It was many years ago, but the memory lingers of the first time I was embarrassed to be a journalist. It was a steamy summer afternoon and reporters and photographers were shoehorned into a small Manhattan apartment for a civic group’s announcement.
As we waited, a photographer wearing a “Press” card in his battered fedora picked up a bud vase from a table, pulled out the rose and drank the water in one gulp.
The hostess was horrified and shrieked, “What are you doing?” He looked at her as if she were nuts and said simply, “It’s hot in here and I’m thirsty.”
I laugh now at the outlandishness of the photographer’s behavior, but at the time I cringed and wondered: Do I really want to be a journalist and end up like that?
America should be so lucky now. Bad manners are the least of it.