News nets scramble for Samaritans' stories
Can a good deed still be good if it hasn’t received the imprimatur of TV news?
Three of last week’s best potential “gets” initially refused to be gotten, confounding the established covenant with bookers and producers that good samaritans always jump at the chance to become demi-celebs.
First there was Miguel Lopez, the truck driver who plunged into the East River to rescue several multimillionaire MBNA execs after their helicopter crashed.
NYPD chief Ray Kelly says he begged Lopez to at least stick around for the press conference. Nope, the rescuer said, he was already late for work.
Then there was the rescue of Brennan Hawkins, the Boy Scout found alive after five days lost in the Utah wilderness.
Initially the two rescuers who found the boy refused to be interviewed. A search and rescue spokesman explained they wished to stay anonymous, leaving the two most compelling questions — how did the boy survive? In what condition was he found? — unanswered.
Their absence turned the week’s most uplifting story into a case of truly bad TV as the assembled press mob had little choice but to let the cameras roll as Brennan’s parents rambled on about God’s role in his rescue.
Fortunately, the two rescuers came to their senses, a testament perhaps to bookers not accustomed to taking “no” for an answer.
Both turned up on the morning show circuit the next day, to tell their stories on “Today” and “Good Morning America.” And order was restored.