Fishing for experts

A self-conscious Romanian joke says we Romanians are expert in everything. When confronted with this issue-usually when guests on talk-shows give their all on topics they know nothing about–my dad loves to play on that and say things like: “I’m the best soccer player among doctors and the best doctor among soccer players.”

Yesterday I had my own shot at becoming an expert and breaking into mainstream Romanian journalism. Here’s how it went down:

My friends are journalists. The friends of my friends are journalists. We are so surrounded by journalists we talk about little else (except maybe music–bad music that is). That’s the context of this story. Yesterday my friend Adi got a call from a broadcast journalist we went to school with. She was looking for me because she was in need of an expert. Adi tells her: “You know, he’s against being on television, but I can have you talk to him and let him turn you down politely.”

When I heard the words “being on television” I panicked. I don’t want to be on television. The first time I was interviewed on camera (I was 13) my mouth felt as if I had just scraped it with deodorant. Still, I took the call because we journalists like to help (and sabotage) each other.

Yesterday was the day of the foiled terrorist plot in Britain and our mutual friend was working on the story. They had reporters in London, they had home-grown security experts and they needed someone to talk about what this will mean for security in American airports.

“Do you want to come on TV and talk about security in American airports?” she asked.

“What do I know about security in American airports?” I replied.

“Well, you lived in Washington.”

Good point I thought. I also flew a lot for my job during the past year. Still, does that qualify me as an airport security expert?

“I’m sorry,” I told her. “Besides being scared of being on television, I don’t know that much about security in airports.”

“Don’t worry,” she said. “We can talk to you over the phone and you can go online and read up on things before going on the air.”

Hmmm, I thought to myself. I could–if I wanted to–play the expert. Tempting, but I wasn’t convinced.

“I can’t do it,” I said. “I’m ruining my shot at glory, aren’t I?”

“You are,” she said, launghing.

And we left it at that. I did not appear on television, I did not play my role as an airport security expert and I lost my last chance at eternal broadcast fame.

After I hung up, I started thinking of this little incident from last week when a pretty woman approached me in a club where we were jumping and yelling. “Do you have a minute?” she asked. “Depends on what you need,” I replied. It turns our she was “Simona from PSI,” and she was looking for young people to participate in a round table on subjects they were familiar with. Experts if you will. The roundtables would get media attention and so on.

What were the roundtables that I was so suited for (in her opinion) about?

Sex and clubbing.

I’m the best hardcore clubber among journalists and the best journalist among hardcore clubbers. And I can fake some sexpertise if need be.

3 Responses to “Fishing for experts”

  1. HEY! I forgot to tell you. I actually made my TV debut on Tuesday, talking about our county commissioner who resigned on our TV news station, SNN 6. I was credited as the “only local journalist” who interviewed the fallen commissioner. I looked terrible, but it was a little fun.

  2. No way! Sara, congrats! And Cristian, you should have played the expert. You could have had Romanians believing all kinds of outlandish thing about American airport security. Although I’d be pretty phobic about going on TV myself.

  3. I would have said yes to PSI (behind the Love Plus condoms), as I’ve enjoyed a Playboy roundtable some 10 years ago. Then again, I like to delusional into believing that my sexpertise developed with time.

    Don’t you just love the accidental way in which “8/10” compliments “9/11”? As for airport security, it is tougher in UK than in US already; I read all about those rules in yesterday’s free WSJ edition 🙂 The expertise IS online.

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