Noor's Experience Covering Politics With WUSA9

4:32 PM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON--(WUSA9) Unfortunately my day didn't exactly go as planned today ... again. I came in early to leave with reporter Surae Chinn on a story. I love how she covers her stories.

I was waiting to leave with her on a story, and when she went to the assignment desk to ask for me they told her I left with another reporter! 

Confused, Surae left. 

They had mixed me up with another intern who left with one of our other reporters! I was so bummed! I couldn't believe I was left behind ... again. (I'm never letting that happen again.)

So, there were two reporters left. Two. I was determined to go out with one of them.

I approached the first reporter, introduced myself, stuck out my hand to shake his .... and he stepped back. "I'm going home sick," he turned around to cough.

My mind state at that point: "WHAT ON EARTH? WHAT? WHY! JUST MY LUCK! NO!"

But, I smiled ... and gave him well wishes.

I had one more shot. One reporter who didn't leave. Peggy Fox. Our reporter who covers politics in Northern Virginia. 

I introduced myself to Peggy and asked her if I could tag along. She told me she had a station vehicle, so she may not return to the station. I'd have to drive to the site myself. I think before she even finished her sentence I replied, "I'm down. I'm coming." 

I may have startled her a bit because her eyes widened ... but I was NOT going to miss my last shot.

The event was a small business meeting in which Terry McAuliffe, the democratic candidate running for Virginia governor, and Ken Cuccinelli, the current Attorney General of Virginia and the republican candidate for Virginia governor were speaking. Once I arrived I saw scores of people in suits. Everyone dressed alike, sitting at tables enjoying a small meal before the talk. Once McAuliffe finished speaking, the group of reporters ran outside to wait for him to answer questions.

So, that's how this works. Media attends events, sits in the back, and as soon as the speaker is off the podium, media rushes outside to ask the politician questions.

The way politicians speak is practically scripted. The eye movements, the posture, the hand gestures, the tone and words used. All rehearsed. I'm sure they've gotten a whole lot of practice. But, isn't that how all politicians are?

After McAuliffe we went back to listen to Cuccinelli speak. When it came time to running to the back and ask Cuccinelli questions he had practically disappeared. We caught one of his spokesmen and he told the reporters Cuccinelli left. When reporters firmly asked him why and they wanted questions answered, he said Cuccinelli spoke about so much anyway and was running late.


We left the event and Peggy did her stand-ups for the segment. During the stand-ups I learned that Cuccinelli's office may have been giving improper legal advice to gas companies to drill under residential homes. Could that have been what Cuccinelli was avoiding?

After Peggy's stand-up, I did a stand-up on my own. Practice makes perfect.

I may not be the biggest fan of covering politics, but like I've said before, being open to every single opportunity will really be the key to your success. I learned more about our community politics, the behind-the-scenes of media and politics, and how to ask questions to public figures. Getting to do my stand-up was the cherry on top!

Until next time,

Noor Tagouri 

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