Television news anchors are mostly unflappable images speaking from the cocoon of broadcast studios far removed from the street beat where on-the-scene reports are delivered under tense and unpredictable circumstances.
News anchors have their makeup applied by professionals as hair stylists save them from bad hair days. They broadcast news reports that are prepared and downloaded into teleprompters; it is the news anchor’s job to portray dignity and credibility during climate controlled presentations.
Such was not the case early Monday at station KTLA in Los Angeles when a minor predawn earthquake tremor rattled Chinaware from San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.
To be sure, the dawn patrol anchors at station KTLA panicked and ducked under the anchor desk and announced that dust had fallen on them from the “rafters.”
The Associated Press reports that the quake’s magnitude was 4.4 and it was centered 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, however there were no immediate reports of damage from police.
One wide-eyed anchor pointed upward before climbing under his desk while muttering something about earthquakes. His partner was rattled and rambled aimlessly for some time after emerging from beneath the same desk. Other TV personalities, for example CBS Los Angeles Channel 2, held on to their dignity and did not hide under anchor desks while sputtering inexplicably about the minor quake.
The clip from the anchors’ desk is at the very least quality entertainment, credibility notwithstanding.