Friday, November 04, 2005

TV Doesn't Begin To Do It Justice

This past Friday, Peter Clayton,'s senior producer/director came by our office to tape an interview with our President & COO Mark Anderson and myself. He wanted our take on the current trends in the executive jobs marketplace. Both Mark and I had met Peter as the result of prior interviews with, which if you haven't checked it out, I would strongly urge you to do so. They are doing some really cutting edge stuff in the career management arena, not only in terms of the content they are providing, but from a technology perspective in how it is made available to listeners.

The purpose in bringing all this up here is not to drum up folks to run and listen to the interview (I actually have no idea when it is due to air) but to share some thoughts about a subject Peter, Mark, and I were talking about both before and after the taping.

What we were talking about was Katrina, New Orleans, Gulfport, and the whole aftermath of this catastrophic event. We got on the subject because Peter had just returned from the area as the result of a film assignment he was on for Coca Cola.

I guess what struck me so deeply was the difference in hearing someone talk about their impressions and feelings about something which they had viewed with their own eyes on site versus the feeling one gets from looking at the same scene between dinner and dessert while listening and watching Brian Williams.
It isn't that you don't have feelings of deep sorrow and compassion for what you see on TV, it just seems that the "noise level" on TV when it comes to the "sorrow and compassion" scale seems so constant, consistent and at such high volume all the time, that it makes one lose perspective. It's like you look and listen, and say to yourself, "Wow, that's just horrible” or “I have no idea what I would do if that happened to me and my family, but man I’m so glad it didn't" and then asking your wife what she did with the sports section.

Listening to Peter describe what he saw, looking into his eyes one could see the scars and wounds. His tone of voice was filled with the emotion that can only come from seeing something that was just overwhelming in terms of one's ability to digest the sights, sounds, and smells of disaster "live and in color."

I used to think that I had empathy. Now I wasn't so sure.

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