On the beat

When news people make news

By Jim Bucher

As a former news man here locally on WDTN, Channel 2 for many years, thought I would offer my two cents (maybe a nickel with inflation) on some recent news events involving the people who give us our daily dose of television news.

First, here locally: WHIO Channel 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson’s recent resignation.

You may recall in November 2014, Simpson was hospitalized and charged with OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) when his car went through an intersection, crashed through a fence and struck a tree. He pleaded guilty to OVI on Jan. 20 in Xenia Municipal Court.

Simpson is quoted as saying, “After much thought I’ve decided that this is a good time to focus on myself and on my family. I’m grateful for the support of WHIO, and all of the Channel 7 viewers, for their outreach. I’m now looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”

Many Facebook comments ranged from “Fire him” to “Give him another chance, we’re all human” to “What if he would have killed somebody in his state” to “Hope he doesn’t drive like he forecasts.”

Some comments were so vicious and nasty I refuse to reprint them.

It does seem like people in the public eye are put up on a pedestal and can do no wrong. In my humble opinion, this was the best for both parties.

Not only was Simpson’s integrity on the line, but also the Cox Media Group, owners of Channel 7, Dayton Daily News and other properties.

How on earth would he ever go back on-air with his “transgression” in the back of the viewer’s mind? The social media trolls would have a field day.

Not worth it.

But he had a loyal following here and hopefully when he gets it together will end up back on TV somewhere.

Years ago Bruce Asbury, then-Channel 7’s Chief Meteorologist, was fired from his weather duties after admitting in a newspaper article that he was using drugs and, as I recall, was quoted as saying he was high on air.

Asbury was an acquaintance of mine. Easy going and fun, he was always the life of the party and extremely popular with his viewers. He ended up selling cars for a bit, eventually landing in Fargo, North Dakota enjoying a nice run on TV there.

Mike Scinto, former WHIO radio and television host and current fill-in for the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher Show, had Asbury on his show when he came clean. Scinto had a few choice words to say about Simpson’s current situation.

“While Jamie Simpson made a bad choice, in my opinion his employer showed the same lack of compassion it showed when weatherman Bruce Asbury was shown the door 25 years ago after using me and my TV show to finish him off,” Scinto said. “Bruce and I were sold a bill of goods and it showed that the bottom line for the station isn’t its people, its focus groups and consultants.”

We wish Jamie the best.

The second fall from grace is NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams.

It seems Williams was caught telling tall tales regarding his experiences while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.

It seemed the helicopter he was riding in apparently was hit by enemy fire. The problem was, it wasn’t exactly his helicopter, but rather another one a few miles ahead.

Now, I obviously wasn’t there, but others were, and they’re saying, “That’s not the way it went down.”

Currently at press time, Williams is suspended for six months with no pay.

That means NBC’s $10 million man is losing five of that 10, which is about $4,970,000 more than I make a year.

Other stories from Williams that are now being scrutinized include an alleged armed hold up when he was a kid, and bodies floating by his hotel room window while he was covering Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Scinto has his own thoughts: “There is no excuse for someone who holds themselves out as a journalist to lie to the American people. Brian Williams, in an apparent search for notoriety and hero worship, apparently lied on several occasions and only came clean when he got caught. He should not be allowed back on the air in the capacity of a journalist for the rest of his career. Doing something stupid and getting caught is one thing. Doing something with the intent to deceive and cover-up is another thing.”

Williams shot himself in the foot – unlike the gunfire that hit his chopper.

Will he ever recover? Stay tuned.

Cheers!

Buch

A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Jim Bucher
For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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