When news people become the news…

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The breaking news this morning about two news professionals being shot dead, while completing a live broadcast, is utterly heartbreaking. I went to broadcasting school… I wanted to be on the news, just like Alison Parker. I wanted to film the news as it happened… just like Adam Ward. These people were doing their job… jobs which I’m sure they loved.

I’ve been lucky for the past few years to regularly appear on several morning news shows in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio to talk about my books. I cannot imagine an incident like this happening to one of the professionals that I’ve met in my journeys. News people should never become part of the news.

Which brings me to what this blog post was originally supposed to focus on, before this breaking news story intervened: Jorge Ramos.

Mr. Ramos, according to Wikipedia, is a journalist. Yes, journalists have a right to ask questions— that’s their job. But, in an organized press conference setting, so that each broadcasting organization is given their fair time, journalists are also asked to respect the process. And respect the individual that is answering the questions— regardless of whether or not you like or agree with what they have to say.

The actions of Jorge Ramos at Donald Trump’s press conference yesterday were ridiculous. Yet, they both got exactly what they wanted. Ramos was looking to insert himself into the national conversation that Trump started. And Trump gave him that gift by discharging him from the event.

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On that same note, Trump also got what he was looking for: more free publicity. I had recorded CNN last night to watch Anderson Cooper’s special on the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Yet, it was preempted by an hour of “Breaking News” coverage with Don Lemon. The news? Trump and Ramos.

And this tidbit of information, as well: The daughter of Jorge Ramos works for the campaign of Hillary Clinton. That’s right… the Democratic frontrunner. Now, conspiracy theorists will go to work. I’ll bet they say that Jorge Ramos was a plant by the Clinton campaign, placed there to disrupt the Trump press conference. Or placed there to ensure that Mr. Trump continues to suck all of the air out of the Republican race.

At any rate, the actions of Mr. Ramos were unbecoming of a journalist. News people should never become the news. Ms. Parker and Mr. Ward didn’t have a choice in the matter. They were sitting ducks and it’s a tragic story of two young lives cut short.

Mr. Ramos did have a choice… he could have waited his turn to ask a question, perhaps catching The Donald off guard. Instead, he placed himself in the story and gave Trump time to prepare for the fight. It’s all good for ratings, right?

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