Textbook examples of how to act — and how not to act — on live television

My weeklong absence could be explained by a five-day trip to Los Angeles and San Diego this past week, as I escaped the east coast to head to the opposite site of the country, where it never rains, and sunshine is plentiful.

I was going to write a brief note warning you of my hiatus, but then I recalled the words of Christina Aguilera in her 1999 hit single “What a Girl Wants,” about how the people who matter most will always come back.

They say if you love something let it go
If it comes back it’s yours
That’s how you know
It’s for keeps, yeah, it’s for sure
And you’re ready and willin’
To give me more than
What a girl wants
What a girl needs

You know, on second thought, I have no idea how that applies in any way, shape or form, and the truth of the matter is I simply forgot to tell you I was leaving. So let’s move on.

It was a relatively quiet past few days in my absence, but two separate videos were brought to my attention today that have gone semi-viral, of which both, in my opinion, are perfect foils to one another of how somebody should behave when they are on live television.

Let’s start with the negative end of the spectrum. Enter former newscaster Charlo Greene.

charlo greeneGreene, on an Anchorage based news station, was delivering a report on marijuana, when she extravagantly diverted from the script and revealed that she is the president of the Alaska Cannabis Club, and is quitting her job to devote all of her time and energy towards advocating for the legalization of marijuana in Alaska.

Her actual words — live on air: “And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f–k it, I quit.” She then promptly walks off camera.

The Internet reaction to this is going to be very predictable.

“Bro, this shit was epic! Fight the power… weed all day yo!”

Listen, I’m all for people making spirited, spontaneous decisions to pursue their dreams and do what they love. But not like this. There’s a proper course of action, and what this woman did was classless and immature. She looks to be in her mid-30s, so she can’t play the “young and stupid” card. Actually, scratch that. She can play the stupid card.

Obviously she knew what she was doing. She got a ton of attention for her organization, and at the same time, eliminated any chance of ever working on live television again for a credible organization. I know “any pub is good pub,” but did she need to curse on air? It makes her look bad, it makes her organization look bad, and she just makes her former employer look bad. How selfish can you be?

That, my friends, is how not to act on live TV.

But let’s get some positivity in here. Because for every Charlo Greene, there’s a guy like Apollos Hester, a high school running back in Texas, who gave an incredibly inspirational and empowering impromptu postgame interview akin to that of a Martin Luther King Jr. following a dramatic comeback victory by his team on Saturday.

And I’m not just saying that because he’s black (although if he was white I probably would have went with John F. Kennedy). It’s something you truly need to see to believe.

He manages to say something profound and inspiring without becoming too preachy. He does reference God — twice — but in a subtle manner, and his overall message is not one of religious faith, but of personal belief and perseverance. It’s great. Hester has gotten a lot of love, especially on Twitter, and rightfully so.

And kudos to the interviewer as well, Lauren Mickler, for flowing well with the dialogue, and amplifying the moment with her natural reaction. A lot of other reporters might have become awkward in that context, and tried to cut him off . But she let him ride it out and it was worth it.

It’s refreshing to see a young person with that much exuberance and the world could use more people like that.

Watch that interview and tell me that you don’t feel slightly more motivated. I almost got off my bed and did a single jumping jack after watching it.


But seriously, Charlo Greene — and all of us, too — could learn a thing or two about class and personal pride by watching young Apollos Hester.

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