Good and Bad; Nothing Ugly

I’m following Owain Yoeman on Twitter. Who, you ask?

He plays Wayne Rigsby on The Mentalist. He’s a Brit who magnificently disguises his accent to play an American cop. He’s the tall one.

Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yoeman, Simon Baker of The Mentalist

It’s very cool to see behind-the-scenes photos in real time direct from one of the lead actors in the show. It’s amazing to me that in this era of celebrity stalkings when most so-called “stars” are deliberately hidden from the masses, we can get a little personal glimpse into the lives of some of them, on a completely voluntary basis with no money or favours changing hands. Not all celebs are created equal. I had to drop Alec Baldwin because he would tweet one or two words at a time in a raging political rant. I would open the Twitter page and it would be full of only Alec’s little ravings. Obnoxious. I had to let him go.

One of my concerns about getting back into news is that I’ll mispronounce the name of someone whom everyone knows but me. The likelihood of that actually happening is quite small, I realize, but it’s a little fear. When you have a city councillor named Susan Truppe and her surname is pronounced Troop-ay, it makes you pause before you just assume you know how a name should be said.

So I felt for the young news anchor the other day when she said, more than once, The New Federal Democrats. I empathized because early in my career I made my share (and possibly others’ share) of mistakes. I remember thinking the baseball term twi-night double header must have been a typo and calling it a two-night double header. I butchered the occasional surname and it didn’t take long for me to realize that if I was going to have any credibility, I’d have to confirm before I spoke. These days you can find just about anybody on youtube but back then you needed to seek out a human, which wasn’t always possible.

I felt worse for the newscaster who made the error because it’s possible that someone was actually listening in Toronto or Vancouver or overseas and heard her goof and might judge her by it. When I was a couple of years into the industry, no one outside of actual listening range would have heard me mess up. It wasn’t any less embarrassing but it was comparatively minor and localized. Now, when someone makes a mistake, it’s tweeted and repeated to the world via the Internet and once something’s on the ‘net, it never goes away. That’s a lot of pressure. It’s a different game now. Mistakes are made in a potentially worldwide fishbowl. So I hope that in the future she will be more careful about checking proper name before she goes to air with them. I know I am.