Every once in a great while, I see things on TV that simply make me marvel. Like the other day when I saw an ad for a hem device called Style Snaps. It stirred something inside me.

Sewing has always been a part of my life. My mother made most of my clothes when I was a child. Seeing her sit at the Singer was as natural as watching her stir a pot of sauce on the stove or mix cake batter at the counter.

I don't sew much anymore, but I do mend and hem. If you haven�t had to hem pants, skirts or dresses, consider yourself lucky, hemming can be tedious. Watching the Style Snaps commercial, I witnessed the most amazing thing.

The ad touted, "Finally, an adhesive snap hem that allows you to simply snap under your long hem for flats and unsnap to slip back into heels. You can change your shoes, not your pants, to get the look you want."

And it's not only for hems, "You can use Style Snaps to tame unruly lapels, belts and shirts � without a stitch. It�s fabric friendly and a cinch to apply. It just couldn�t be easier!"

Glazing over, I thought, wow, what a great idea! Style Snaps was almost better than the invention of the light bulb. I felt history was being made.

It's safe to say that I haven't ever purchased any TV offers. Well, I take that back…maybe there was that one time when I ordered 8-track tapes of Dionne Warwick, Simon and Garfunkel and Credence Clearwater Revival back in the '70�s.

With Style Snaps, I definitely felt I was under a spell. The 32 Style Snaps deal, a $40 value for only $10 seemed irresistible. No more hemming the old-fashioned way.

As I toyed with the tantalizing notion of calling the number scrolling across my TV, I casually jotted it down, just in case I might need it.

I�ve always been fascinated by the influence of the media over what people think, say and do. It�s one of the reasons my career is in media and why I'm a bit of a news junkie. Every night, I have to get my CNN fix.

One evening recently, while watching Anderson Cooper reporting from an undisclosed location in Cairo, I heard him say something I�ve never heard before from a reporter.

Peering into the camera, addressing millions of viewers around the world, he said, "I must admit, I am really feeling scared right now."

Earlier that day, Anderson and his TV crew were caught in the throes of the Cairo protests. An angry mob attacked and beat them, causing them to stop roaming the streets while reporting the news as it happened.

As a former newspaper reporter and photojournalist, I know from training and experience that we are required to expertly and objectively cover the news and must also masterfully stuff our feelings. Our job is to rise above our subjectivity and tell the story with complete objectivity.

Don't get me wrong; from time to time, I know journalists covering major disasters and accidents have done so with tears in their eyes, e.g., Good Morning America's Robin Roberts reporting on Hurricane Katrina from Gulfport, Mississippi in 2005. But rarely if ever do journalists reveal on camera the very human emotion of fear.

As I watched Anderson crouched in a closet somewhere in Cairo and heard him honestly express himself, another kind of history was being made.

You may argue that he crossed the line and ceased reporting at that moment. I beg to differ. When Anderson Cooper personalized the danger he and his crew were in with those stirring words, more so than ever, he drove home the news in a very real and effective way.

 A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a national and state award-winning columnist. Her columns have won first-place in National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. In the 2009 and 2010 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula�s columns took five first-place awards statewide. To contact Paula, email, follow her blog at and find her on Facebook.

2011� Paula Damon

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