Of all the stories I’ve done, this one has had, by far, the longest tail….most radio stories disappear into the ether almost immediately. After this one aired in December of ’08 on NPR, and the blogosphere grabbed it (most notably the good people at boingboing) it sparked a huge amount of media attention on the Vegas tunnels. Since then, dozens of journalists and camera crews have paraded through the ‘homes’ of tunnel dwellers.
The story kind of changed Matt O’Brien’s life too. Matt wrote the book Beneath the Neon, and introduced me to the people living under the strip. In the story, I mused that Matt should become the official guide to the tunnels, in a city that capitalizes on every possible way to separate tourists from their money. Well…he has become the official go-to guy, at least for journalists, TV crews and documentary producers. I’m not sure I should say “you’re welcome, Matt”, or “I’m sorry, Matt”. Probably both….
Recently, a BBC Radio 4 program called Americana ran the story, and then, just a few days ago, the Beeb published a text version, online. I didn’t know when the online print story would run, exactly, but Matt sure let me know. He called today, to say his phone is (again) ringing off the hook.