Saturday, November 18, 2006

Snakeman Dies

OK, not the guy himself, just the story about him. WUSF has decided not to run my story about Jim "Snake Man" Mendenhall. Had you going there, though, didn't I?

Blame this blog. A few days after the acting news director asked if I had a blog (Yes) and requested the link (Here it is) but wouldn't say why she needed to read it (I asked twice), I wrote her back asking what the status was, if any, of the snake man story.

She replied that she was going to have to refer me to the woman who oversees content for both WUSF Radio and TV. I e-mailed her but haven't heard back. I plan to follow-up with a phone call but it's not going to change the outcome.

I did, at their request, go do some more interviews to add to the piece. Mendenhall puts on shows at the annual Rattlesnake Festival in San Antonio (there's one in Pasco County, Florida, north of Tampa) and I talked to some audience members as well as one of Mendenhall's snake-hunting buddies from childhood, Bob Lawton, who now helps Mendenhall with some of his snake shows. It was quite the sight to watch Lawton distract a king cobra so that Mendenhall could approach closely enough to grab him by the head. They also tried to milk a rattlesnake who was not in a giving mood. "Pretend it's my finger," Mendenhall told the snake. The snake couldn't hear. It didn't have ears.

If you can hear, you can listen to the updated version. My narration sounds livelier. I had dampened my delivery in earlier versions to better fit the NPR sound (or "NPR drone" as some call it).

*If the link doesn't work, try clicking here.


A Girl From Texas said...

Why did they want to know about your blog?

John said...

They wanted to know if I wrote about politics or anything controversial, I suspect. My statcounter tells me someone from WUSF's ISP searched within the blog for "politics." I'm sure they didn't like the recount of my Chris's Plumbing Services experience.

A Girl From Texas said...

Ah. Interesting. Do you think that Chris's plumbing contacted them?

I can tell when someone comes onto my site as a result of a google or yahoo search. Do you know how that particular person found your site.

And searching the word "politics" seems sort of pointless. Blogging a political opinion on something isn't necessarily going to contain the word "politics".

John said...

Chris's wouldn't have had to alert them since I put a link to the story about them at the bottom of almost every post.