Friday, February 24, 2012

Danica's Violent Moment TV Gold

Danica Patrick's car got turned in a bad way at a bad place on a fast track. Headed toward the SAFER barrier at top speed, there was only one thing the TV director of SPEED's telecast of the Gatorade Duels wanted to do.

That was to show her in-car camera live on national television as she hit.

The backstretch camera on the air zoomed-in to Patrick's car as it hurdled toward the inside wall at the Daytona International Speedway. Seconds later, just as the car made contact, the picture was changed to Patrick's in-car camera. The angle used was the view out the front from the roof cam.

Viewers saw twisted sheet metal and moisture on the camera lens as the car continued to slide. But for SPEED even that wasn't enough. The director then switched live to the in-car camera angle showing Patrick inside the car.

It was impossible to know her condition at this moment in time.

On a big track surrounded by SAFER barriers, tucked tightly into her custom-made seat and firmly strapped into her HANS device, Patrick was moving. What if it had been different? What if the pictures sent nationwide live by SPEED showed the dark side of racing?

What if the woman driver who this week spoke at the DC Press Club, appeared on ESPN's PTI show and has been the focus of a national media frenzy was injured. What if she was unconscious. What if the situation was even worse.

The single reason the SPEED director used that shot was because he knew that was what the network expected and his boss wanted. There was no better example of how SPEED has come to view NASCAR racing as nothing more than a reality TV product to be exploited for ratings than this moment.

After the director showed the camera live, there was silence. Then Darrell Waltrip jumped-in after seeing Patrick move around in the car. "Glad we got that camera in there with Danica to see that she is fine," he said.

What would he have said about that camera if she was not? Of all people, Waltrip knows all too well the tragic side of the sport and how it happens in a flash.

Once Patrick had exited the car under her own power, it was time for SPEED to replay the in-car camera angle of Patrick inside the car while hitting the wall. Then, it was time to replay it again. Heading for commercial, what better "bumper" to use than the same replay?

SPEED's many technical problems on the day plagued Dick Berggren's interview with Patrick outside of the Infield Care Center. Between the black video, out of sync audio and poor camera angles, the only thing that worked was when SPEED replayed Patrick's accident yet again.

I'm not the biggest Danica Patrick fan, but I know when you are racing at Daytona in a Sprint Cup Series event you deserve a certain fundamental level of respect as a competitor.

I don't think Patrick was respected by SPEED in her incident, her interview or the use of her in-car camera shot while hitting the wall as a "roll-out" to a commercial.

Patrick later tweeted: "Well...that was a bummer. I am OK, icing my sore spots down, getting ready for the weekend! Thanks for the concern." She then added: "I need to thank @nascar for the safer barrier too."

SAFER barrier or not, TV skated on thin ice Thursday by going live to the in-car camera of a Sprint Cup Series driver after a high-speed accident before that driver's condition was known.

It was on February 18th, just eleven years ago that we lost Dale Earnhardt Sr. On that day, FOX went ahead with the winner's interview, went off the air without updating the Earnhardt situation and left the entire NASCAR Nation in an information vacuum. It was a disaster for the network with the fans.

Sunday's Daytona 500 marks the return of pack racing, high speeds and features 18 more cars in the big race than the Duels. It should be interesting to see if the NASCAR on FOX team gives drivers involved in incidents the respect they deserve or follows the SPEED model of exploiting the violence and potential injury for the shock value and TV ratings.

We welcome your comments on this subject. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Bobby O said...

Sorry JD I respect what you do and admire your work, but you should not be a Fan of any driver really.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What does that have to do with this topic in any way, Bobby?

Paul03 said...

JD...'I'm not the biggest Danica Patrick fan',... Doesn't seem like he's acting like a fan. Just qualifying that his comments are fairly unbiased. JMO

Ashley McCubbin said...

Very nicely stated as you speak the truth. I get that they're trying to use Danica as often as they can to gain ratings and such, but you do bring up a lot of good questions after what they chose to do.

Sophia said...

I don't like the cameras from inside any wreck live as it's happening!

As soon as a car started to veer off the wide angle cameras zoomed in on a fender or something.

Danica had a disturbing wreck & I am glad she was ok. What puzzled us was how quickly Mike Joy said Danica was ok. How did he know that quickly? I'd think she had just come to a stop w no time to speak, yet.

