Even the script of Anchorman was more grounded than the bizarre broadcast career of WSMV-Channel 4's Darian Trotter, who in less than two years as a Nashville reporter has removed his shirt in the middle of a story, annoyed his colleagues by driving a late model BMW with the vanity plate "Newzman," and most recently went to bizarre lengths to expose illicit sex in Nashville. This week, the Scene reported that Trotter paid a male prostitute for an interview. After Trotter, who was posing as a leering john, egged him on, the wandering sex worker flashed himself. Trotter then gave him more money for a second interview, in what was arguably the most embarrassing moment in local television journalism since Francene Cucinello made Nashville her home.
Now the Scene has discovered that Trotter is leering at a woman who posted pornographic images of herself and other women on his website. Yeah, for real. On Trotter's very own web page open to registered members at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Darian_Trotter, there's a new message from a woman who complains that she can't find a decent man. Here's the entry, which is rather Shakespearean in its yearning:
"I was beginning to wonder if there are any real men out there!? seriously, lol! i just want to find a man that knows how to treat a girl. all my life i have had bad relationships with bad, i don't know if it's my fault but i really try to make it good for my partner and not nagg on or annoy my bf. Anyway, im hoping my luck is about to change, signed up at this place yesterday http://www.talkpickuppoint.com/scjg/ and although i am still a bit nervous about meeting some guys im already having alot of fun on there. but if you're interested as well please hit me up over there. my profile is the same as my nick on here."
If you check out the link, you'll spot a series of nude photos. And while we have nothing against women posting nude shots of themselves on the Internet, we find Darian's response to this woman surprising, especially since she's obviously hawking herself on his website:
"Hey Thanks for the link, I will check it out, and check you out. Lol!" he writes.
The rest of Trotter's website is an odd hodgepodge of awkward personal photos, saccharine motivational comments and the most dim-witted viewer feedback south of any production involving Carrot Top. Here's his unbelievably mundane account of a hot button story he reported that could have come from the pen of a junior high journalism student.
"My most controversial story was covering gay marriages. It was months ago. President Bush had just made the announcement that he would support an amendment to ban gay marriages. I interviewed a local gay couple who had just returned from San Fransisco with their marriage certificate. They spoke out against Bush... saying he was just posturing for votes for the upcoming election. To balance the story I sought the reaction of a baptist minister who says his thoughts on gay marriage stem from the teachings of the Bible. The controversy didn't stop there. I found an openly gay minister to counter what the first minister had to say. The emails poured into my webaddress at WSMV. From people on both sides of the debate. I had to remind viewers that I was neutral on the issue. That it was the national news of the day. Our President had just taken a big stance on the issue, so we had to cover it. What better way than to interview a local couple. The balance came in talking to ministers with very different opinions on the issues. That was definitely a hot button issue. And a difficult time to be the reporter on the story."
Trotter's site also features the low-level viewer response his generic reporting seems to engender. To wit:
"hey sup,me and my mom watch you all the time. I love to see your outfits. I alsored the news article on You in the Tennessean. Me and my mother also like the way you say your name after you get done with your story. If it were spelled it would look like this "DARIAN TROTTER channel 4 news". I love the way you say that. It makes everyone else look dull, when they say there there name. I love when you where the hoodie style, it's like a more relaxed you or something. Me and my mom wish you would come to Lawrenceburg sometime. We have alot of things that go-on here, but no-one ever comes hardly. Anywayz, it may sound crazy, but I want to meet you some day and like, get your autograph or somthin. Anywayz, hit me back, thanks.
Gabriel L. R."
And finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't link to some of the photos that Trotter includes on his website, including this one from an old body building competition:
Or this way-too-casual shot of him just hanging out. (By the way, why can't Fox 17-WZTV's Kim Hessell have a website.)
Good times. In any case, Late Edition does not believe that reporters should hide their personalities at all costs, but Trotter's website gives viewer's an off putting glimpse of a showy, vapid reporter who, in his own, odd way, highlights everything that's wrong with broadcast news. In that way, he's done us all a favor.