Here's the Scoop: May 14, 2008
When I heard the news, there was no hesitation. More than a quarter-century of news reporting had honed my instincts to become highly sensitive to “breaking news.” Therefore, when I was told that “Elle McPherson is shooting a commercial at the Delaware & Ulster Railroad,” I instinctively grabbed my camera. This was newsworthy.
There may be a couple of readers who are wondering: “Who the Elle is she?” For those folks, I should clarify that Elle (sounds just like “L”) is a “supermodel.” Think Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue — cover girl. I’m sure you have the picture now, but if you don’t you may want to Google her to obtain a full understanding...of the importance of me covering this event.
The supermodel, according to my sources, was at the “D&U” for the photo shoot and would be there all day. Hey, I had plenty to do, but one has to have priorities in the news business. Mine had just changed.
Much different situation
Those of you with better memories than me are probably thinking: “Well, I guess that Laura Linney incident was not an isolated event.” Before anyone starts that “stalk talk” again, I want to clarify once and for all that when I was “pursuing” the actress for an interview during the local filming of “You Can Count On Me,” a few years back, there were never any charges pressed. And there was no formal restraining order, it was more of a “suggestion” for me to steer clear.
Furthermore, I don’t recall anyone making a fuss when, years ago, I received a frantic call telling me to bring my camera because Patrick Hingle was dining at the late, great Ricci’s restaurant in Arkville. If the name is not familiar, let’s just say that the character actor’s face is very familiar. But he’s no swimsuit model.
Which leads us back the “Elle” Train. There was a problem. I was not, what’s the word — invited — to get any pictures of the supermodel for my own personal collection — I mean for news coverage.
But this was my job and I would not be deterred. I knew there was quite a bit security on the set, so I had a plan. “I’m with makeup,” I calmly told the two burly fellows who quickly blocked my path to the supermodel photo shoot.
This wasn’t untrue, because I was “making up” a story to get the task completed. Not happening. These big guys weren’t budging, so I made an “Elle” turn and headed back to the office to regroup.
We held a quick staff meeting and plotted ways for me to get this story covered.
“Maybe I’ll tell them I’m a dedicated journalist and simply must report on this happening,” I suggested.
After the outburst(s) of laughter had died down, we tried to think of other, more realistic, ways to get my foot in the door.
I decided to call an “insider” at the D&U. News, apparently, travels fast.
“They heard about the Laura Linney thing,” I was informed.
There was no use trying to tell my side of the story…it seems like once something hits the Internet, everyone thinks it’s true.
“Did you tell them about the time that I spotted former NBA star Rik Smits at the Arkville Country Store? He didn’t feel threatened by me!” I responded.
My insider calmly countered that, “Well, he is 7-feet, 4-inches and weighs around 250 pounds.”
Taking shots with a telephoto lens was starting to look like the only option. It was becoming quite clear that I would not be rubbing elbows with any supermodels anytime soon.
Unfortunately, the logistics of the D&U made even photos with a powerful lens nearly impossible.
We did, however, have one last chance. My “people” told me that the supermodel would be whisked away in an “elle-i-copter.” The wide opening landing site would provide some photo ops. Well, it would have — if they didn’t sneak her away in a crummy limo!
Defeated after long hours of Supermodel Anticipation, I returned to the office.
“It was an Elle-of-a-Day,” I explained, with no pictures for my efforts.