We were very happy she was ok of course. But the more they played it, the more upset I got about the inside the car cam with liquid all over her windshield.

The first NASCAR race i ever watched was when Dale Sr was killed. My brother was in town from Seattle and we were told nothing. Indeed, had some hungry for 'anything goes' director had gone to his in car cam. . .? Tragic. I did not watch another NASCAR race until late 2004 season. My brother assured me things had gotten safer.

Sickening to think they would be so lustful for something dramatic/bad happening (showing DPs inside cam today)but it does make one shake their head. I am tired of the Danica hype already but she deserves more respect than the exploitation of todays cameras.

Hope the audio issues get fixed & it's a safe weekend for all.

Anonymous said...

Don Henley and Dirty Laundry was all about the internet and Reality TV age what a visionary. Didn't really know what Danica did with her hands till I saw it later on the DVR, was listening on MRN and they had no idea. She was just being safe, not a big person it is what it is. Speed could have let it go but they where pimping her out so to speak.. I have come to expect that from all of the News and Sports Networks anymore, no respect unless it serves them..

14_Patti_14 said...

OK. While I'm not sure how you being a fan of anyone matters I know that part of the problem is that this car is much safer and we have safer barriers so we take that for granted. But I have to disagree on timing. She did say after the car hit and she got a hold of the wheel that she was fine. I think the producer knew when they cut to her in car that she was fine.

I think her in car was fascinating in the way she reacted during the wreck.

Otherwise, no matter how much people hate that car I thank NASCAR every time I see wrecks like that for it.

Card Game Nut said...

This is indeed in very strong contrast to ABC/ESPN during the IndyCar Las Vegas race where, ironically enough, Danica was involved in what could have been her very last activity on Earth. ESPN had a "roof"/"in-car" shot of Dan Wheldon right before the accident that eventually cost him his life, then as he approached the wreck the producer favored a wide shot of the incident. To the best of my knowledge, at least on live TV Wheldon's in-car was never shown while his status was officially unknown. "Roof"/"In-cars" (can you call them in-car cameras on open wheels like that?) weren't shown until the status of their respective drivers was confirmed (as best as I can remember).

Contrast to SPEED who apparently showed the in-car AS the accident happened today with Danica at the Duals. As you've said JD, the outcome could have been much worse and we could have seen the passing of the most influential woman driver of this generation (say what you want about her as a media machine or a real racer, she's put a spotlight on women in racing that hasn't been seen in quite a while) live on national TV.

I wonder if it has more to do with the producers for FOX/SPEED thinking the NASCAR rules package and cars and SAFER barriers make it so safe that it's okay to show in-car shots because, most likely, the driver will be okay after a serious-looking incident. But then again, who would have thought in 2001 that with 5-point seat belts, sturdier helmets than the ancient "brain buckets", and a restrictor plate keeping speeds under 200 MPH we'd see the passing of one of the sport's most beloved drivers of all time?

I don't think the roof cam switchover was wrong. That simply offers a different perspective on the incident at hand. I think what would be wrong is showing the driver when his/her status is unknown. It sounds to me like FOX/SPEED was okay until they showed Danica's in-car looking right at her. But if the producer saw her moving, maybe he/she felt Danica was okay and it was an acceptable shot? That's the only explanation that would make it okay to show her after the wreck even when the announcers don't know what to relay to the fans about the driver.

Auto Journalist said...

You'd think Fox (and for those who still don't know, yes, SPEED is Fox-owned and operated) would have learned a thing or two not just from the decade they've spent broadcasting NASCAR but from all of the ESPN, CBS, ABC, TNT, NBC, TNN (remember them?), and any other networks that had carried the races in the past.

But no.

As a motorsports photographer, I've been ridiculed for arriving at the scene of a crash, and waiting until I see the driver is conscious and moving before I start clicking away at the shutter. If something catastrophic has taken place, if a driver's career - or life - has just ended, I don't need that image in my camera. I don't need it in my library.

And I sure as hell don't need a close-up of it on my TV.

As a side note: Anyone who states that as a member of the media we "should not be a fan of any driver," being a fan of drivers, of teams, of cars... that's what got us into this. That's what makes the sport so exciting - do you really want reporting on racing from someone who honestly has no opinion of any drivers? I'm willing to bet you don't. You want honesty. You want a respectable level of fairness.

