TAMPA — Most who tuned in to the Tampa Police Department’s Nov. 28 news conference broadcast live on television and social media immediately learned of the arrest of a suspect in the killing of four in Seminole Heights. But the deaf or hearing impaired watched in confusion. There was an American Sign Language interpreter on camera at the news conference, but little of what she signed made sense. “She sat up there and waved her arms like she was singing Jingle Bells,” Rachelle Settambrino, who is deaf and teaches ASL at the University of South Florida, said Sunday through an interpreter. “I was disappointed, confused, upset and really want to know why the city of Tampa’s chief of police who is responsible for my safety and the safety of the entire community did not check her out.” Settambrino is not alone in her confusion.
I watched that video and saw nothing wrong. Which is exactly what the sign language interpreter was hoping for. She for sure thought no one was going to notice she was signing gibberish. She thought to herself, “How many deaf people are watching this anyway? I’m assuming it’s zero.” And her assumption is right by the way. Since when do deaf people watch random press conferences about a serial killer? I always thought there was a sign language interpreter at these just to cover all bases. Like when we did the Tailgate Show from Iowa City without sound a guy sued us (a guy Dave hilariously called a “ambulance-chasing deaf guy). Unlike us, major channels know they have to have an interpreter just so they don’t get sued. Cause I guarantee there have been press conferences before where the interpreter was signing pure gibberish and nobody noticed. But since there just so happened to be one deaf person watching this press conference, she’s fucked. She got exposed. Tough luck.
PS- I could not find a YouTube video of the #AdGate press conference when Hank was doing sign language. It would’ve fit perfectly here. It’s nowhere to be found. Milmore has it on his phone and he sent it to me but I don’t know how to upload it. But if you know what I’m talking about, think about it right now. Just as good as watching the real thing.