A veteran Los Angeles TV reporter wept on air Tuesday, moments after a firefighter rescued him from flames that engulfed his news van as he covered the California wildfires.
During a report charged with emotion, Chuck Henry of NBC-owned KNBC credited a single firefighter with saving him from thick smoke and flames that raged around him and his cameraman, Christopher Li, in the Lake Arrowhead area northeast of L.A. Both Henry and Li escaped injury, though the station's mobile broadcast unit was destroyed.
And it goes on to tell more detail of how this firefighter saved their butts when their van was caught in the middle of a conflagration, and once he was out, immediately went on the air to give a report on it.
Commenting on Henry's riveting live report immediately after his rescue, Long said: "Yes, it was emotional. It's what it is. You are emotional, or you are not. I think he was very grateful that he was pulled out of a bad situation, and the impression I had was that he was feeling real sorrow for people losing homes when all he lost was a truck. I think he was trying to reassure us that in the scheme of things, his inconvenience was minor compared to the cost (incurred by) thousands of people that he had been reporting on. He was trying to put things in perspective and that was what he was crying about -- not having his coif singed or losing a microwave truck.
"Everything (Henry) did today was to his credit, and he was not sad for himself but for the destruction -- and that makes him human," Long said.
Do I have to explain to these people that that firefighter was risking his own life to save theirs? If you're putting your own neck on the line, that's bravery (or foolhardiness, but I'm trying to be generous). If you're risking the lives of rescue workers already spread out too thinly so you can get a "hot" story, that's pure selfish greed. Does he think this firefighter had nothing else to do meanwhile? Hasn't he heard that that fire is freakin' HUGE?
Did he just blow off the story of the first firefighter death in these fires yesterday?