A couple weeks back I was contacted by channel 4 news in regards to a story they wanted to do about bats in houses. They wanted to meet me at one of the jobs I was doing to do an interview. I agreed and they arrived within an hour of the initial phone call. I even put them in touch one of my customers, a very nice woman that I had done a large project for last year.
Bat Story Look for the video in the top-right corner. Click the small thumbnail with me standing on a ladder, watch the 10 second commercial and then, and only then can you watch the video.
I have been on the news 5 or 6 times in recent years and i’ve been interviewed on everything from bats to skunks to flying squirrels. One thing i’ve learned from all these interviews is that the news reporter’s one and only goal is to get you to say something stupid. Once you’ve done that they pack up their cameras and hit the road. During this recent interview they kept firing away with questions about bats. I described in great detail how the bat exclusion process works, bat reproduction and biology, the problems that bats create for homeowners etc etc. While answering all these questions I actually kept it together, I didn’t say anything stupid and I must say that I sounded very professional for once. Then I screwed up. The reporter asked me about bats getting into the living space of houses and I said “They drop down from the attics into living spaces and chaos ensues,”. Before I was even done saying I said to myself “That’s the one that’ll be on the news” and I was right. Once I said that line they packed it up and left. If these people were to speak the truth the inital phone call would go something like this:
Reporter: Hello Mr Grady. I’m calling to see if you would agree to do an interview for us this afternoon. The story will be on tonight’s news.
Me: What will the story be about?
Reporter: Well the story is about bats in houses but we’re really just going to fire away with a bunch of random questions untill you slip up and say something stupid.
Me: Excuse me?
Reporter: Yes that’s right. We’re going to ask a bunch of technical questions on every aspect of bats and bat biology. You’ll provide answers to our questions. This will go on untill you say something foolish that we can put on the news. Once you’ve done that one of our guys will say “We got it, that’s a wrap”. We’ll then jump in our news van and take off.
Oh well. I’m not bitter about it. I just wish that the story would have been more informative. I guess I have to realize that this was the local news station and not National Geographic.