Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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When you're on a high profile story, there's the stuff you cover, and then there's the stuff you just sit and think about while you're waiting for a verdict. Here's are some observations you won't see on Page 1 of the newspaper ...
Who is in the Courtroom
Of course you had a hoard of reporters and a smattering of polygamists (alleged), but then there are the people who you aren't quite sure what they're doing there. A reporting colleague and I were chatting with a lady outside the courtroom. We asked her what she did, and she said she was with the "news." We asked her which station or network. And she replied again she was "just with the news." She later told us she was the editor and publisher of several small newspapers. She also told us it was harder for us to cover this story, because we didn't know "the truth." And then the reporting colleague and I noticed she was talking with the polygamists. That just doesn't happen if you're a reporter. Could she be a polygamist under cover? Hard to say ... but she did leave the courtroom beet-red when the guilty verdict was announced.
I guess the snipers needed a clean shot. Third hand I heard one news outlet had to take down a temporary canopy it had erected, because it was blocking the snipers' view of the front steps of the courthouse.
Often you really wondered how much hidden security there was. Occasionally, a city parking enforcement truck rolled through the parking lot of satellite trucks and other news vehicles. The guys inside were wearing camoflage fatigues. I'm not so sure that's the standard issue when they crack down on who is taking the handicapped stalls.
Other miscellaneous thoughts ...
-When reporters were betting on the outcome just ahead of the verdict, we seemed to get some dirty looks from Jeffs followers.
-The food on the average is better in St. George than it is in Huntington.
-CNN's Gary Tuchman isn't the trendiest network type you're going to see pacing a news scene, but he seems like an all around good guy.
-Phoenix television is much more looks-driven than Salt Lake television.
-I have a great appreciation for belts and shoes that match.