In October a production assistant from NBC contacted me. I don't mean the ones downtown across from Horton Plaza.
I mean the Major Leaguers, the Big Guys who work at 30 Rockefeller Center.
They were producing a true crime documentary about the murder case featured in my first book, “No Good Deed”. Normally I would be ecstatic because televised publicity means more book sales. Sadly, the book has been out of print for a couple of years. It can be purchased— used— through Amazon, for one penny plus four bucks postage. I was still excited though.
The assistant said they were coming to San Diego in a few weeks. They planned to interview the cops, prosecutor, important witnesses, and in this case, the esteemed author.
They had trouble finding the prosecutor because she divorced, remarried, changed her name, and retired. I made a few phone calls and gave them her contact info. They also asked if I could send them the photos from the book and any notes. Because show business is my life I readily agreed. The taping would be done in a San Diego hotel.
Additionally they asked if I could intervene with the Chula Vista police and get access to an interview room, and possibly a jail cell to film a reenactment involving the female killer. For some reason, San Diego PD was not cooperating with the media, even though it was their case.
Capt. Gary Wedge gave permission for use of the building. The NBC folks were happy. The “killer/actress” was only available for a short time because she was making a film in Los Angeles. I told the producers I was now a columnist for a large metropolitan newspaper and the paper wanted to send a photographer and reporter to the police station during the reenactment to do a story on the folks from 30 Rockefeller Center. The producers agreed, giving two possible dates, saying they would let me know.
Two days before filming they contacted me to change my appearance time from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They said they would take me to dinner after the filming. Cool.
We did the interview and it seemed to go well. I didn’t stammer, pick my nose, or use incorrect grammar. Neither did I say “like,” nor “you know,” two of my media pet peeves.
At the conclusion of the taping I said good bye, thinking they would say, “Hey, don’t forget we’re taking you to dinner.” Nothing was said about dinner. I reminded them to notify me when the filming at the police station would be held. They agreed. I ate dinner at home. The filming days came and went and they never contacted me before returning to New York.
I don’t believe in holding grudges. I do, however, believe in “airing out” my grievances. So, I wrote both the assistant and the producer that I felt used. I did many extra things to help them. They offered dinner and said they would notify me about the filming and did neither. I said missing dinner was no big deal, but missing the filming was a big deal. My newspaper was counting on the story.
I closed by asking them if their treatment of me was “the New York way.” Both wrote back apologizing all over the place. They wrote that things were very hectic and they forgot. They asked if there was anything they could do to rectify things. I never answered. Life is too short (as I well know) to hold grudges. So, I forgot it, except to let you know how it was like to deal with the Big Boys from the Big Apple.
The show, entitled “Dark of Night” is airing April 30 at 7 and 10 p.m. on the Investigation Discovery Channel. (Channel 104 on Cox Cable.)