Marc Kovac: The Best of Shaky Video
For the November issue of Columbus Monthly, I wrote about my unique contribution to Statehouse journalism: “shaky video,” the nearly 7,200 clips I posted on YouTube over the past decade that offered an unvarnished record of political happenings around Capitol Square and Ohio. Though my days on the Statehouse beat are over, you can still appreciate my handiwork online. Here some of my greatest hits, from the serious to the silly. Pick up the November issue of Columbus Monthly, on newsstands now, to read the full story.
There are several death penalty-related shaky videos, including a tour of Ohio’s Death Chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville and my complete prison interview with Brett Hartman about a month before he was executed for the murder of an Akron-area woman.
I occasionally posted unedited clips from editorial board meetings, where we interviewed gubernatorial and other candidates for statewide offices. You might have viewed some of these without realizing it—earlier this year, Democrats slammed Republican Josh Mandel for comments he made during one of those sessions that Democrats viewed as a pledge to fulfill his term as state treasurer, weeks before launching a run for U.S. Senate. Mandel is also featured in another one of my most viewed clips: a Mitt Romney rally at an eastern Ohio coal mine where Mandel, a Northeast Ohio native, briefly seems to affect a Southern accent.
When the former attorney general resigned in 2008 as a result of a sexual harassment scandal, I was a few feet away from him in the governor’s ceremonial Statehouse office, recording Dann as he walked out of the room in silent disgrace.
Senate Bill 5
There are dozens of shaky videos related to the debate about Senate Bill 5, the Legislature’s failed attempt to roll back collective bargaining rights, and the tens of thousands of protesters it drew to the Statehouse, along with footage of the outcry in the Ohio General Assembly.
The last two Ohio chief executives are featured prominently in shaky video. In 2008, I followed Gov. Ted Strickland around a darkened governor’s residence during a prolonged power outage, with shaky video of him pushing a frog to jump. I also was there when Strickland railed outside the Statehouse about negative campaign ads and the “desperate” tactics of Republicans when a man inside an orange squirrel costume stepped out behind him and danced. “He’s a squirrel, he can’t talk,” the furry creature’s handler told me and other reporters when we asked for comment. You’ll also find no other online resource with so many readily available clips of Strickland’s successor, John Kasich, during his two terms as governor, talking about everything from high-speed trains to dangerous wild animals, including this clip in which Kasich offers tips on how to deal with a grizzly bear.
Other Political Animals
There are also shaky videos of dancing frogs and roaring bison and coiled rattlesnakes and screaming sheep. And chickens. I could go on and on. Plus, there’s an entire series of clips titled “livestock flatulence,” and some nearly naked animal rights protesters passing out bananas on a street corner near the Statehouse.
The Best of the Rest
Dave Yost singing:
Sherrod Brown dancing:
Circumcision opponents protesting: