Tammy Haddad, the veteran TV news producer who left MSNBC in November, where she was executive producer of Hardball with Chris Matthews to start her own consulting gig, has hit the campaign trail with her "TamCam," a $700 Sanyo camcorder.
She has been getting some great scoops including an exclusive interview with Senator Ted Kennedy immediately after his Obama endorsement. Her roughly edited pieces are published on Newsweek.com, where she is consulting.
The small camera, that looks like watering gun, has a hard drive and internal mic. It’s unobtrusive and less intimidating than the ones her camera crews had in her broadcast days. Approaching presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee for an interview the candidate wondered, "Is that a loaded gun, Tammy?"
The TamCam moniker is from Politico’s Mike Allen, a fellow traveler on the primary trail.
Also using the Sanyo XACTI is Greta Van Susteren on her GretaWire. Also, we are told by sources close to NBC News, that Brian Williams has a Sanyo for his blog — although not sure if he’s used it yet.
Another journalist/blogger, using a hand held video camera to get some great scoops is Kara Swisher from the Wall Street Journal. Jeff Jarvis recently returned from Davos where he used a Nokia phone provided by Reuters to upload video. This is happening!
To understand how small cameras are providing unique access and the sort of transparent immediacy that is part of the new world of Web video news, we sat down with Tammy a week ago at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Fortunately Beet’s David Kavanaugh was in Vegas shooting a conference. Tammy was in town for the Miss America Pageant. Tammy’s on the pageant’s board.
As previously reported, Tammy will produce a six hour web cast on Super Tuesday from the Washington Post/Newsweek studios in D.C.
You can grab the video of this interview right here.
— Andy Plesser