Drunk journalist covering Obama quits with the f-word and, oh, it's on YouTube

Adam Smith has a hangover after being filmed drunk, sitting on a sidewalk, admitting to stealing material from the BBC. And quitting.

Adam Smith has a headache today.

And it's nothing to do with the world economy.

Mr. Smith flew to Miami to work with the "Miami Beach, baby" Obama campaign and to try and "make the world a better place."

At least that is what he is now claiming. And it may well be true.

However, he was filmed, seated on the sidewalk, somewhat the worse for wear, filing copy for his newspaper, the estimable Birmingham Mail of England's second city.

The chap who filmed him, a highly altruistic Dutch amateur journalist from the famed Couscous Global, a "worldwide website community where young people from all over the world between the ages of 16 and 25 share their most personal issues," managed to capture some fine quotes.

For example: "I wanted to be here because I'm here for history. The trouble is the readers of the Birmingham Mail are going to get my version of history. And I'm a little bit pissed."

That would be pissed as in more sheets to the wind than it takes to win the America's Cup.

The intrepid Dutchman also obtained this jewel: "And thank god for the BBC, because I'm cutting and pasting, oh, baby!" Which sounds remarkably like an admission that Mr. Smith was copylifting from the BBC.

The crescendo of sidewalk drama reached a piercing pitch, however, with Mr. Smith's declaration: "My name is Adam Smith, also known as Steve Zacharanda, who has just resigned from the Birmingham Mail, the Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Sunday Mercury, to set up my own magazine...F**k you, I'm doing what I want."

Naturally, the chap from Couscous Global immediately went back to his tent on the beach and uploaded the 3 minutes and 47 seconds of intimate honesty on YouTube.

Miami seen through Adam Smith's eyes the morning after. CC Riverspring

Equally naturally, Mr. Smith sobered up and said, in another video on YouTube: "I was off duty, I am on official holiday working at the South Beach Miami Barack Obama campaign where I had just done a 18-hour shift trying to make the world a better place."

He added: "Please check every BBC News outlet and see if I have cut and pasted anything. I have not, it was a joke and should be taken in the spirit it was said."

However, it appears that the man from Couscous also uploaded a second video, in which Mr. Smith, although still plastered, gives a perfect expression to why the American attitude to life is superior to the European.

Journalists are noted for their sense of humor. Oh, no, wait, that's bloggers, isn't it?

So it is with something of a heavy head (jetlag-induced, I assure you) that I must reveal that his employers, despite living in the one of the more amusing parts of the UK, with unquestionably the most amusing accent (think Ozzie Osbourne without the rock star mansion), are acting like a three-weeks constipated Queen Victoria.

They are refusing to comment, declaring it "an internal matter." But Mr. Smith, in his morning-after video, says that he has heard they are saying he brought his employers' company into disrepute. He also reveals he is losing his job, along with 65 other people as part of recessionary retrenchment.

I think Mr. Smith, who was clearly so far out of his tree that he might really been able to see Moscow from Anchorage, deserves forgiveness and understanding. He was caught up in the throws of history. Was Napoleon, for example, ever sober? Didn't Churchill have a few snifters on a daily basis?

Moreover, he wants to call his new magazine "Goggle-Eyed", perhaps a homage to Google's new drunken email prevention technology . And through the boozy haze of the first video he makes two very cogent, important and related statements.

One: "I'm a hard new journalist." Two: "I'm a bit of an idiot."

Adam, I will be visiting my Mum and Dad in Birmingham the week after next. Shall we meet for a drink? Just the one, you understand.

 

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