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November 15, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-15

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OPINION

Saturday, November 15, 1980

The Michigan Daily

t rv __.___....._

Hold the pancake!

It's not professional

Perhaps the Daily staff lives in an ivory
tower. Perhaps we're too "pure" in our inter-
pretation of journalism. Maybe all of the
producers of print media whom I have encoun-
tered-in contrast to their broadcast counter-
parts-are too dogmatic in their approach
toward ethics and reality in their work. Maybe
everything I've learned about journalism has
been too sheltered. If my first experience with
a television news program is indicative of how
the electronic media works, I want no part of it.
About a month and a half ago I was fortunate
enough to be chosen as one of the interviewees
for '30 Minutes, CBS' teenage version of '60
Minutes." The show's staff was on campus
talking with University sophomores to find out
how their high schools prepared them for the
rigors of college life . All humility aside, I was
ecstatic at the thought of being on national
television.
THE PRELIMINARY interview with the
producer went fairly well. She asked me
questions and took notes in a reporter's
notebook-it was nice being on the receiving
end of an interview for a change. I made sure I
talked a lot-after all, I figured, they don't
dvant someone for a television show who sits
and says nothing.

It worked. She was pleased to find out that I
was quite active in extra-curricular activities
in high school. She was happy to find out that,
in addition to writing for the-Daily, I'm in the
marching band. She was thrilled to learn that
at absolutely no point during my freshman
year did I take a razor to my wrists. She
decided to interview me-and film me working
at the Daily and marching in a football game.
After this, however, all similarities between
news coverage as I know it and the TV crew's
handling of the situation ceased to exist.
IT WAS DECIDED that my interview would
take place at the Student Publications
Building. The first thing the cameraman did as
he came in was rearrange the furniture. He
pulled one desk out of an island of desks in the
Daily's city room. ("Well," I thought, "he
needs room for his .camera.") He then
proceeded to put some paper in a typewriter (I
wasn't working on a story that day) and scatter
some textbooks on the desk. In my entirb
tenure at the Daily, I have yet to see someone
bring out a book and study it. In addition to
that, he put a stack of newspapers on the desk.
There's nothing abnormal about that in the city
room, except for the fact that he covered a copy
of the Daily with a Detroit Free Press because

By Kevin Tottis
he wanted "to add some color."
In all fairness, this is understandable. They
wanted to evoke an image of a busy college
newsroom. But why, then, did they ask the
editor-in-chief to turn off the wire service
machines at one of the most important times of
the day because they were "too noisy"?
The actual interview began with Christopher
Glenn, of "In the News" fame. The producer
ran up and reminded him of his first question
and we were off. Unfortunately, none of the
questions asked even suggested spontaneity.
WHENEVER I interview someone, I try not
to assume a person's feelings. Almost every
question asked of me was based on assumption.
"You feel this way, right?" Glenn would ask.
"Well, not exactly," I would answer.
Then the theatrics began. "30 Minutes" isn't
quite as well-funded as "60 Minutes;" they
have only one camera. So, when they asked me
questions, they filmed me. That part of the in-
terview out of the way, it was time to film
Glenn's reactions to my witty comments. As I
sat and talked about the weather (with the
microphone off), he sat andnodded and smiled
andfrowned.

Then it was my turn. Wow, would my Theatre
236 TA have been proud. I had plenty of
emotion in my face as I nodded and listened to
Glenn talk about the weather-my motivation
was clearly understood as I walked to the wire
machines and began to examine vital inches of
UPI copy. If only I had had time for a proper
warm-up, I'm sure it would have been an Em-
my Award-winning performance.
THE INTERVIEW was completed, I signed a
release, they gave me five bucks and a ride
home and said they would see me on Saturday
at the game.
Saturday morning they appeared at the
band's 9 a.m. rehearsal. I had visions of them
asking Eric Becher to stop the band in the mid-
dle of the floating Block M so that I might step
out so they could get a better shot of me. For-
tunately nothing like that happened.
However, as the band marched to the
stadium a camera was stuck in my face. My
fellow band members shouted to me as the
filming took place, and I smiled-I often smile on
the way to football games, it's fun. All of a sud-
den the producer appeared in front of me jum-
ping up and down and yelling "Don't smile!
Don't smile!" For some reason this conjured
up, visions of my high school director yelling
"Don't break character!" when rehearsing for

a play.
THE BAND'S performance proved to be no
problem, except for one small thing. Someone,
forgot to mention to the camerman that in the
game everyone in the band would be dressed
alike. As I stood playing Hawaiian War Chant
during pre-game, he furtively scanned the field
looking for me. The look of relief on his face
was truly rewarding when he finally found me.
Maybe I wouldn't be so critical if they hadn't
pretended to be such hard-core journalists. If
this were a talk show, for instance, the
theatrics would have been understandable. But
they insisted they were journalists. As we were
setting up for my interview, a co-worker yelled
to me "Hey Kevin, would you like some pan-
cake?" referring to theatrical make-up.
The producer stood still a moment and looked
aghast. When she managed to catch her breath,
she countered "This is news!
This is news?
Boy, do I have a lot to learn.
Daily staff writer Kevin Tottis is waiting
for an offer of a guest spot on "Charlie's
Angels." His "30 Minutes" debut can be
seen on Channel .7 in Detroit on November
22.

A

4

4

- --- --------

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

RUSSIAN HANDSHAKE,
LEONID l

YouIL GET
usEn o /7-f

Vol. XCI, No. 63

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M! 48109

4

-K .