But you damn sure don't want 100% straight down the line impartiality and refusal to acknowledge that some drivers are far more engaging, while others are anything but. Because, if I'm honest, nothing could ever be so boring.

Ir42nate2bhere said...

Agree 100% with you on this. NASCAR needs to step in and say to their broadcast partners this is not going to be tolerated, because it seems the TV people won't think on their own.Should be no live in-cars after an accident until the window net is dropped by the driver.

The Loose Wheel said...

JD, I too thought that was a very low class call by SPEED. I was actually about to make a similar comment in the Duel post about this same topic. Pretty tasteless shot and DW being awfully presumptuous in saying she was alright before she even got out of the car was downright appalling.

No matter how many soft walls and safer cars are built, this sport is still extremely dangerous. I only harken back to the IndyCar finale in Las Vegas as a prime example. At least wait for the driver to exit their vehicle before cutting to in-car shots of violent impacts.

Even the Micheal Waltrip wreck had a similar in-car cut before you knew if he was totally okay.

Guess that's just a "taste" thing, and I agree with you JD.

The other trend I have noticed and really starts to irk me is when a replay is being shown from an in-car how mid wreck the camera will change 3 or 4 times which gets awfully disorienting and confusing.

Glad Danica is okay, glad this choice didn't come back to bite FOX/SPEED this time, hoping for better judgement going forward.

My two cents.

RFMjr said...

Sorry but I have to disagree with you, John. She was clearly moving when they cut to the in-car. That tells me they checked before making the call. Technical issues acknowledged, they handled this well.

DougS said...

I tweeted directly after the wreck. And I'll say it here. I dislike Danica Patrick. I know this weekend is going to be a Danica show. Regardless of how I feel, I never want to see ANY driver take that hard of a impact. Truthfully I didn't think about the in car views. And I definitely see your point. I just hope the point gets made to SPEED and every other NASCAR broadcaster.

Dan said...

I'm a regular reader, but I think you're stretching yourself to make your point. They switched to the in-car camera approximately 6 seconds after the impact when the car was almost at a complete stop. I'd have to imagine that the guy who switched to that camera looked at it before switching to it, and almost definitely saw her moving before switching to it. She was moving immediately on screen. I would find it hard to believe that the camera was switched to that view blindly. An incident that might be a better example for your point was David Reutimann's 2007 California crash where he looked like he wasn't moving at first because he had the wind knocked out of him. They went to his in car before he started moving around, and this was on FOX. They quickly went away from the camera, but returned to it in seconds when he still appeared injured.

"After the director showed the camera live, there was silence. Then Darrell Waltrip jumped-in after seeing Patrick move around in the car. "Glad we got that camera in there with Danica to see that she is fine," he said."

This is painting a picture that is a different from what actually happened. When it went to the camera, Mike Joy immediately saw that she was moving and said "She's alright after a hard crash and the caution flag is out." Then, about 4 seconds of silence while looking at an exterior shot of Danica's car, and then when it went back to the in-car shot, that's when Darrell goes on to say "The race is over, that's Tony Stewart who'll win the race, glad we got that camera in there with Danica to see she's fine"

RPM said...

JD, if it had been any other driver in that car, they would have done the same thing going live. They might not have shown as many replays, but it's common practice to go immediately to the in-car cam(s)following a wreck.

Is this acceptable? Is it ethical? Until there's a major outcry like the Theismann incident with the NFL, I'm afraid the answer is going to be yes.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I didn't include the Mike Joy comment because no one I asked about it understood it. It made no sense, IMHO the live in-car was tasteless and the only reason your argument works is because she was not injured.


Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of FOX and love DP but I wholeheartedly disagree with you on this one. Reality show? OF COURSE IT IS! What's more of a reality presentation than LIVE SPORTS? Certainly you know that from your days at ESPN.
The in car camera use was well used and timely. If Danica was, in fact, stunned or unconscious then she was! NOT showing that doesn't change that fact. We see injured, stunned and occasionally immobile players in NFL, Hockey and other pro sports and no one expects the director to shoot cut aways. Admittedly, if a player appears to be suffering paralysis the shots may be kept wider for a bit, but you will have certainly seen the play LIVE and multiple replays from many angles showing the impact.
Again, sports is the ultimate reality show.Showing a driver who is in a full face helmet with a dark shield (so no chance of a Dale Sr broken jaw / blood shot) is the duty of a good director.
Again, I'm no fan of FOX but the immediate reaction and cutting was great. I do object to their overuse of the replays of her incident

Bray Kroter

glenc1 said...

