You want a story of inspiration in TV news?
Well here you go......
Last week, FTVLive showed a video of WTSP GM Elliott Wiser parking his car in a handicap spot.
Wiser emailed FTVLive and said, "I am legally disabled and possess a handicapped sticker following a fall off the roof 20 years ago in Seattle. I suffered serious damage to my back and ankle. The placard was clearly displayed on my car. Therefore, your report is incorrect and potentially libelous."
Wiser threatened to take legal action against FTVLive, even though all we said was that he parked in a handicap spot. We never said he parked illegally, we just pointed out that the GM which tells his crews never to parking in a handicap spot, did just that.
FTVLive posted Wiser's reply and his claim that he has been disabled for 20 years. Wiser demanded that we apologize for our story, which we did, even though we never claimed anything more than showing video of him parking in a handicap spot.
After our story, a number of people contacted FTVLive and said that they never knew that Wiser was legally disabled. "Don't recall him ever walking with a limp, complaining about pain... or talking about a roof fall 20 years ago," said one email to FTVLive.
Others say, that he has talked about using his handicap placard to get great parking at Tampa Bay Rays games.
FTVLive has no reason to not believe Wiser when he tells of his disability. We see people at our local gym that park in the handicap spot, go inside, play racquetball and lift some very heavy weights. We have no clue what their disability is, but they sure do well with it.
It seems Wiser also does well with his disability that he has had for 20 years. He posted this picture two years ago on his Facebook page taking batting practice in full uniform at the Tampa Bay Rays stadium.
Then in January he posted this picture where he was able to shovel snow from his parents driveway.
Now, FTVLive has dealt with back-pain for years and we can tell you first hand, shoveling snow is always tough on a bad back. God bless, Mr. Wiser for being able to do that. It hurts us just looking at that picture.
As for parking in the handicap spot? What is interesting is that some station insiders at WTSP claim that Wiser parks his car way at the end of the lot, when he's at the station.
One staffer claims that this is Wiser's car parked by the satellite dishes, which is a long way from the station entrance.
Seems odd, when the handicap spots are located much closer to the building.
It sucks being injured and dealing with back and ankle pain, FTVLive takes our hat off to Mr. Wiser who has dealt very well with his disabling injury over the past 20 years.
The next drink is on us Mr. Wiser, you have done well to overcome your disability and for that you should be proud.