Thursday, August 27, 2015

Twin Trouble for Photographers

Want to throw a bunch of photographers and videographers covering a high-profile criminal case into an angry tizzy – just have the defendant’s twin step into public view first.
That’s exactly what happened Monday as a swarm of media from all over the state was camped out on the third floor of the courthouse waiting for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane to arrive for her preliminary hearing on charges she allegedly leaked grand jury information and lied about it under oath.
Members of the media waited behind a roped off area, poised to attack with their cameras at the first Kane sighting.

But as the elevator doors opened it was Kane’s twin, Ellen Granahan Goffer, who stepped off first, wearing a black jacket, her hair swept up in a bun, sunglasses resting on her head. Immediately, camera men and women began clicking and recording as Goffer walked the narrow runway, set up by security, between the elevators and the courtroom entrance. (All that was missing, by the way, was a red carpet).

Media members didn’t realize they were following Kane’s twin until it was way too late.
Members of Kane’s security detail were behind Goffer, and Kane, wearing a bright reddish orange dress, followed them. But all cameras were still on Goffer, a chief deputy state attorney general in Kane’s office, and Kane was able to slip into the courtroom virtually unnoticed by camera-people. There was only about 15 to 20 feet between the elevator and the courtroom door.

My colleague at the Times Herald, Dan Clark caught the dramatic moment on his cell phone video camera. Take a look:Video

Photographers scrambled when they realized their mistake but to no avail, they still came up empty handed in the photo department.

Oops. For the experienced, professional photographers used to being in the trenches, it definitely stung. Imagine those anxious calls to television station and newspaper editors telling them you only captured the twin.

Media members groused throughout the day that they were only able to snap Kane’s twin and that they had to remain until the preliminary hearing ended to get the money shot of Kane as she left the hearing. To add to their annoyance, that hearing went on for more than four hours. Here's video of Kane leaving: Video2

During the wait, I heard a lot of banter about the twin escapade, everyone debating whether it was a deliberate tactic by Kane’s defense team.
“Yeah, I got enough pictures of her sister,” one photographer said loudly to a colleague, eliciting laughter from everyone camped out in the hallway.
Kane and sister The Mercury front page

I don’t know if it was a deliberate ploy. But I have to say even though the sisters look alike, they were dressed differently and wore their hair differently (Kane wore her long locks down over her shoulders, like she traditionally does) and Kane, wearing that bright, reddish orange dress certainly did stand out in the crowd. Kane certainly didn't appear to be trying to fade into the background.

How could they have missed her?

Have to admit even though it stung my counterparts in the news business that sister act was one dramatic, entertaining moment that will be remembered for a long time.


  1. Carl, you should have come down a visited me. We had a great view. Stan

  2. I wish I had been there for that better view; We were all scrambling that day for the best spot; I zigged as the defendant's entourage zagged but still got some video. Thanks for your response.