Rarely is it ever a good idea for the reporter to become the story, and now Mexican TV reporter Lydia Cumming knows why.
The 24-year-old journalist was sent out last week by TV Azteca to cover flooding in the city of Puebla, located in central Mexico.
“The scene is devasting as it has affected many Mexican families with water all over their homes,” reported the Latin Times.
Cumming interviewed two residents about how the disaster had affected their elderly neighbor.
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The couple very kindly offered to carry Cumming, mic in hand, to the neighbor’s house through the wet streets so she wouldn’t get her shoes wet.
She later said she didn’t have the proper clothing, or boots, with her on the assignment.
“I try to maintain a good relationship with people and I was afraid I would sound rude if I turned down the favor,” she told the newspaper El País. “They carried me two seconds and after I asked them to put me down.”
But a photojournalist on the scene took a picture of her being carried and posted it to Cumming’s personal Facebook page.
Another journalist saw it and posted it to Twitter calling Cumming “shameful.”
But then all hilarity broke loose. Cumming became an instant meme under the hashtag #LadyReportera.
People Photoshopped her into scenes from “Star Wars” movies, “Game of Thrones” and “Titanic.”
She even popped up on the moon.
The Beatles got in on the act, too, re-creating the moment.
Her boss, however, didn’t laugh.
He posted his own tweet: “She was fired yesterday. I'm sorry for what happened. Her attitude is regrettable and for this we sacked her.”
According to BuzzFeed, an official statement from TV Azteca said that it “does not penalize the dissemination of the images but the lack of respect shown towards neighbors who were part of the reporter’s coverage.
“For this reason, Lydia Cumming is no longer part of this home. TV Azteca collaborators are obligated to respect all people and the code of conduct that is part of our company.”
Shortly thereafter Cumming posted an apology to Twitter.
“I admit my mistakes,” she said. “The photos show a lack of professionalism and tact.”
She said she still wants to be a journalist.
“I love this profession. I’ve covered various floods in which I’ve gotten wet and it has never mattered to me,” she said. “After all of this has quieted down a little, I will continue to look for opportunities.”