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Misadventures in Journalism - The Precious Photo-Op

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At least a camel is much more entertaining and inspiring than Patch Adams.

The crusty, cynical journalist in me cringes when I see Press Releases like the one I received promoting an event over the weekend. It said members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Reserves were bringing a camel and a horse to visit with pediatric at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA on Saturday.

Maybe it's part of Mayor Tony Fatigue Syndrome, (who mugs for more cameras than an average American Idol contestant), but this seemed like an excuse to get sick kids and animals together to create a cloying photo-op. On their own kids and animals are hardcore staples of the "soft news" establishment, but putting them together, I instantly wondered if this was some sort of attempt to wag an unknown dog.