WGBH = We’ve Got Bad Habits (Koch Bros. Edition)

February 8, 2014


For several months an environmental advocacy outfit called Forecast the Facts has been protesting the presence of conservative billionaire David Koch on WGBH’s board of trustees. There was a flurry of coverage last October, the highlight of which was this contribution from the feisty local tabloid:




Now comes a new skirmish, according to today’s Herald.

Koch foes say ’GBH gave them wrong meeting date

Environmental protesters planning to picket the WGBH board of trustees this week accused the station of slipping them bad David Kochinformation about the date of the meeting — but the PBS affiliate denied it was a secret plot to thwart their campaign.

“Oh, heavens no,” said Channel 2 spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins. “Of course not. We welcome all comers. We’re open to all.”



(Full disclosure: The hardreading staff used to toil at the World’s Greatest Broadcast House, but we drifted.)

The protesters say the station forecast the meeting for Thursday but held it on Wednesday. Hopkins told the Herald “the station has no record of giving them the wrong date.” And tossed in this priceless endnote:

“We feel bad,” she said, adding, however, that “one person with a very nice flier” did show up Thursday to protest.


See? All it takes is a nice flier.


Fred Willard PBS Backlash Edition

July 22, 2012

After the Boston Globe got totally pwned on Friday by the Boston Herald and New York Times on the Fred Willard: At the Movies story, the local broadsheet bounced back on Saturday with the bounce-back against the firing of Mr. Worst in (PBS) Show:

PBS criticized for firing Fred Willard

The decision by PBS to fire actor Fred Willard after his arrest for lewd conduct at an adult movie theater in LA is spurring something of a backlash. The network wasted no time in canning Willard, who was narrator of the WGBH-produced show “Market Warriors,” a spinoff of “Antiques Roadshow.” (In a statement Thursday, WGBH flack Jeanne Hopkins cited “the unfortunate news” of Willard’s arrest as the reason for his immediate dismissal.) That decision didn’t sit well with a lot of people, some of whom tweeted #FreeFred and “Shame on you, PBS.” Writing in Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker also criticized PBS. “How does Willard’s innocent-until-proven-guilty status merit this? Will viewers really refuse to watch ‘Market Warriors’ because they’ll be repulsed, outraged, by the sound of Fred Willard’s voice?” Contacted Friday, Hopkins said she had nothing to add.

The Herald had nothing in Saturday’s edition. Ditto for the Times.

Score one (sad story) for the Boston Globe.


Fred Willard (Adult) Edition

July 21, 2012

“Best in Show” actor Fred Willard hit the news this week in some, well, unfortunate circumstances.

From Friday’s Boston Globe (link removed):

Fred Willard arrested

Actor Fred Willard was arrested Wednesday [!] on suspicion of committing a lewd act at a Hollywood adult theater. Los Angeles police said officers were conducting a routine investigation of the theater and saw Willard engaged in a lewd act.

That turned into “Worst in Show” for WGBH. From Friday’s Boston Herald:

“Best In Show” star Fred Willard, arrested for pulling a Pee-wee Herman in an adult movie theater in Los Angeles, was fired from his gig on a Boston-producedPBS series less than 24 hours later.

WGBH, which produces the “Market Warriors” show, terminated the comedian after Willard was charged with “lewd conduct” by undercover LAPD cops who allegedly caught the actor with his pants down in the Tiki Theater.

“Given the unfortunate news reported (yesterday), effective immediately Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the ‘Market Warriors’ series,” said Jeanne Hopkins, a spokesgal for Boston’s Channel 2.

The 70-something Willard was the narrator for “Market Warriors,” described as a cross between “The Amazing Race” and “Antiques Roadshow.”

To recap: The Herald was a full news cycle ahead of the Globe on this story.

Which seems totally appropriate.

P.S. Friday’s New York Times also beat the Globe like a rug:

Fred Willard Loses PBS Job After Arrest

The fallout has been swift for the actor and comedian Fred Willard, who was arrested in Hollywood on Wednesday night on a charge of lewd conduct. PBS said Thursday that Mr. Willard had lost his job as the wisecracking narrator of its new show “Market Warriors.” On Monday, PBS introduced the first of 20 episodes of this “Antiques Roadshow” spinoff,  which pits professional antiques pickers in a competition to spot the best bargain.

Jeanne Hopkins, a spokeswoman for WGBH, the Boston public broadcaster that produces the show, said via e-mail, “Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the ‘Market Warriors’ series.” The host of “Antiques Roadshow,” Mark Walberg, will re-voice the episodes that Mr. Willard has already taped, Ms. Hopkins said.

To recap: Everybody was a full news cycle ahead of the Globe on this story.

Before you splendid readers start berating the hardworking staff of IGTLTDT – no, it doesn’t matter.

It’s just interesting.

(Editor’s Note: All quotes from dead-tree editions of the papers.)