Greensboro, NC -- The media frenzy outside the federal courthouse downtown could be the quietest one you'll ever hear.
With nothing but clicking camera shutters to break the silence, John Edwards walked out of the building Monday afternoon and past the lenses of more than a dozen cameras. Crews working for every major cable and network news outlet were there, as were reporters and photographers for each local station. And since cameras aren't allowed in the courtroom, they all sat and waited for hours to get a shot of whoever walked in and out of the doors.
"This is fairly typical for a trial this size, to have this many people out," Geoff Gann said. He had his boom microphone ready just in case Edwards -- or anyone else who walked the media gauntlet -- had anything to say. But everyone stayed quiet.
"You sit and wait to get that moment in case they want to give any kind of sound bite or press release," Gann said. "In the early stages like this, they'll all come out and not say anything."
Gann is a Raleigh-based freelancer who grew up in Greensboro. He's gathering audio for ABC News' "Good Morning America" and "World News." But it's hardly exciting work for a guy who's been at the courthouse since 4 a.m. trying to bring a boring scene to life for a national TV network.
Except for the extremely short bursts when someone walks out the door, or when it's time to step in front of the camera, there isn't much going on. It might make you wonder what all the fuss is about. But there is an appetite for all this coverage, and it's a great excuse for these competitors to play nice.
"In the downtime, it's not like we're all just sitting on pins and needles," Gann said. "We're sitting and we're talking, we're catching up, we're going over new gear. [We're asking] 'Where've you been?', 'What have you covered?', 'What new camera do you have?'
"So it's fun catching up," he said. "[But] talk to me five weeks from now and see how sick we are of each other."
Gann isn't kidding about the timetable. Edwards' trial is expected to take six weeks. And the parking spots the City of Greensboro is leasing to all the news organizations are permitted through June 1. That means there will be a lot of hurry up and wait happening in the weeks ahead.
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WFMY News 2