I agree with JD completely. I was surprised when I finally saw how it was handled on the replay. No one should be showing an in car cam until you know if the driver is unhurt--not just *conscious*. That does NOT mean they're 'okay'. I believe Brad K was probably 'conscious' when he broke his foot. You could be awake with all kinds of serious injuries. I hate it every time a window net goes down and the analyst says they're okay. That only means they're alert enough to take it down (I think the original purpose was to let the rescue workers know they shouldn't risk their lives to get to them.) Nothing is served by rushing to get that video on except possible morbid curiousity. I do agree with others, though, that it had been Paul Menard they'd have probably done the same thing. I don't think it was about Danica mania so much as a vicious hit you knew was going to make the highlight reel.

As for the 'I'm not a big fan' comment--JD is a blogger; this is an opinion piece not a news story. It's journalism 101.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I'm floored by your comment. Comparing stick and ball injuries to racing at Daytona? You would have been happy to see an unconscious or injured driver because unlike Dale Sr. there would be no blood with a full face helmet? Maybe I need a new sport if that is the current fan mentality.


OSBORNK said...

I disagree with Bobby O that you shouldn't be a fan of any driver. Whether anyone admits it or not, people like some drivers better than others. The honest thing to do is to come clean like you did and divulge your feelings. That way, readers will be able to umderstand the perspective you are coming from.

I also think that they should not have shown the in-car camera until they knew Danica was OK. Movement by a driver does not instantly mean that they are OK (I witnessed a fatality at a local dirt track and the victim's movements as he died gave me nightmares for years).

rich said...

One point that I have not seen mentioned in the previous posts is that "live" TV is actually delayed. Sometimes by as much as 15 secs. This might have given time for the director to hear DP radio traffic before switching. Just sayin.

Michael Stoffel said...

No in car shot should be shown until we see the driver out of the car and okay. I am a Danica fan (yes we exist), and my heart sunk when the car careened into the wall. And I was appalled that Fox or speed switched almost immediately to in car live.

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying, but they didn't show the actual impact live.

I find it very hard to believe that the director, or whoever, wasn't watching that shot just to be sure she was OK before they put it on the air.

If you look at it a again, there was a delay (I agree it wasn't much) between the wreck in the shot, and I think it was fairly easy to understand she was ok very quick.

Again, I completely understand what you are saying, driver's safety is number one, however, I think if things looks worse in the car, that shot would not have been aired.

And, I hate to say it, but the "younger" audience likes danger.

I'm not saying that NASCAR should take the SAFER barriers down, open up the plates and take the catch fence away, but I think it is very important to promote the potential danger of NASCAR.

That was the way it used to be a while ago.

Do I agree with the way they did this? Not really. However I do believe the talk of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and mainstream media such as the nightly news was positive for NASCAR was good. Why? Because it was Danica, but it also promoted a little danger as well.

As I said, don't make it more dangerous, just make it seem that way.

That's what I think FOX/SPEED's goal has been recently. I also think they were monitoring the situation more than you talked about. They didn't say "oh let's just put it to that shot for the heck of it!"

JD, as always, I enjoy your blog. Just a difference of opinion here I guess. Nothing wrong with that.

Buschseries61 said...

I watched the final lap on YouTube. Traditionally, if a driver wrecked like that, the network would show the car wreck using a wide shot until the car came to a rest, then follow the race to the checkered flag.

But it does seem since it was Danica, they jumped on the chance for drama and used the roof cam right as she hit. SPEED missed showing her car lifting up into the air because the contact was so violent. It took 6 seconds after the contact to show the camera inside the cockpit, the car was still slowing down when they first switched. After some more seconds of watching her put the window net down to indicate she was ok, SPEED remembered they were broadcasting a race and barely caught the finish.

It's pretty clear SPEED exercised no caution with their camera choices.

And the guy comparing NASCAR to a reality show, no. What's hurting the sport the most is the shift from sports television to entertainment television. It motivates poor choices like this incident, motivates the creation of drama that isn't there (the script), and motivates entertainment duos like the Waltrips instead of commentators.

Anonymous said...

