Magazine article American Journalism Review

Into the Limelight

Magazine article American Journalism Review

Into the Limelight

Article excerpt

Kathryn Garcia's 15 minutes began when she answered her phone at Texas' Corpus Christi Caller-Times during a slow Sunday day shift on February 12. The caller was Katharine Armstrong, who said that the vice president had accidentally shot and wounded a friend, Harry Whittington, while hunting quail the previous day at her family's ranch near Corpus Christi. Garcia, who had worked for the paper for just over a year, then wrote an article for the Caller-Times' Web site ( breaking the story about Dick Cheney.


Since then, Garcia, 25, has not only learned what birdshot is but also has become part of the story. She appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," CNN's "Showbiz Tonight" and MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann."

AJR's Jessica Meyers caught up with Garcia to discuss the story and her newfound fame.

Q: What was your reaction to Armstrong's call?

A: To tell you the truth, I was just so surprised. She told the story, never saying Cheney's name, only his title. Afterwards I asked, "I assume we are speaking about Vice President Dick Cheney?" She paused, laughed and said, "Yes, absolutely." Then I asked her to repeat it a few more times. I kept thinking that I hadn't seen it on the news that morning. Who knows when you go to the newsroom to work a Sunday shift that you are going to get a phone call about Vice President Cheney shooting someone?

Q: What did you do next?

A: When I got off the phone with Katharine, I immediately looked for the White House number. I thought, "Oh my God, how does someone find a phone number for this?" I went to the White House Web site desperately looking for a way to contact them and found a number for the switchboard. The woman said the press office was closed until Monday, so I tried to act really dramatic and said, "This is not going to wait. Cheney shot someone. …

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