X1 and all members of The Contingent,
I too am very disturbed by the news that WTMJ has unfortunately used images from our tour in an inappropriate manner. As someone who works for a television news operation I can tell you that that kind of misuse of someone's image is strictly forbidden, either as an official policy or just as a matter of good common sense. This kind of error is strictly bush league behavior.
We've all seen similar stories; health related items where they show video of overweight people, but normally those individuals are shown from the waist down, no faces shown. I suppose if you recognize yourself, it can be just as disturbing, but at least there is not the kind of public humiliation that might result from friends and family seeing your face.
This incident is exactly why television news shows do not
show faces. There have been lawsuits in the past because of these very types of misuse of personal images. Let me state for the record I AM NOT
suggesting that any of us institute a law suit in this case. Something like that can be very time consuming and extremely expensive with no guarantee of any kind of pay out at the end.
As far as our tour goes, let me give you some assurances:
1. My friends from Roadfood and their feelings are far more important to me than any of us being on TV whether in a positive or negative light. I would not allow us to be portrayed as anything other than what we are, a close group of friends with a common appreciation for Roadfood.
2. I have spoken with Marcus Leshock, the reporter who would be handling this story, and informed him of WTMJ's faux pas
. His reaction was the same as mine; that kind of mishandling of images from another story is unethical and just bad journalism. We have agreed that Marcus will take special care to make sure that all footage from our story will be used only in relation to our specific story and cannot be used for any other purpose. Obviously I cannot force anyone to participate, but I wouldn't even ask unless I was confident that our privacy and images would be respected.
3. If anyone has any doubts about point number 2, please refer back to point number 1. The tour and my friends are the most important thing here. If enough of our people agree that they do not want to do the WGN story we will scrap it.
It'll be interesting to see how the final WTMJ story gets re-cut, and if any of us are shown in a less than flattering light. I hope our Milwaukee members will monitor the show tonight and report back to the group after the story airs.