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Sam Champion

Clash Over Tornado Coverage

5/11/2010 5:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion made a cameo appearance on a local Oklahoma newscast this morning -- when he was caught bitching at a news crew on live TV.

Sam Champion
It all went down near the crumbled remains of a local gas station that was knocked over when a tornado hit Oklahoma City yesterday. The crew from KOKH was doing a live shot at the scene, when Champion -- who was setting up to do a shot at the same gas station -- came into frame.

Champion -- clearly pissed that he was being shot by another crew -- started to bark orders to the KOKH crew to get "back" and then shoved his notebook in front of the camera to block the shot.

While the KOKH camera continued to broadcast live from the scene, Champion -- who was once again in the shot -- told the crew, "You know the deal." The KOKH cameraman can be heard saying, "What deal?"

Champion responds, "You know where you're supposed to be ... so be there. It's alright ... it's all good ... so just be there."

Generally, news crews don't shoot outside talent as a professional courtesy -- but it was a live shot at the scene of a disaster.

So the question is ...


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Previous 15 Comments | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10


I think that people are confused. KOKH (FOX affiliate) is one of the tv stations for Oklahoma City not a one truck town. Also some of the towns that were hit are certainly more than a one truck town. Norman, for instance, is the home to the UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA. I am sure that some of you have heard of it. They did have 3 of the top 6 draft picks in the NFL this year. Anyways, I have always liked Sam Champion and I get that the other news crew probably shouldnt have walked into his area but he also should have been a bit nicer. It was a natural disaster that just happened and people were killed so I dont think that a little courtesy on both sides could have been too much to ask.

1587 days ago

sammy calrk    

Sam thinks that only he and GMA matters, Hey buddy this is oklahoma is best not to piss us off!

1587 days ago

Bus Rand    

It's not about who's shot it was, or who should've been where. The news is important, but it has become an entity unto itself where serving itself is the first priority. What's lost in the comments about "invasion of space" is the fact that not a 1/4 mile south of this location are the ****tered dreams of people who have lost their homes, their pets, everything they own. People died in this storm, but that seems not to be the concern of Sam Champion, only the opportunity for ratings. It is clear his true feelings (and those of CNN) towards those of us in "fly over" country. If this is the attitude here, no wonder main-stream media have no ethical problems with manipulating elections.

I live here, not 3 miles from where this incident took place and I understand why I wasn't allowed to check on friends of mine. But if I can't go in then Sam and ABC shouldn't be allowed in either, their ratings be damned.

1587 days ago


We're in a state of emergency, devastated by tornadoes 2 days in a row and all tmz covers is two jackass camera men fighting? I'm pretty sure you covered the devastation in Haiti, the volcano in Iceland, Nashville's flooding, and yet no Oklahoma, no Kansas, no tornadoes.
I'm disappointed.

1587 days ago

Chellie from OKC    

Our local crew should've been able to get the shot first. It was about damage in Oklahoma therefore Oklahoma crews have the right of way!!! We're trying to watch the damage about our state on our channels and some stupid guy from New York decides he's the boss? Whatever!!!

1586 days ago


I am a big fan of GMA and like Sam Champion. I am also a fan of KOKH too. I don't understand why he got so upset, after all isn't this the way of the media these days? Haven't they created this in your face get the shot no matter what frenzy? The whole issue here is whose going to get the best shot and Sam didn't want to be upstaged. Unfortunately Sam's true colors have surfaced. His Mr. Nicey Nice persona maybe a little tarnished. The best thing here is for all parties to shake and say, 'can't we all be friends?'

1586 days ago


So there are rules. Good for state fairs, Times Square, etc. but when you come to a place where there has just been a natural disaster and people have died, the rules are just stupid. It's about being human and having compassion. Not about being a Diva. Right or wrong, he still should have been more respectful to our local news crews and our state. It wasn't about him. He's not always the story.

1586 days ago


two sides to every story. i would want to hear both sides. it does make an interesting story in itself.

1583 days ago

Sheree Deal    

Really? You think that was newsworthy? I happen to like Sam Champion and I see nothing offensive there. Give me a break. Looks like he was setting up his shot when another news crew came into his working area. I am sure there were plenty of fresh "disaster" areas to shoot from. If there was a type symbol for rolling your eyes, I would add it here.

1422 days ago

P. Moonwood    

THIS is what we're most concerned about? What is the BIG DEAL? I'm from Oklahoma--majored in Mass Communications--worked in TV, radio, newspaper, etc. Professional courtesy, please! Sam should have had MORE, and camera crew should have had SOME. Tempest in a teapot, if you ask me. Build a bridge and get over it!

1421 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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