One of the things about being a maritime lawyer in Miami is that when a cruise ship catches on fire or sinks, the networks will come calling for you to appear on TV.
The cruise lines usually run and hide until the drama is over. But the Miami based maritime lawyers will appear on all of the major networks as well as CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.
I have been on TV more times than that I can count – Larry King a couple of times, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper & Erin Burnett, MSNBC, CNN Money, Court TV, ABC’s 20 / 20, Nancy Grace, Dateline, Greta Van Sustern, Joe Scarborough, 48 Hours, and so forth and so on. There are a couple of other maritime lawyers in Miami who also appear regularly when things go wrong on cruise ships.
I suppose it’s great publicity. There you are on national television. Wow, you must be smart or famous or important or something. It looks very official. There you are with the cable news logo behind you with your face on one side of a split screen with a big time television interviewer on the other side.
But the truth is a little different. Unless you are actually on the production set across from the interviewer (like Larry King Live, which was great fun), you are usually being interviewed at a remote location where you are stuffed into a little closet of a room with a microphone under your tie and an audio piece in your ear with a big camera pointing at you and a tiny TV monitor in front of you.
Perched on a little uncomfortable seat staring at a 13 inch monitor trying to think of something intelligent to say to several million viewers is not always easy.
It can be disorienting the first time you do a remote interview. There is an audio delay of several seconds between when you or the interviewer talk and when the voices are heard on television. So you run the risk of confusing yourself if you watch the monitor. There you are talking away but the monitor shows you just sitting there. You have to understand that what you are watching is a couple of seconds behind real time.
I have to admit that I love it. It comes naturally to me. There is no shortage of cruise news and I have no shortage of opinions.
But the production is all smoke and mirrors.
So when you see me next time on TV, don’t be impressed. Remember that I am sitting on a stool somewhere in a tiny room alone trying to hear the question through a crappy little plastic earpiece while looking at a tiny little TV screen.
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