This is what I’m thinking:
“Airborne” Eddy Dobosiewicz told my colleague Tim O’Shei Wednesday night that he hopes his return to the airwaves is an “open question.”
Sorry, Eddy, the idea that either Channel 7 or WBBZ-TV would allow you to return isn’t going to fly after you sent out a racist tweet concerning the situation in Baltimore that included a photo of multiple baboons climbing a car.
Eddy’s defense to O’Shei was “I was trying to shed a light on man’s inhumanity to man, not on a particular race of people.”
I’m not sure what is scarier to think about – how racist that tweet was or the fact that Eddy didn’t immediately realize the imagery was racist.
Dobosiewicz defended himself further by saying that his office is on the East Side, “the area of the city that has the most African-American neighbors. They’re all over the place.”
All I could think of after that line is that Eddy better just stop talking.
But he added, “they’re my neighbors,” he has lived next door to an interracial couple for 30 years and “anybody who knows” him realizes “there’s not a racist cell in my body.”
It sure sounded like a laughable defense of “some of my best friends are African-American.”
Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse and WBBZ General Manager Chris Musial immediately suspended Dobosiewicz after learning of his tweet, and rightly so.
The fact they didn’t use the word “fired” may suggest that he could return to do more “Queen City Chronicles” for Channel 7 or continue doing bits on “Off Beat Cinema,” which airs on WBBZ.
But why would either station want him back?
Dobosiewicz has done some good community work in organizing and growing the annual Dyngus Day celebration in Buffalo. And America gives people second chances.
But Dobosiewicz already has gotten a second chance at Channel 7, according to multiple sources. He used to be a fixture at the Variety Club Telethon. However, he was removed from it and other live programming at Channel 7 at least a decade ago after inappropriately doing an off-color stand-up act at the Riviera Theater before some telethon supporters.
Thankfully, it wasn’t on television, but enough supporters were appalled that Dobosiewicz was considered too big a risk to do live TV anymore. He also was warned to know his audience and realize what is appropriate to say and do. As this week’s tweets illustrate, he never learned his lesson.
Nurse gave Dobosiewicz a second chance as an independent contractor to supply his nostalgic stories occasionally for the station’s newscasts.
Those stories are pleasant enough but aren’t worth being associated with someone who will find it very difficult to remove the stigma that he has racist attitudes no matter what he, his friends, co-workers and family say.
I know it is the May sweeps, but there really is nothing on broadcast television to get too excited about. Many of the departing series – including “Two and Half Men,” “Glee,” “Parks and Recreation” and my personal favorite, “Parenthood” – had early season goodbyes.
The cable-series “Mad Men” ends its run in two Sundays, but judging by the meager local ratings for this season’s early episodes it isn’t going to get that big a send-off here. The last two Sunday episodes had live ratings of 0.8. However, the rating for the April 19 episode of “Mad Men” rose to a 2.4 seven days after it aired. In other words, twice as many households watched it after it aired live than watched it live. Still, a 2.4 rating isn’t much considering all the media attention the series gets.
ABC sent along a DVD to enable critics to see the first 10 episodes of “American Crime,” (the only episode it didn’t send is the May 14 season finale) which some critics have called the best show on television.
It is very good but also may be the most joyless show on television. It isn’t until episode 9 or 10 that there is emotional payoff for any of the characters. That may be why it hasn’t gotten much of an audience, locally or nationally, and is unlikely to get a second season. The April 23 episode had a 3.1 live rating here. It rose to a 4.7 three days later.
Although low, it actually is a little higher than I expected. When I reviewed the series from John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”) before its premiere in early March, I suggested it would be a tough sell and added the content is better served for cable.
“Crime” revolves around the home invasion of a war veteran and his wife that resulted in the death of the soldier and left his wife near death in a coma.
The series that ABC promoted as examining “faith, family, gender, race and class” is loaded with raw tension and cynicism about the American justice system. The next few episodes are extremely well-acted – Timothy Hutton as a grieving father deserves an Emmy nomination. But “Crime” remains depressing and very difficult to watch.
From the cutting room floor: I bet you didn’t know that Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret gives former analyst Larry Playfair an assist for creating one of his favorite expressions following goals – “Top shelf, where Mama hides the cookies.”
Jeanneret explained that once Playfair said a player who shot up high to score went top shelf. “I thought about a bit more about how to make it into something else, so I added the cookies,” Jeanneret said.
Remember when I praised Channel 7 for a promo that featured all of its weather team with each of their hometowns in Western New York? Well, the promo has won a Telly Award, which honors outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.
While ratings were reportedly “massive” nationally for Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner, Western New York wasn’t as interested as the rest of the nation. The rating on Channel 7 made Buffalo the 13th lowest rated ABC affiliate in the country out of 56 overnight markets. The lead-in also didn’t help Channel 7’s 11 p.m. news, in which reporter Katie Morse did a good job localizing the story with an interview with a transgender person here. By the way, the local rating for the Jenner interview grew from a 9.7 to 12.8 three days after it aired.
Kristin Beck, the decorated Navy Seal who became a transgender and was briefly shown in the Jenner special, was known as Christopher Beck when she grew up in Wellsville. Beck was the subject of an excellent CNN film, “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story,” that aired last August and has been shown at several film festivals. If the Jenner special made you more interested in the issue, I suggest you find a way to watch the excellent Beck film.