Speaking of broadcasters, a few weeks back, I kudo'ed WCHS radio for its extensive coverage of storm recovery efforts following the June 29 derecho.
However, the station's coverage, and by extension, the MetroNews network's coverage of the Republican National Convention, left something to be desired, in that correspondent/talk show host Mike Agnello's stay in Tampa was underwritten by several on-air sponsors -- one of which was the state Republican Party.
(There's always been an uneasy truce between the newsgathering and business sides of news organizations. There's an old newspaper industry line about how there are two businesses immune from exposés: auto dealerships and grocery store chains. Of course, that was back when newspapers could afford to have investigative reporters ... )
While it's doubtful that WCHS needed a check from the state GOP to persuade Agnello to preach the party line, it raises issues about the objectivity of their campaign coverage at a time when scrutiny is high, since the station and radio network's owner, John Raese, is again running for U.S. Senate.
Case in point: Back in the spring, when Raese infamously compared a health department's requirement that businesses post "no smoking" signs with requiring Jews to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany, the outrageous comment drew significant coverage locally and nationally -- but not a mention on MetroNews ...
Finally, speaking of Raese, another of his business enterprises, Pikewood Creative, has produced a 91/2-minute video biography for his campaign.
The first half of the video is a rather dull recitation of his family history, which goes on at length to show that Raese had the doubly good fortune to be born into wealth on both sides of his family tree.
However, it is telling that when the video gets to a rundown of Raese's extensive business holdings, it goes on in great detail about his radio stations, and even about his private golf course outside of Morgantown. However, the family owned newspaper, The Dominion Post in Morgantown, barely warrants a mention in the video, somewhere between Greer Limestone and Greer Asphalt.
At the end, Raese addresses why he's running for Senate, and says the usual stuff about wanting to change the direction of the country, going on to say he wants to "assure a better life for Liz, Jane, and Agnes" (his wife and daughters).
Heck, they're already in the 1 percent, have access to a private Learjet, and live in a $3 million mansion in Palm Beach, Fla. Just how much better could their lives possibly get?
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.