I never implied being "happy" or unhappy about seeing an unconscious driver. My point is that a producer and director are charged with documenting a LIVE event. Be it racing or stick and ball, their charge remains the same. Frankly, the fact that you somehow see a distinction between the dangers of contact sport and racing floors me.
By extension, should boxing directors cut away from the ring after a knockdown or TKO? I really fail to see the distinction between a concussive injury in racing and any other sport. I'm not saying the production should dwell on it, but to criticize a production team for covering it live strikes me as naive

glenc1 said...

Regarding Bray's comments--just because they sometimes do that doesn't make it *right*; I would not call them 'good directors' at all. Recently, we have seen other players form shields around the person to block the camera views; which I think is good—TV should know better, though I have noticed this football season I saw a lot more of 'let's go to commercial' after injuries than I remember in the past. I certainly don't want to see some guy in pain from a broken leg, and if people get some kind of 'live sports' enjoyment out of that reality, I would question their mental health.

BTW--I would disagree with saying you can't compare stick & ball injuries to racing accidents--they can be just as serious, even potentially fatal (though less 'spectacular') which is why I think cameras should *not* be showing them either. We've had two local boys die in recent years from lacrosse balls hitting them in the neck and back. Not something you expect, but it happens. Google ‘Clint Malarchuk’ if you want to see the most graphic injury I think I've ever seen. Luckily I did not see it until long after we knew he was okay and it came with a warning, as it should. From what I have read, they cut away from the shot & went to commercial, the video was only seen later. But I guess that was back in the day when more television had principles about what they showed, before there was a Youtube and reality TV.

starrcade76 said...

I can't believe they didn't show all the lead lap cars crossing the finish line either. But that will be next week's column after the 500 I'm sure.

Obviously the in-car camera used during a crash has been a topic before. I think it is always going to be a playing-with-fire type deal. Where they try to show in-car views as quickly as possible.

Are we going to know if the person is totally healthy? Probably not. Even if they are moving around.

Speaking of fire, should we be upset they used in-car camera views of Harvick during the Shootout, when his car was on fire?

TEX said...

To make JD'S point even more
go back to the 2007 Auto Club 500 at California.
David Reuitman wrecked and got knocked out temporaily and got his breath knocked out as well.
Fox goes straight to his in car camera to show him slumped over the wheel and for about 5 seconds.
Fox didnt know if he was ok or not.
He was out cold. Not moving and Fox adds his spotter audio to the mix.
Spotter saying over and over David got to get are on fire David go to get out.

That was shock value.

It ended good but Fox put his life on TV for all of us watch.

What if David's accident had been really bad or even worse?

They got lucky but that luck will run out one day.

Hope the fans can stomach what they see because as a Firefighter/Paramedic those high speed deaths are not very nice to see.

Trust me.

You dont forget them.

GinaV24 said...

I was really upset at that camera shot and I'm not a Danica fan. Speed and NASCAR were "lucky" in that she wasn't injured.

We all know that all the TV partners show wreck after wreck as promos for every track on the circuit. I find that upsetting but watching that accident happen "live" was over the top.

Maybe I'm not over Weldon's death yet or watching Jeff Gordon's car slam the wall and then flip multiple times.

It may have been TV gold, but it made me feel sick. Like her or not, she's a person and deserves the respect of confirmation that she is OK before TV foams at the mouth.

Anonymous said...

I completely (but respectfully) disagree here that this problem is with SPEED. I'm sorry but any NASCAR broadcast I have ever seen has had this mindset. In 1999 at Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon cut a tire and smacked Turn 4 extremely hard. The in-car camera was eaglerly used by CBS to show his pain, short breath, and his trouble getting out of his race car. SPEED did nothing different than any other network broadcasting a NASCAR race, and I think the scenario was entirely overblown in the article, with all due respect.

TerryG said...

If the director or someone didn't check the in car first to make sure she was moving around before they went live with that shot, then shame on them indeed. I figured that since they showed the in car, she was "ok" and moving around, and not unconscious. This could have been tragic and if the director just went with the in car shot without looking at it first, then that's just wrong. I'm not a Danica fan at all, but I'm glad she was ok..that was a vicious hit, even with the safer barrier and the HANS.

Anonymous said...

My first serious interest in motorsports was drag racing, and that was long before any TV coverage. Over the course of years, I saw three fatal accidents including the one that caused the death of Pete Robinson at the 1971 Winternationals. After each fatal accident, it took me several years before I could bring myself to attend another race.

