CBC’s Amy Stoodley was reporting on the topical problem of massive rats in Greater St. John’s, when Deanna King hijacked her interview.
Stoodley was interviewing a CBS resident who was blaming Deanna for playing a role in the rat problem on his property, and Deanna wasn’t having it. Her reaction was fabulous, frightening, and candid. Stoodley rolled with it, and it become must see TV. You have to click here to see it (CBC videos are not embedable).
What did you think as you saw Deanna approaching the scene: were you terrified, excited?
I wouldn’t say I was terrified. I was surprised and maybe a little shocked. When you go out for a story like that, you have an idea about how its going to roll out … Deanna King was certainly not part of my plan that day. It’s a good reminder about how fast a story can change and how you really need to be prepared for anything. But it wouldn’t be fair to say I was terrified. She wasn’t aggressive toward me. I was pleased that we kept rolling. Once Deanna King came on the scene, the focus of the story shifted. It was no longer a guy frustrated with rats … the headline became neighbours facing off over a rat problem. So, we just went with it and let the amazing characters tell the story.
Was it a first (the interview hijack), and did you know you were stumbling onto a potentially viral video?
First time my story has changed? No. First time I’ve stumbled unto a viral video? Yes.
Once I got back and had a chance to review my tape, I had a feeling it would explode. I wondered, do I keep Deanna in the piece and risk “exploiting” her or reinforcing negative stereotypes or do I play out the situation as it happened? I knew, once we let this go, I was risking the “mudder I’m stuck” phenomena. But, a real community has a mixed bag of personalities and Deanna King is one of them. So, after I thought about it, I didn’t have the right to hold that back.
Another lesson I’ve learned here is that once we let a piece of tape go, there’s no stopping it. The rat video took on a life of it’s own and became something quite different from the original. So, as journalists, we have to be sure we are prepared for that before we let it go.
People have an appetite for raw tape. They want to see real situations as they happen. And it doesn’t get any more real than Deanne King’s party on the dance floor.
This Youtube video emerged very shortly after the hijacked interview, and has already racked up more than 11,000 views. Hopefully this is not the last we see of Deanna King. In an ideal world, CBC or NTV would hire her as a news anchor or talk show host. She doesn’t screw around, this one. Straight shooter.
And then, local comedian Matt Wright seized the opportunity for a little promo for his upcoming comedy album. Is he tough or what?