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Ben Craw Headshot

America's Reporters Touch Some Oil: The Mediagasm

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Anytime there is some massive, unfolding disaster in the world, you can usually count on America's reporters getting dressed down and venturing forth to the benighted location to engage in some extreme, on-scene reporting. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is no different, and for weeks, we've watched news teams head to the stricken region to touch the oil and smell the oil and pick at the oil and splash around in the oil in order to drive home the message: GOOD GOD, EVERYTHING IS COVERED IN OIL.

I think enough time has passed that we can take a look at these efforts and identify some good and bad practices, and this latest video mash-up from Ben Craw has an equal dose of both. It's safe to say that we can offer some pretty solid advice to America's gulf-bound teevee reporters. First, do not touch the oil with your bare hands! We spent all last year sanitizing our hands and sneezing "Sebelius style," so we've all had good hygiene drilled into our heads. So, wear some gloves, okay? It's grossing us out.

Also, when offering your on-the-scene insights, maybe you need to go a little farther with your power of description. It's not necessary to say that the oil "looks like oil" or that the oil "smells like oil." Now, if the oil smells like fluffernutter, go ahead and relate this information.

Finally, we can't say enough for the hearty souls who have taken the plunge, into the oil, to give us those harrowing images about what is going on under the surface of the water. Without those reports, BP would probably be successful in making the claims that the gigantic oil flumes that are fluming their way across the Gulf of Mexico were an urban legend. But, people, I cannot stress this enough: wear a hazmat suit! Do not swim in this stuff with your bare skin exposed. You wouldn't subject your dermis to the brine of the Gowanus Canal, would you? Well, the Gulf makes the Gowanus look like Magens Bay, all right?

Anyway, be careful out there, reporters!

Video produced by HuffPost's Ben Craw

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