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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Burning Bridges - All Caught on Live TV!

I really enjoy writing these WHO AM I WEDNESDAY entries because it allows me to share some personal stories, moments of triumph, struggles with living, and a cornucopia of knowledge that I've taken from my years on this planet.

But what can I talk about today?  Hmmm. 

Oh, I know.  I think I have just the topic for discussion.

September 24, 2014

How many of you are absolutely fascinated with live television? 

Let's face it.  Live television can be the most exciting and yet the most frightening experience in the world.  Mind you, I haven't really had much experience in live television (or any television for that matter), but I can see both the pros and cons.

On one hand, it must be such a thrill to be able to watch an event unfolding on live television and being there to broadcast and report it as it happens.

One of my earliest memories dates back to the year 1989 in which the big news of the era was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.  Although I was only eight years old at that time, and wasn't old enough to understand exactly what was going on, I just had this feeling that what I was watching was a really important historical event.

Of course there were other live events that I remember watching as well.  Like when Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon on a tightrope and lived to tell the tale.

Or the unfortunate white Bronco chase some twenty years ago when O.J. Simpson was apprehended and arrested for the murders of his wife and her friend.

Or even watching the ball drop in the middle of Times Square every New Years Eve.

All of those events certainly make live television worth watching.

Of course, that's where you also have a double edged sword when it comes to live television.  If all goes according to plan, live television can be the most spectacular thing to experience.  But if even the slightest thing goes wrong, it can spell disaster.  I mean, the ball over Times Square could get stuck between 0:37 and 0:38. 

Or even if you were doing the weather and the map refuses to come up, or you get tongue-tied and screw up your monologue, or if you're performing in a talent show and you accidentally fall off the stage.  Certainly those are all instances in which you might curse the day that live television even existed.

Because the beauty of live television can also be the most frightening thing about live television.  You never know what you can expect to see. 

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this here.  I'm sure you've heard all about that incident in Alaska where a person basically quit their job on live television.  And let me tell you.  When you watch the below clip, you'll definitely see that she went out with a bang.

(WARNING:  Language in video is NSFW - well, at least one word is anyway.)

All right, so the woman in this video is...well...former reporter Charlo Greene.  And the backstory behind this video is very simple.  I'm not sure exactly how long Greene was employed at this station prior to September 21, 2014 (the date that this aired on live television), but the reason behind her quitting her job was related to other activities that she was supporting - activities that included her very public support of the legalization of marijuana.

Now, I suppose she was thinking that her choice of sides in the marijuana debate would make her lose her job regardless (and if that was the case, I certainly don't agree with that), but whether that was the case or not, we really don't know.

What we do know is that she dropped an F-bomb on live television, announced that she quit, and left the poor anchorwoman who looked almost like a deer in the headlights to stammer on and make one of the most awkward segways ever.

Interestingly enough, the day after Greene's outburst, the network issued a statement saying that they apologize for the content of the news broadcast and that Greene had since been terminated from her job.  But here's the thing...if you quit your job, you can't really be fired, can you?  Either way, she probably won't find herself employed at that news station any time soon.

For that matter, I doubt that she'll be employed at ANY news station any time soon.

I get it, really I do.  I understand that she made a choice in her life - one that she truly believed in.  On one hand, I respect her for going all out and doing what she felt was right.

At the same time, I can't help but wonder what the hell she was even thinking.  I mean, yes, her beliefs could have conflicted with what the station executives believed in, but so what?  I'm sure that I have beliefs that my bosses don't agree with.  As long as they didn't harass me or threaten to fire me for having them, I don't see a problem with that.  None of us really know what was going on at that news station.  We don't know what Charlo Greene was going through, nor do we know why she opted to make as public of a resignation as she possibly could.  In the end, what's done is done.

At the same time though, I wonder if it was really worth it to go as far as she did.  I mean, yes, she made a choice that might not have been the popular one.  But I don't know if I agree with her burning her bridges with the television station the way she did.  It's like she doused the bridge with alcohol and gasoline and threw a lit blowtorch on the whole shebang.

I don't think it's ever a good idea to leave a workplace on a sour note the way that Greene did, unless the reason why you left is a damned good one.  If you weren't being paid, fine.  If you were subjected to harassment at your workplace, also fine.  But I didn't see any sort of indication as to whether Greene was happy or unhappy at her job.  Obviously she didn't like her job enough to stay there, but she could have easily gotten another job in television had she not went out the way she did.

Maybe there's a good reason why she did what she did.  Maybe there's more to the story.  But ironically enough, for someone who certainly had the world talking, she's not really saying much about why she would make the choice she did aside from her belief in continuing the fight towards the legalization of marijuana.

I mean, I suppose if it were me in the situation, I'd have thought about it a lot more, and really weighed the pros and cons over just how much I was risking. 

But hey, the world wouldn't be as fun if we all thought the same, right? 

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