Wednesday, January 5, 2011
No, not THAT Ted Williams, the dead baseball player. The guy pictured above. The Ted Williams whose story came to light when a Columbus, Ohio newspaper reporter did a story about Ted, a homeless man with a gorgeous voice, who spends his days standing at an intersection begging for money, holding a placard saying he has a great voice and will talk for money. Ted’s had issues with drugs and booze, but says he’s been clean for two years now.
You can see Ted’s story here: http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/51933/golden-voiced-homeless-man-captivates-internet/ This is the video that went viral Monday.
The electronic media quickly picked up on the story, obsessed, as we are, with well-modulated baritone (and bass) voices. The CBS morning show scrambled to get an “exclusive” interview with Ted, and the young hosts immediately patronized him by asking Ted to “say something!!!!” You can see that disgusting interview here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7215353n They treat him as though he were some sort of animal trained to “speak” on command.
Lots of my Facebook friends are broadcasters, and they posted and re-posted Ted’s story. A Columbus radio station invited Ted to sit in with their morning show. All the media want to milk this story, under the guise of “helping Ted land a gig.”
Now, the offers are pouring in for Ted left and right: ESPN, MTV, a pro sports franchise wants him to be their “voice”, and many more. Ted’s life is changing for the better. The Central Ohio Credit Unions organization was probably the first to try and do something tangible to make Ted’s life better, by hiring him to do an ad campaign for them, and setting up a website.
Ted’s on the Today Show on NBC Thursday morning. I hope they won’t treat him like some sort of trained seal, and ask him to speak on command.
Once in a while, the media DO get something right. Ted Williams’ story could be an example.
Posted by Tim Morrissey at 3:27 PM