Published November 08, 2008
| London Times
Sometimes, you wake up following a drunken night out and realize you have sent an inappropriate text to an ex-girlfriend or your boss.
And sometimes you realize you have drunkenly admitted to plagiarism on camera, and spectacularly resigned from your job, shouting "F**k you" to your boss.
This is what happened to Birmingham Mail reporter Adam Smith on Wednesday morning, as footage appeared on YouTube of him writing a report on the U.S. election, slumped on a Miami sidewalk, and barely able to speak.
Smith, who also calls himself Steve Zacharanda in the hit video which was viewed almost 20,000 times in 48 hours, had taken a week's vacation to go to Miami to volunteer for Barack Obama's election campaign.
After the victory, and very much the worse for wear, Smith was caught flopped against a set of railings, a laptop on his legs, filing an article about Obama's victory for the Mail.
The maker of the video, a Dutch amateur journalist from Couscous Global, had stumbled across Smith by the roadside, and asked him what he was doing.
"I jumped on a plane on Friday to volunteer for the Barack Obama campaign," Smith slurred. "As an ill-advised promise, I've decided to say to my paper back home that I'd write about the American election.
"I wanted to be here because I'm here for history. The trouble is, the readers of the Birmingham Mail are going to get my version of history. And I'm just a little bit pissed..."
With a laugh and a clap of the hands, he added: "And thank god for the BBC, because I'm cutting and pasting, oh, baby!"
Not wanting to seem too unprofessional, he added: "I'm a proper news journalist."
Smith ended the video by announcing: "My name is Adam Smith, also known as Steve Zacharanda, who has just resigned from the Birmingham Mail, the Birmingham Post and the Birmingham Sunday Mercury, to set up my own magazine. F**k you, I'm doing what I want."
Steve Dyson, editor of the Birmingham Mail, said: "This is an internal matter, so we cannot discuss it."
Asked about the company's attitude towards plagiarism, he added: "Whilst we cannot discuss internal matters, plagiarism will not be tolerated in any form by BTM Media Limited — although we do not believe that any has been taking place."