News Channel 3’s Andy Wise Ends up On HIS Side!

Man, I leave town early for a weekend in Nashville and it turns out I missed all of the fireworks in Memphis.  It turns out that WREG’s Andy Wise whose aggressive reporting and bulldog tactics helped establish the station’s “On-Your-Side” slogan, was, according to Wise and witnesses, attacked by a man they were covering as part of a story.  The video (both edited and raw)
shows some quick movement and Wise grabbing the guy and both falling to the ground.  The video proves Wise can physically hold on to someone as doggedly as he can pursue a lead!  And at last word, Wise plans to file simple assault charges against the guy who reportedly head-butted Wise and spit on him.  Somewhere along the way, Wise needed some stitches  to close a wound to the head.

I was asked in a private email by a person who identified himself as a journalism major where I thought Andy Wise was justified in grabbing the guy after the guy supposedly asked the news crew to leave him along and then attacked  Andy.  Well, I’ve never been much for the in-your-face journalism that was first made popular by CBS’ 60-Minutes Mike Wallace.  For a long time some folks have followed Mr. Wallace’s lead because they can sometimes get some good sound or good video of the “perp” but it also makes for dramatic TV as the camera chases someone down the street or where ever.  The folks who flee look guilty whether they are or not (or at least look like they have something to hide). Also, the viewers watch, waiting to see if the perp will turn and attempt to “clean the clock” of the person chasing them.  I can’t tell you the number of times while working at WREG that someone told me that at some point, someone, somewhere was going to take Andy down and they wanted to see the video when it happened.   Nc3 is quite willing to accommodate viewers as they have posted not only the edited reports of A-W on their website, they’ve posted the raw video as well.   If the video hasn’t been blasted into a promo yet, then expect it to be there soon enough.

I was also asked how I would have responded if someone had attacked me.  First, I have to admit that if I had been warned a couple of times by the perp and I persisted, then I shouldn’t be surprised if I got attacked.  However, if I had received NO warning and the person attacked me, I’m afraid the perp probably would be able to file assault charges against ME because I’d probably attempt to inflict a little payback.  The perp would be able to tell a judge that I wasn’t On His Side, I was ON HIS BACK, making him eat cement or whatever else was handy.  Of course, that would probably only serve to make the perp angry and then he would proceed to kick my butt into oblivion.  But that is a theoretical situation as I’ve never been in that situation.  I wasn’t in Andy’s shoes and never hope to be.  I would venture a guess that this attack and others that have happened against reporters in the past year will give some pause to think about their actions in covering the news and to give News Directors pause to issue policies on aggressive coverage.  Hey it makes for great TV until some yahoo pulls a gun and shoots a reporter or videographer.  Then it’s too late.

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7 Comments on “News Channel 3’s Andy Wise Ends up On HIS Side!”

  1. onhisback Says:

    from the looks of the video, Andy grabbed dude first for stepping on his glasses. I never saw the perp head-butting Andy and immediately he started saying “I didn’t do nothing…he attacked me!”

    Don’t know about this one. Maybe somebody went looking for a fight.

  2. Jeff Says:

    I don’t understand how the video got so chopped up,I guess the security cam showed the initial attack on Andy Wise and he got whipped pretty bad,then the station Video showed Andy in action when the guy tried to throw something over the fence .it fell to the sidewalk and he stomped it.Andy then wrestled him to the ground.

    Im sure Jerry Lawler called Andy and gave him a thumbs up.

  3. joelarkins Says:

    If you go to Mediaverse or this link mediaverse-memphis.blogspot.com/2007/09/on-wise-thing-to-do.html
    you can get what appears to be a blow-by-blow account of what appears to have taken place. Since I’m coming into this several days after-the-fact, I will defer to that account. You will also find reaction from Andy Wise himself to that post.
    Regards

  4. Doug J. Says:

    Andy — “no” means NO. I’ve always admired your pluck, but sometimes, you gotta let people go. I told some Channel 3 people over the weekend that now they’ve got a “Watchdog” (Matthews), a “bulldog” (Andy)… and now they need a guard dog! Thanks folks, I’m here all week!

    On other note, I’m going to post a rather long reply here to someone who responded to something I said in the last post. I’m posting here and there just in case that person doesn’t go back to the previous post. Apologies about the length.

    I wanted to make sure “get off of it” knows that I’ve taken notice of their point of view.

    Yes, I’m a lefty from way back, and a firm believer in helping those who can’t help themselves… but I think there are a couple of holes in your argument.

    The media has a responsibility of covering ALL the problems of society — because people can’t (or won’t) take the time to learn about it themselves. Covering crime for crime’s sake is the laziest move in the news business — all you have to do is listen to a police scanner and send a crew to follow the blue lights. And all you learn is something bad happened today. And you learn it at the expense of not learning something potentially more important to society at large — because the crews are chasing cops all over town.

    And you admit that “some is true” when I point out the sorry state of the educational system and lack of career path jobs in some parts of the Greater Memphis metroplex. All our media points to the benefit of getting something for nothing. Want to make millions? Play the lottery for $1. Want to be a big star? Go on “American Idol” and withstand Simon’s criticism.

    TV, music & movies all teach the lessons of getting rich quick and fighting the “system” to get ahead. If you don’t have positive influences to counter-balance all that crap — you’re going to end up thinking that only chumps work minimum wage jobs — and you’re not going to want to go out like that. Yes, for those of us who have learned the value of hard work and responsibility, it seems pretty stupid — even lazy — but if you don’t know any better, you’re going to see the value in taking the path of least resistance — and bigger payoff.

    Yes, you admire someone who picked themselves up to bust their butt for $24K — but it society-at-large drums it into impressionable minds that there are simpler ways to make more money — it’s a disservice to them — and the rest of us to dismiss it as simple laziness.

    More importantly; don’t you think it’s a waste of your tax dollars that the city schools spends more per student than just about anywhere else in the state, but still does such a generally poor job? Don’t you want the media shining a light on that? Shouldn’t our at-risk youth be learning the value of hard work in school — just in case they’re not learning it at home? Personally, I get a little cheesed-off when I think of the school board tossing my money away without finding better ways to get knowledge into the heads of those kids.

    And I don’t think the driver you know wants to do that for long. There has to be an effort to create career paths in this town — not just “jobs.” I worked in fast food for during my college years. While I’m not ashamed of the work — it sure wasn’t something I wanted to do any longer than I had to. When you hear the mayor boast about the economic development he’s brought to the area, and all the jobs the various candidates for his office and city council are promising to bring — don’t you want the media to find out just what the heck they’re talking about?

    I like hard-working people better than folks who use government support as a crutch. But I want people in the media to be hard-working. So should you “get off of it,” so should you.

  5. Jeff Says:

    Mediaverse did a much better job reporting this than WREG.

    Thanks Alot Joe

  6. Bob Says:

    I’m sorry, this isn’t about helping the underserved. This is about station positioning. “We’ll fight for your rights” is a load of BS. It’s a mindless stunt. These reports are nothing more than on-air promotion, and stories that become the news have no value.

    C’mon Andy! When are you going to join the ranks of your fellow crusaders by allowing yourself to be shot by a tazer ? I hear major market news directors love that kind of stuff! Let’s see what Magid research shows!

  7. onhisback Says:

    agree w/ Bob. If Andy was REEALLLLYYY just following dude to see if he drove off behind the wheel of a car, he wouldn’t have been running down the street after him. Dude also wouldn’t have turned around unless Andy yelled or otherwise, let him know he was trying to catch him.

    this was about making the news, not reporting it.

    and i were dude, I’d file stalking charges on mr. wise and wreg


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