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My Mad Madoff Moment

Thursday, 18 Dec 2008 | 9:26 AM ET

Never let 'em see you vent. Wednesday was a banner day for me and photographer Oscar Molina.

While nearly every other TV crew and reporter figured nothing was gonna happen involving Bernie Madoff at the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, we got a hot tip from WNBC's Jonathan Dienst that Madoff slipped into the building and would emerge momentarily.

We got a TV exclusive. Yes, there were some still photogs present, but we were the first and only ones getting video and throwing questions at the man who has confessed to bilking investors out of billions.

Madoff Latest
Bernard Madoff made an appearance at a New York courthouse as a judge changed the terms for his bail. CNBC's Mike Huckman has the latest.

I've been in TV news for more than 25 years, and it's still an adrenaline rush to get "the get." So, there I was -- basking in the glow of our scoopage when I blew it. And I didn't even know I was blowing it. Shortly after scoring the Madoff stuff, I was preparing to go live with the hot tape. But in my earpiece I was told my video for the live report would consist of a freeze frame of Madoff leaving court. No exclusive sound. No exclusive video. I felt strongly that we should be using our material -- material our competition didn't have. And I blew a gasket. That was bad enough, but it got worse. While I was venting, someone else was getting his own exclusive - using his cell phone to get video and sound of me behaving badly. And now it's on YouTube for all to see.

And here's my New Year's resolution: behave as if everyone has a camera, and never let 'em see you vent.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com