bags for people to randomly attack. That's a little unfair, I think.
But clearly, I'm biased.
I think the reporters handled it well. You can't change her mind, but sometimes people get so annoying it's hard not to engage on some level because in any other situation, she wouldn't dare speak to someone so rudely. But nothing seems to bring out someone's self-righteousness like a TV mic flag.
You could definitely make the argument the reporters didn't need to be on the sidewalks reporting from the neighborhood. But it happens every day. Reporters on street corners somewhere talking about something. It's only when the median income reaches a certain level that the self-appointed neighborhood leaders come out to express their disdain. Because their taxes are somehow more special and the public sidewalks in that particular area are simply not open to just anyone. And God forbid you're part of The Media.
The irony is, the second a kid goes missing in a neighborhood like that, where do they turn for help? It ain't freshman orientation, I can tell you that.
OK enough of my annoyed rant. Take a look. Please post your thoughts below. I'm prepared to hear the good, bad, and ugly.
Click on the image or view it via Youtube here.
Who is this woman? She actually got KTVU to cancel its live shot by blocking the camera with her body. I guess Shrills McGee won. Is this what happens when you buy a bicycle with a basket and live in a neighborhood where people love forming human chains and hate the National Enquirer?
I think my new catch phrase is "I'm supposed to be at school cutting up watermelon right now."
Or, "It's like buying ivory." I'll say that when I'm stretching to make a connection between disparate things.