I don't want to see fatal or serious accidents. I watch auto racing for the competition, not the carnage in machines and human bodies. Merely because the technology exists to cover accidents intimately, I don't think it justifies putting in on the air.

I don't believe that seeing a driver moving or hearing a driver speak means they are OK. That proves only that they weren't killed instantly. Even if they speak, people often don't realize the extent of their injuries. I once broke my elbow in several places and didn't realize it until about two minutes after the accident.

If DW and Mike Joy know that a driver is fine, why does NASCAR require them to visit a doctor? Is it OK to show in-car coverage of a fatal accident repeatedly as long as it didn't cause instant death?

I have no doubt that if states allowed TV coverage of the execution of prisoners, some network would set up the cameras. If Fox saw a profit in it, they would be there first.

Stick with the Biff said...

anon 11:24...just because another network did the same thing doesn't make it right nor should it be 'acceptable'--the column is about what happened yesterday. Whether it's Fox or ABC or ESPN or TNT, there needs to be some responsibility taken. Yes, the drivers choose to be part of a dangerous televised event, but that doesn't mean we need to have the networks trying to appeal to the most sensational or graphic thing they can. It's like being some kind of sick voyeur...ugh.

Dennis said...

I had exactly the same reaction when they went immediately to the in-car cam. I was scared for her when I saw the angle at which the car was heading for the wall. I couldn't believe they would just cut to the cam without waiting to make sure she was Ok. I wouldn't have wanted to see Sr.'s in-car had it been available.

That wreck also highlighted the danger these drivers are in. Just because we haven't had serious injuries or deaths for a while doesn't mean it can't happen.

Anonymous said...

JD - I'm gonna disagree with you here. It's not what the boss wanted, per se, but what the viewers wanted. Good 30% of Nascar is crash-porn.

She deserved the TV time proving she can take a really awful wreck and do it like a pro. The 15 extra minutes of replays were a bit much tho.

Poor gal is already riding the fence between keep-sponsors-happy-sex-goddess and just trying to friggin' race.

Speed was in the right point out that she isn't an idiot behind the wheel, and her performance on track is proving it, and it's a damn sight better coverage than your former employer has ever provided.

If you need proof of that, login into yer blog. You ain't the happiest camper about Nascar coverage. Started a blog to illustrate it.

Nah, I ain't throwing rocks this time around. I think it was tolerably solid coverage across the board. Danica earned her TV time. Speed just dropped the ball replaying it 900 times rather than cover the race's end - Stewart winning was at best a footnote.

Anonymous said...

I love ALL the camera angles during a wreck--wish there were more. It's part of what makes racing exciting--the risk. All his talk about 'let's make sure they're ok first' garbage is ridiculous. Who wants to watch racing w/ no daring saves & fabulous wrecks.

It's like touch football. Impact has meaning.

OSBORNK said...

Anon 1:22PM--I would have probably thought the way you think until I was 3 rows up from the track and a fellow got run over and killed directly in front of me. I had nightmares for months and don't ever want to see another.

Chadderbox said...

Fox showed David Reuttiman in-car a few years back and he was slumped over for a second after hitting the wall at California or Texas (not sure which one). Team radio was on saying "David are you alright", "David are you alright", and no response from driver. Kind of creepy.

I do not need to see that kind of stuff to enjoy Nascar on tv. They should save that type of footage until after the commercial. Also that would keep the viewer tuned in to get the update on drivers condition. That would have been the way to cover it with class. Just my opinion. I was not watching live tv yesterday.

I was at the race yesterday sitting on the front stretch listening to TV coverage on my scanner. I was unable to see the full impact and didn't realize the intensity with which she hit the retaining wall. Reaction from the booth in my headphones told me the story. Then I saw replays on big screen.

Bobby O said...

I do agree with TEX.
I saw Gordon Smileys wreck live in person.
It is possibly the worst ever.
I was only 19, and will never forget that one. Almost 30 years ago now. And back then we were used to drivers, crew members, and even fans being killed regularly.

JD, I do agree why we are all here, we are fans.
But we seem to be hypocrites about owners being in the booth, myself included.
Are they not fans?

w17scott said...

