1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Blah, blah, blah...Easter Bunny

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by murphyc, May 5, 2014.

  1. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    So the Willamette Week in the Portland (Ore.) area interviewed five Republican Senate hopefuls. One didn't appreciate a reporter writing "blah blah blah" instead of what a candidate said. Fireworks ensued.

    I've actually dealt with the candidate in question. Always seemed nice enough, but a bit light on credentials. Seems like he applied for any race he could find. That being said, the actions of the one reporter in particular are pretty bad so I'll side with the candidate.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This basically happened to me a few months into my career. I would always write "blah blah blah" in my notepad as a signal to check the tape - i.e. that this was a lengthy quote that I wasn't going to get verbatim this time.

    So it comes back to me a few days later from a former reporter at our paper - the guy I replaced - that this coach is pissed at me for it. Great source, too.

    Never used it again. I think I would just put "etc." or "TAPE."
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I'd love more context about what preceded it. But they both came off really poorly. The politician may have been right to be upset (I have no idea), but he has to be able to keep his cool. All he did was demonstrate that he doesn't have the right temperament to be a U.S. senator. He also showed he doesn't have the gamesmanship to be a U.S. senator. He should have been hyperaware that there was a camera rolling, and if he was going to go that route, he should have gotten up and walked out, before being asked to leave -- which makes him look weak and feckless. Bad appearance for him, imo.
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I hadn't seen the video but funny stuff.

    I use blah blah blah to signal either, check the tape or the person is rambling and will mark down start and stop times.

    But, really, what were the candidates expecting when they rolled into an alt-weekly newsroom? Lordy, they should have expected some of that and prepped for it.
  5. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Here is a link with the entire interview at the bottom.
    The candidate speaking via phone wandered off track, hence the "blah blah blah" being written. Personally, I would have simply stopped writing or else kept writing just to tell readers how off track the answer was. Writing blah blah blah was bad enough; not apologizing at all made matters worse and asking about the Easter Bunny was over the top.
    And really, if anything it helped Callahan. In the brief time I covered him, he truly ran for any race possible. I believe he ran for something like five races in the span of a year. County commissioner, school board, city council, state rep and U.S. president, IIRC. Had he said nothing in this video, he would have disappeared and been remembered once again by scant few people. Instead, he became a viral sensation people around the country have heard of.
  6. Crimney ...
    Why would you write that on a notepad in front of the subject?

    Just stop writing.

    Sorry, but the candidate had a right to be ticked.
  7. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    The guy rambling was on the phone but if you stop taking notes, you signal you absolutely don't care about what they're saying. At the very least, you have to feign attention (brow furrowed, thoughtful look, occasional nod). Like, It's taking so much brainpower to process these complex ideas that I have none left over for my notes.

    It's the real-world version of randomly hitting keys (or writing a letter) during the slow patches of a phone interview (Never let them see your notebook though.)
  8. Mauve_Avenger

    Mauve_Avenger Member

    I think his reaction was a little over the top. I have never written anything like "blah, blah, blah" in front of an interview subject, but I get this weird feeling when I catch them glancing over at my notes.
  9. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member

    The reporter in question was Gary Oldman.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page