Each week, we will profile an esteemed member of the local media and ask them five questions, for better or worse.
Name: Isiah Carey Employer: KRIV Fox 26 Title: Investigative Reporter
Fox 26 investigative reporter Isiah Carey is a YouTube celebrity, an often dubious distinction and a source of embarrassment for many who are uncomfortable with that kind of spotlight, but Carey seems to revel in it. Rather than allowing his unintentionally comic turn on camera that made it as far as the Tosh.0 show on Comedy Central to become a problem, he made it into an asset.
Now Carey is one of the most engaging and entertaining media personalities in Houston on Twitter and Facebook, where oft-used phrases like "the devil is busy," funny photos and discussions of decidedly non-news topics are far more common than journalism, which he saves for his blog and his regular news segment The Isiah Factor.
We asked him about all of it in our five questions.
You use social media and the Internet a lot. How do you think that benefits you? I think it lets people online and in Houston know I'm accessible and real. No stiff-shirt reporter here. I'm one of them and I hope they take that into consideration if they need help telling their story or exposing a lie in the community.
Tell me about your turn as a viral video celebrity. I was absolutely crazy. At first I was embarrassed by the video, but after they started an Isiah Carey Fan Club in Manchester, England, I said let me ride this train all the way to Comedy Central. I think the public is sharp enough to know I was just a bit upset when a bug jumped in my mouth. We'd all react the same -- well, not quite the same but almost like I did. But the video has done nothing but helped me. People who have never seen me on the news in my 20-year career now know me because of a video on YouTube. I take the recognition where I can get it. But I also think it translated into more viewers for FOX 26 and my new segment called The Isiah Factor. Instead of people saying, "Aren't you that guy from YouTube?" now they say, "What's up, Factor!"
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Your Twitter presence is rather unique. Did you take to it right away or did it take you awhile to get comfortable? I had to figure it out. I was used to immediate reaction on Facebook because I have thousands of friends over there. I didn't know what to do with Twitter. What I did know was, I wasn't going to Tweet boring teases for my news stories all day. People get tired of that. So, I decided to tweet me. And that's what you get mainly from my page -- me -- with a few sprinkles of story updates.
You don't like to hear from homebodies on Twitter. What advice would you give them to make them more interesting? I would tell them to walk out of the house. They're constantly home. Find a babysitter and get out and live a little. But if your children and your home is your life, just chill out with me on Twitter. I'll keep them company...Booyaa!
If the devil is busy right now, what exactly is he doing? He's probably directing all of my news tips from my sources over to Wayne Dolcefino at KTRK TV 13. I told Wayne to pray to keep the Devil away!