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Helms leads the Senate
backward on busing issue

1.
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HOW QUICKLY they fall in line.
The United States Senate, though
it still has the same substantial
ei.iocratic majority as it did before
November 4, has begun to act very
much like the frighteningly conser-
vative Senate that will follow it. Jesse
Helms of North Carolina, for instance,
though he is far to the right of most of
his current colleagues, won their ap-
proval on a bill that would seem more
appropriate to the incoming batch of
reactionaries.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 42-38
to prohibit the Justice Department to
press for busing as a remedy for racial
segregation in public schools.
Helms phrased the usual conser-
vative rhetoric in his 'customary
ineloquent fashion, arguing that busing
amounted to "torment" of "the little
children of America." "The vast
majority. of Americans, black and.
white, are fed up to here" with busing,
Helms continued.
It's interesting that Helms and his
ideological kinsmen choose to give
heed to the supposed popular sen-
timent on busing. For years, they have

been ignoring popular support for
abortion rights and national health
care, on the grounds that their job is to
make law on the basis of their own
knowledge and reason, not in accor-
dance with the latest figures from
Gallup. They're correct on that point -
and that's precisely why the anti-
busing move is such a bad idea.
Even if Helms were correct about
the public's attitudes on busing (and
the poll figures seem to fluctuate on
that question), busing remains a
necessary and just means of righting
past wrongs. Unfortunately, the people
who stand to benefit the most from
busing are the poorest, most powerless
victims of deficient educational
systems. And they seem to have a hard
time making themselves heard.
It is certainly true that busing is a
burden to some, and that traveling
miles to school might seem an un-
warranted intrusion of government in-
to parental discretion. But blacks have
suffered under the inadequate funding
dealt to inner city schools long enough.
If Helms' "popular" initiative passes,
the inequity will continue indefinitely.

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A reply to Can ham 's letter

I

The following is a public letter to Athletic
Director Don Canham addressing his letter
printed in The Michigan Daily on November
8, 1980 in regard to the hazing incident of Oc-
tober 12,1980.
Mr. Canham:
At approximately 11:15 on the night of Oc-
tober 12, 1980, a resident of fourth floor
Reeves in Mary Markley Dormitory was
brought to the building by three men who
professed to be members of the University of
Michigan hockey team and teammates of the
resident. This is a fact.
MANY KNOW THAT he was found by
several residents, myself, and a resident
director of Mary Markley Dormitory. He was
found nude, save for two towels. His sidebur-
ns had been shaved to above his temples. His
genitals had been shaved as well. His hair
was strewn with bits of egg shell, and he
smelled strongly of cologne. He was, indeed,
drunk, and he was unable to walk without
assistance. These arefacts..
Many do not know that a resident director,
a security guard, a University of Michigan
Hospital Emergency envoy, security central,
and the University of Michigan Hospital
Emergency Service, as well as myself, all
agreed that the resident should be taken to the
Emergency Room. The resident, however,
would not allow himself to be transported,
and we were advised by Hospital Emergency

By Steve Krahnke
to immediately administer the treatment
they specified. This is another fact.
ON THE AFTERNOON of October 13, I was
called to the office of Saline High School
where I am currently doing my student
teaching. I was asked to return a message to a
Mr. Jerry Volgenau. I did not know who he
was, nor did I know why he considered the
call urgent enough to take me out of a class I
was teaching. I called the number and found
myself talking to the Detroit Free Press news
desk.
Mr. Volgenau asked me if I would answer
some questions about the incident. At first I
said that I would not, but after some
consideration on my part, I decided I should
give him the facts instead of the hearsay he
might get from sources less close to the in-
cident. I only told him what I saw, what I did,
and what the resident told me.
IF ANYONE IS to blame besides the hockey
team in this situation, it appears to be an
irresponsible press. I agree that many facts
were blown out of proportion, but I maintain
that any news source could have turned to the
original report and received the most com-
petent information available.
Lately, I do not like to read the papers. I am
a little scared at the power of a University
that can sweep second-degree sexual assault
under a rug of controversy. I do not feel that I

acted irresponsibly in this situation. I feel I
reacted to it calmly and sensitively, and
many of my residents, fellow Resident Ad-
visors, and friends agree. If Mr. Canhamr
would view the situation fairly, he might
realize that three hours on the phone line to
Hospital Emergency is infinitely more effec-
tive than a call to him, the hockey coach, or
the resident's mother.
I WILL NOT apologize for my statements to
the press; I did not contact reporters. I will
not admit responsibility for the irresponsible
journalism carried on by many members of
the press. I will not apologize to the athletic
department for any reason. I do not, nor have
I ever, spoken for the University of Michigan
Housing Division.
I do not want anapology from any source
and don't expect one. I hope Mr. Canham can
get on with his business and not have to worry
about such insignificance as myself. I hope
that the hockey team will do as well as it can.
I hope -that those at The University of
Michigan who worship the athletic depar-
tment and Mr. Canham will resume their
comfortable worship under the load they
must now bear. I will not be your scapegoat.

Ii
.1..-... _..4, i~ J -
- oil

Steve Krahnke is a resident advisor in
Markley dormitory. He was quoted exten-
sively in press accounts of the hockey
team hazing incident.

4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Security Task Force needs help

To the Daily:
WP wuld lik tir epnond tn the

managed to: (1) work along with
Pan-Hell to get more lighting on

that we also have a long way to go.
Rut what we need is en-

purpose as was printed in your
article:

,.

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