Worse to me may be video bombing, which goes back decades, most notably the still-classic situation where a TV reporter is doing a street report and people crush among themselves to jump and down and shout in order to be able to say "I was on TV!!!" as if that will now give meaning to their lives. I've always even found it a little be bit more sad than annoying, though I also place some blame on TV for it, as well. Most on-the-street reports are well-justified, but many are done purely to get attention, so when you do get it you sort of have to take some responsibility. (A leader in this is ESPN's NCAA football gameday coverage, which is more videobomb circus than sports coverage.) But there's been a more recent kind of video bombing for which TV is blameless -- on-location interviews, for instance. And I find little that's charming when I'm trying to watch something substantive, and then some egomaniac with a childhood need for attention decides it would be meaningful and such a hoot to get on camera. It is neither.
Which brings us to this wonderful piece from Pat Tomasulo of WGN-TV in Chicago.
Tomasulo has a feature on the news called "The Pat-Down," and he decided to deal with video bombing, and turn the tables a bit.
What Tomasulo did was go to a local mall and pretend to be doing a live broadcast during the news. In fact, he was just with a video camera. And when someone who video bomb him, he'd turn the tables on them -- calling them over and saying that as long as they clearly want to be on TV, how about coming on TV with him for his live broadcast. And then. he asked them the most awkward, inappropriate questions he could think of.
It's not all hilarious, must much of it is quite funny, but mainly I just love the concept.
These were initially aired in 2012, as a two-part series, but it ended up being so popular that he did others. Here's the first one.