Mr Editor -
Telling the story is a lost art would have been sufficient to describe her movement after the car came to rest and time enough to use in-car shot for follow-up interview with Danica ...not the best or wisest use of technology ...nor entirely respectful of driver's situation

Daly Planet Editor said...

Note to Tiamat: Checked with SPEED. That was not the case for either the audio issues or use of the in-car cam.

tle159 said...

I wish NASCAR would not allow any in car, bumper, side view mirrors or roof top cams. Then we would get to see a great race. That would give the producer less cams to chose from.

I knew as soon as they switched to DPs in car cam they shouldn't do that. I dont remember from a few years ago which driver they did that to and he was knocked out. I get so tried of all the camera switching that goes on during a race.

Vicky D said...

DP is a ratings sweetheart this weekend and now with the pole in the NW race, we might not see many of the other drivers that are in the back trying to have a good finish. I am a fan of hers because she's been able to do what she wanted to do and was encouraged by her family. Not all of us women had that advantage growing up. Glad she was ok after the wreck.

Sophia said...

Well Speed nauseated us to no end with the exploitive replays of Danica's wreck but I have to say I'm happy to read she got the pole for NW race.

Sure the Fox guys will go over board even MORE now on her, but in DP defense, she can't control the media.

We will have the tv on mute if the guys over do her hype & mess up the camera work, which they will do....and have on our local station as long as they don't switch feeds mid sentence 3 times again (Thank you Clear Channel radio robots<insert sarcasm.)

But kudos to Danica for bouncing right back & getting the pole. Good for her.

SD80MAC said...

Speed is still playing the "It's Danica" card. Speed Center has shown the crash at least 4 or 5 times, and used it as a lead-in for a commercial break twice.

I just heard on SiriusXM that Sanica is going to be on the NBC Nightly News tonight.

On the plus side, Dave Moody said that the Danica haters seems to have lost the phone number to call in to the radio shows today. During the time that I have listened to the radio this week, there have been a lot of them calling in.

Anonymous said...

So, I guess if you don't show things as they happen, then they don't actually happen.
I am really at a loss, JD

TEX said...

That Sirius Radio comment is the truth. I was thinking the same thing this afternoon.

Funny that I wasnt the only one that noticed lol.

Anyone got any news on what NBC news said or showed about Danica?
I believe Brian Williams is a big Nascar fan.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Motorsports is completely different than stick and ball sports.

You want to make a point, then compare NHRA, F-1 or other racing series to Sprint Cup.

It's not TV's responsibility to show you death, serious injury or the potential of either.

In motorsports TV, you tell a story of racing and the stories that go into the event.

If something happens, you stand back and document the issues. A wideshot from the backstretch camera would have documented the Danica issue.

Taking the in-car camera angle live before you know if she is injured is flat-out BS and racing people know it.


RWar24 said...

JD, Speed didn't throw it to a live in-car shot without knowing she was okay. I really think you're grasping at straws here. With Danica being the talk of the town, you can't really believe the director just jumped into the in-car shot blindly. When broadcasting sports, the network is responsible to show the pictures and tell the stories. Doesn't matter if it's stick and ball, or racing. When I saw the coverage of the wreck, I never thought how Speed covered it would be the subject of a blog topic. If this is what it has come to, it could be a long year. I think there's bigger fish to fry than this.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The one thing missing from your comment is how you know they did not.

I did research, sent email and made phone calls before I blogged.

Help me with what you did?


RWar24 said...

Not sure why you're snapping at me, but whatever makes you feel better. So I assumed you've have communications with the director or an executive assistant as part of your research? We'll just have to agree to disagree about this subject. Have you never seen a TV production truck? They have a live feed of just about every camera displayed on numerous monitors. I don't know 100% because I'm not part of the production team. But don't be so naive about a director knowing or as you believe, not knowing the camera shots he's using on the broadcast.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The BSI truck houses the in-car cams. TV calls the angles or asks them to be adjusted.

The roof cam was online to the TV truck and that could be seen live on TV.

The switch to the in-car of the driver was made live.


Anonymous said...

And JD like it or not it will be the "shot" of the year. Your agenda is painfully obvious. Get over it pal.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Shot of the year? That says a lot about your appreciation of the sport and the athletes who participate.

Sorry, I absolutely do not share the opinion that a YouTube approach to covering motorsports is the way to fly.

Make sure they are safe and alive, then show it a million times. But...first things first.