Journalism

Man Ends Six-Day Tower Standoff

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A 25-year-old man has finally agreed to come down from a Tulsa television station’s tower six days after climbing it and defying would-be rescuers.

In all, he spent 127 hours nearly 150 feet in the air.

Somehow, he got onto the property of the Clear Channel Communications’ KOKI-TV and climbed 100 feet up the tower on Thursday. He last accepted water the following day, then threatened to jump if police and firefighters attempted to reach him.

During his standoff, reporters began digging into his identity and background, discovering a sad tale of a former inmate who was released from April and is dealing with a baby on the way and his mom battling cancer.

Mental health workers expressed frustration with a growing crowd of onlookers, urging them to show compassion to the man. Experts feared some of the more enthusiastic fans might try to encourage him to jump.

Police claim the man even expressed concern to them about onlookers, asking why they were there, specifically pointing out people who had brought their children along.

It’s an interesting commentary on the interest of the general public during such a tense situation. Many question why some television stations will stay on a high-speed chase for hours on end (provided they have the ability to do so) rather than focusing on “real news.”

Yet given the chance, the public will set aside concern about the economy, jobs, world peace, the AIDS crisis, famine and poverty in order to bring their children to the scene of a possibly-unstable man who may be about to leap to his own demise.

Why does the media think anyone would be interested in all the negative stories it covers? Why, indeed.

6 Comments

  1. @kevinsmithparr Yeah, I’m not sure which agency would be most likely to help, though. In a case like this, probably a group like United Way that funds many smaller community organizations would be a great place to start.

  2. The lyrics of the song Dirty Laundry by Don Henley comes to mine…

    I make my living off the evening news

    Just give me something-something I can use

    People love it when you lose,

    They love dirty laundry

    Look at the local evening, they usually lead-in with a story about a car crash or a house fire, I think people want to see other people who are worst off than they are.

  3. People used to bring their children to watch public executions. We humans are some crazy-ass people. I’m kinda thinking the guy questioning these horrible examples of parenthood may be less “mentally unstable” than he seems, especially considering what-all is going on in his life. I think if my husband could physically do this, he might be tempted to do something similar. 😉

  4. Thats really sad! i think we all should support and donate for such cases, i would like to help this man!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.