Bend Over, JARheads
WJAR-TV, Channel 10, the local NBC station, was publicly shamed and disgraced — and rightly so — by The Urinal’s recent excellent front pager by Jacqueline Tempera that pointed out that the JARhead’s Big Daddy, Sinclair Broadcast Group, was forcing them to air pre-packaged promo pieces for President Trump and his policies (read: unhinged, constantly changing rantings).
Nowadays, a media outlet getting pimped out by its corporate overlord is hardly news, no pun intended. Rupert Murdoch, the Australian “Dirty Digger,” rules as king of that strategy, abetted by the twisted genius of Roger Ailes. But WJAR has been Little Rhody’s flagship TV station, and to have them bending over for a carpetbagger like Sinclair is a particularly galling slap in the face to its viewers.
Being forced to run total crap pieces like “Bottom Line with Boris,” a supposed political analysis piece featuring Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump administration Jewish (wait a sec, instantly irate readers, it’s relevant, read on) guy who is “credited” with having written The Donald Duck Dynasty’s offensive Holocaust Memorial statement that didn’t mention Epshteyn’s tribe at all, despite that little matter of unspeakable genocide during World War II, is another headbutt to any viewer with a brain. Add to that the distasteful fear porn of the Terrorist Alert Desk and pieces by a former Sinclair exec named Mark Hyman, which are Trump agenda puff pieces that masquerade as unbiased, and you can kiss Channel 10’s credibility goodbye.
So what happened with the JARheads? One would think that anyone with a degree of respect for their own credibility — and yes, we’re looking directly to the conscience of the station, Frank Coletta, and we love ya, buddy — would simply resign in disgust. Channel 10’s rep has been almost spotless in past years, except for their amusing misspellings on their graphics, P&J’s favorite being the one about their own NBC headquarters in New York, titled “Rockerfeller (sic) Center.”
But the quality at Channel 10 has plummeted in recent years, and institutional knowledge is almost non-existent. Since the days of superior behind-the-scenes management like Betty-Jo Cugini, Lisa Churchville and Jim Martin, the only one left with any standing in P&J’s eyes are the underrated R.J. Heim and assignment editor Artie Tefft, who, if there is indeed a God, will be in the RI Journalism Hall of Fame at some point. Patrice Wood hasn’t left the studio to do a news story in over 30 years and Gene Valicenti has become a joke. Phillipe and Jorge have lauded Valicenti in the past for his reporting skills in the field, brash and confrontational in the best way. Now that he is doubling down with his cross-platform morning radio show on WPRO, he has become a self-promoting blowhard. The most obnoxious bit being at the end of most ‘PRO broadcasts, when he says, “Watch me tonight at six o’clock on Channel 10.” Watch you do what, Gene? Read someone else’s news copy off a teleprompter?
WPRI Channel 12 is not without some blame for being tied to the local Fox news broadcasts, which are flawed at their core. But their investigative reporting team with Tim White, Dan McGowan, et al. blows away the JARheads’ I-Team, which has never been as good as when Jim Taricani, Dyana Koelsch and Polly Reynolds were taking names and kicking ass years ago.
And today’s news reporters are abysmal. Their sole goal in life seems not to be good journalists who are insulted by merely being asked to cover car crashes in Burrillville, but to get their faces on TV. The best and most visible example of that syndrome is NBC’s “Today” show, which features a gaggle of embarrassingly desperate-for-attention mental midgets talking over one another as loudly as they can to grab the spotlight. Oh well, we doth protest too much.
The loathsome Steve Bannon’s Breitbart news operation is a mere pimple compared to the smallpox outbreak of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, and now, Sinclair, that have defaced journalism. And seeing how Channel 10 has become yet another Chump for Trump, P&J know we will be doing our viewing elsewhere.
Governor Gigi’s Bridge
Here in Rhode Island, “The ‘Expect Delays’ State,” Governor Gigi Raimondo has felt it to her benefit to use RI Department of Transportation signage about road construction as another form of campaign posters. They usually tout how well RIDOT has been improving our streets and highways, and Gigi thinks that she can grab a few votes from folks who aren’t having their teeth rattled or hubcaps popped by roads that look like the way out of Kabul.
Now we have the Newport Bridge construction, which is a bit geo-centric and maybe not relevant to most Vo Dislunders’ cares, wants or needs. But it is a living nightmare to anyone who has to cross the span at any time of day. A recent back-up of a half an hour on a Sunday night at 6pm makes a convincing argument to Phillipe and Jorge.
What is even more frightening is the public safety risk. A pal recently told us that if he has a heart attack in Jamestown, take him to South County Hospital, because he’ll die in traffic if the ambulance tries to go over the Newport Bridge. Likewise, if there is an accident going either way on the one-lane portions, because since Jersey barriers were installed, there is no way to turn around, unless you are driving the Batmobile or Agent K’s supersonic Elvis-blasting megacar in Men in Black. But Rhode Islanders are such renowned good drivers that could never happen, right?
Since Gigi doesn’t have to deal with this hot mess every day, let’s give our not-so-warm and definitely-not-cool governor the attention she craves, and put on every road sign that includes the words “Expect Delays” about the Newport Bridge, “Brought to you by Gov. Gina Raimondo.” She certainly deserves it.
Rest in peace, Claiborne.