Monday, June 29, 2009

What's Wrong With Shaking Hands??

I am not a big fan of Sportsnet's Mike Toth. I have talked to many people that say Mike is a great guy, and I'm sure he is, but his style doesn't do it for me. Mike recently wrote a column for that I found to be very interesting since he is talking about something I have done countless times at Mosaic Stadium, the Agridome, etc. etc.
Mike talks about a recent interview he did with CFL commissioner Marc Cohon where at the end of the interview, Cohon gets out of his chair and extends his hand to Mike's to shake it. Here is what he says about that....

He stuck out his hand for me to shake and as you'll see if you screen the video, my return shake looked a little awkward. Shaking your interview subject's hand, you see, is completely taboo. It's front and centre in the broadcaster's handbook, right beside never forgetting to brush your teeth before going on-air if you've had broccoli for dinner."What's the big deal about a simple handshake?," you might be asking.It's simple. Every award-winning journalist, and even those of us whose trophy cases are absolutely empty, knows that it's crucial to be impartial. Shaking hands with a person on the hot seat completely shreds the host's credibility and when Cohon made his move there was only one thought running through my mind.

Shaking the hand of someone you have just interviewed or about to interview is completely taboo??? Its the wrong thing to do??? I guess if that is the case, I have broken every rule in the broadcaster's handbook over the past many years. I have shaken the hands of many CFL coaches and players, I have shaken the hands of many WHL coaches and players and I have shaken the hands of NHL players as well. This has been done either before an interview or after one.
Yes, guys like Gene Makowsky, Eddie Davis and Neal Hughes have been around long enough to know who I am and vice-versa, but I have not had a problem with shaking the hand of Anthony Calvillo, Henry Burris, Ricky Ray etc. etc. when given the opportunity. To me, I think it shows a sign of respect to shake the hand of someone you've been interviewing instead of just starting a conversation with someone you don't see every day and then walking away a few moments later.

If Thursday and Friday, I happen to shake the hand of Wally Buono, Ken Miller, Brent Johnson or Darian Durant after speaking to them, oh well, bad on me I guess. Bad on me for showing some respect and thanks for their time.


Anonymous said...

Bryan Williams shakes hands with everybody I've seen him interview. Mike Toth is no Bryan Williams. I really have stopped watching anything Sportsnet related unless it is a live game. Whether male/female they are all primped up in this metro sexual manner that quite frankly is distracting. Against my better judgement I was flipping channels, and caught Kypreos' analysis of the draft. McLean was there to just make noise, it's embarrassing to watch.


Portuguese Sensation said...

I agree 100%

I won't shake a guy's hand if its in the middle of a scrum and he's still being interviewed, but if it's a one-on-one then I'll definitely do it. Like you said, it's a sign of respect.

I'll also make a point to shake the hand of a player or coach if it's the end of the season and their final game - a way of saying "thanks" for having to deal with us media folk all the time.