A helictopter rattled folks out of bed in Fort Lauderdale this morning at about 6:30 a.m. and hovered overhead for thirty minutes. Among those affected was Cal Deal
, graphics designer and former newspaperman. Deal investigated and found that the copter was from WPLG-Channel 10 and was responding to a smash and grab burglary at the Port Everglades electronics store
. Deal was pissed: He was knocked out of bed over a lousy burglary?
Thus began this illustrated email exchange between Deal and Channel 10's Kristi Krueger. This is one of those things that seems insignificant, unless you were one of the ones roiled from bed (also, if you've ever spoken to PTSD-suffering war veterans, this is exactly the kind of thing that has them reliving battlefield nightmares and diving under furniture).
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 7:18 AM
To: Krueger, Kristi
You are pretty damned inconsiderate to have a helicopter hovering over people's homes at 6:30 a.m. so you can get a lousy overhead shot of a store "smash and grab" break-in. What's worse, the overhead shot was inferior to the ground-level shot contained in the same live report.
Of course, I'm talking about the Port Everglades electronics store break-in that was covered about 6:50 this morning. Your extraordinarily noisy helicopter hovered over the area for HALF A HOUR before 7 a.m. HALF AN HOUR!!! It was VERY noisy to me - so noisy that it got me out of bed, and I am about a mile or more from the location (I am just north of Broward General).
The next time you hover over peoples' homes like that in the early morning, make damned sure it's a story of real significance and not some crime garbage. And make sure it doesn't duplicate your ground shot. And don't have that horribly noisy helicopter hanging around for half an hour to get less than a minute of live video.
Show some consideration for your "neighbors."
On Jan 12, 2009, at 7:24 AM, Krueger, Kristi wrote:
Thank you for your email and sharing your concern. I will pass on your email to our Executive Producer of the morning news. Unfortunately, we are in the business of covering news... It does not always take place at convenient times or locations. I apologize for waking you up..... And hope you get better rest tonight.
To Kristi Krueger, Channel 10
Thanks for responding.
I spent years in the business of covering news. I am a former Deputy News Editor of the New York Daily News
, and was a supervising editor at the Sun-Sentinel
, The Miami Herald
and The Miami News
, among other papers. I now have my own courtroom exhibit business and work out of my home -- where I like to get a good night's sleep.
The use of your noisy news helicopter before dawn this morning was inconsiderate and excessive. Not only did you wake people up, but you did it unnecessarily. You did not need a "live" shot of a story that included no live action. You had better ground-level shots. Your reporter was standing outside the front of the store, for gosh sakes!! No good news judgment was involved in using the helicopter. It was just a TV station trying to get a little pizzazz at the expense of everyone else.
You people simply failed to use good judgment and failed to concern yourselves with the well-being of your "neighbors."
You can do better than that.
Your noisy helicopter before dawn at 6:41 a.m. today ... long after it had woken me up.
Your live shot -- FROM GROUND LEVEL OUTSIDE THE STORE!! -- at 6:52. The helicopter remained until about 7 a.m. after arriving at about 6:30. (From a hand-held portable TV)