I normally try to keep my day job stuff separate from this blog. But the other day I had an “it would only happen to me” moment that was too good not to share.
For those who don’t know, I am a journalist. A health care reporter to be exact. There is this website that a lot of journalists use to help find sources for stories. You send a query explaining the expertise you are looking for and people email or call you back explaining why they are qualified to talk about whatever topic it is. Or sometimes they just send a few initial thoughts on the subject, establishing themselves as someone who is articulate in that specific area.
As most any journalist can tell you, there is no shortage of consultants in this country. Apparently, as long as you slap the title consultant on your resume that somehow qualifies you to talk about whatever. Many times, these “consultants” are either people looking to change careers and are trying to establish themselves as an expert in a certain area by getting their name out there and in the press. Other times, people just want to be quoted and it doesn’t matter if it’s a topic they have never studied or cared about, they suddenly have an opinion on it and want to tell you about it. This is why we vet every source, just to make sure we don’t end up with a former refrigerator repairman waxing poetic on the intricacies of health reform.
The other day, I submitted a query for sources to discuss the use of games for the training of health care professionals. I get an email from this guy who said he was the CEO of a company that made me think it was a business consultancy focused on training. He sent a few initial comments that seem on target enough and said he had been quoted and featured in places like the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, ect. His connection to health care, or even gaming, were not real clear so I went to Google to see what I could find.
Tiger tamer. Dude was a freaking tiger tamer.
Yeah, the guy plays with tigers, as in “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” for a living. Oh, and motivational speaker. Because I guess if you can tame tigers, you may have a thing or two to say about conquering fears and what not.
How does this relate to gaming, or even health care, you ask? I’ve got nothing. I wish I knew though because I can guarantee you this could be the first, and only, time a tiger tamer would make an appearance in one of my stories. But I guess after being interviewed on national news stations, he doesn’t need the feather of my health care publication in his cap. Speaking of … He was, indeed, featured on all those places. Because when someone like Steve Irwin dies, he’d be the perfect guy to comment. Health care, not so much. Nice try though Tiger Guy!