Synopses & Reviews
This lively and entertaining autobiography about the career of a television news reporter begins and ends with the one story he covered early in this career that just won't go away. The scene made "cult-classic status" right from the start: here's rookie broadcast newsman Paul Linnman in the foreground, reporting on a tricky situation at the Oregon coast. State government officials have been working to remove the body of a beached whale, long dead and now rotting. The solution: explosives. As Linnman ducks, the skies issue forth chunks of whale meat, and Linnman's live-action reporting takes its place in broadcast history. The title piece is merely one career highlight among many for Linnman, who writes from the inside about his work in this glamorous field. Linnman reflects on the inspiring people and incredible events, as well as the just plain oddities that he's witnessed over the years. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you will enjoy this behind scenes look at life on camera.
We could smell it the moment we stepped from the car. Not anything recognizable, just this incredible stench, which grew stronger as we walked up the sand dune trail heading toward the beach...I glanced over at Doug, my photographer, as we made our way up the dune through the deep, dry sand, both of us loaded down with cameras, tri-pod, and assorted gear. We were the same age, 23, and relative newcomers to the television news business...Our assignment that day, Thursday, November 12, 1970, was to cover the disposal of a dead whale for the 5 o'clock news, which sounded easy enough, if of questionable news value, but this thing had an odd twist to it. My boss had learned that the whale was going to be blown up with dynamite...There was certainly no way we could have known that in a few hours, both of us would be running for our lives, trying to escape the heavy and potentially lethal pieces of whale blubber which rained from the sky. Nor could we anticipate that this single news story would be with us forever and, in some ways, define our careers.
About the Author
Paul Linnman grew up in Portland, Oregon and began reporting for his high school newspaper and became its sports editor. His first paying part-time college job was working for The Oregonian newspaper. Paul moved on to television, and he starting covering some strange, and unusual stories. Graduating to the evening news anchor for the local ABC-TV affiliate, his name and face became recognized across the state. Today Paul and his wife, Vicki still live in Portland, Oregon and Paul has moved into radio where he is one of the most listened to morning drive time radio hosts.