Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

If you haven't had your fill of National Football League expansion jibber-jabber . . . oh, baby, are you in luck..

This just in. Washington Post writer LEONARD SHAPIRO describes "shameful performances and sorry scenes" by scurrying talking heads, the members of the electronic media, at Tuesday's news conference in Chicago when the NFL handed an expansion team to Charlotte, N.C.

Sorry scene I, through the eyes of Shapiro: "It involved a golden throated empty suit from a station in Connecticut. He and about 150 other reporters augmented by at least 50 camera crews were interviewing representatives from each of the five cities vying for a franchise.

"J. WAYNE WEAVER, managing general partner of the Jacksonville (Fla.) group, was answering questions in a crowded hotel meeting room when our man from Connecticut stood and began bellowing his live report to viewers back home. Trouble was, everyone in the room heard it, too. No hushed tones, just an inconsiderate jerk. At the dais, Weaver was clearly taken aback and stopped talking, not sure what to do. Finally, he began speaking again, but his responses were drowned out by the boorish boob, still on the air.

"Several reporters, including his TV colleagues, jeered and hissed at the man, who prolonged the agony for 60 seconds. Many confronted him later. His response: `But, but we'd booked satellite time. I had to go on. We spent a lot of money. It's my job.' "

Sorry scene II: "Just as NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE stepped to the podium to announce that Charlotte would be the league's 29th team, off to the side two reporters from competing Charlotte stations were having a jostling turf war over who would stand where in order to get the best shot at this momentous news.

"One of the reporters dropped his mike and squared off to throw a punch before an NFL public relations man stepped in to break it up. Tagliabue watched all this with a look of utter amazement. One can only imagine what he must have been thinking of yet another shameful TV show.

"TV types often look at sportswriters as the embodiment of OSCAR MADISON in spaghetti-stained polyester. …

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