News broke late Thursday that talk radio station WPRO had laid off Ron St. Pierre, a Rhode Island Radio Hall of Famer who was serving as producer and de facto co-host of Buddy Cianci's show.
When one considers the length, breadth, and depth of Ron's service to WPRO, this is earthshaking news. Sources tell us the decision is not going over well at the House that Salty Built. We hear numerous sponsors are angry.
The firing was bad enough. But the timing was particularly insulting. St. Pierre brought us a friendly and knowledgeable radio voice during the recent blizzard, staying at a motel near the station and walking down Route 114 to work so he could keep Rhode Islanders aware of what was happening statewide with outages, roads, and the like.
Your superior correspondents spoke with Ron in the aftermath of the firing and here is the statement he sent along: "While it's difficult to be let go after 22 years of being part of WPRO, I understand it's a business. I get that but we ask listeners every day to allow us into their homes and make us part of their family, their daily activities. When we suddenly disappear without any explanation, that's just not fair to the listener. They deserve an explanation as to why we're not there any longer. If you're going to make these changes, have the courage of your convictions to tell the people who butter your bread WHY. Don't hide behind NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT."
On Tuesday, Buddy went on the air for the first time since WPRO dropped Ron and offered a partial explanation: management, he was told, had fired St. Pierre for budgetary reasons. But still, no direct comment, no full explanation from the head honchos.
Buddy assured listeners that management had not consulted with him or warned him in advance of the firing. He spoke of his affection and respect for Ron. Is anyone surprised by Buddy's loyalty? We think not. A perfect example of why these two people matter in Rhode Island and why WPRO has made a serious error in judgment.
PUBLIC ENEMY #1
P&J's nominee for most dangerous man in America: National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne "Fifi" LaPierre. This guy is one white hood and burning cross short of Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragonhood.
One shouldn't be surprised at his outbursts in the wake of President Obama's Sandy Hook-inspired calls for stricter gun controls. As far back as 1995, Fifi's organization called federal agents "jack-booted thugs" in a fundraising letter.
"Not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens," the letter read. "Not today."
This totally bizarre and outlandish claim led to none other than President Bush (the elder one — not the moron) resigning his NRA membership in protest. (No more cocktail parties with Charlton Heston for you, H.W.) Even revered General Norman Schwarzkopf handed in his NRA card at one point, calling LaPierre's baby, "inflexible and almost radical." Ah, you hadn't seen nuthin' yet, Stormin' Norman.
The Newtown abomination prompted LaPierre to demand more guns in schools — cut to shot of first-grader shouldering a shotgun, looking like an abducted child soldier in Africa. And it prompted the NRA to run a TV ad focused on Obama's daughters' school security that was so ludicrously wrong-headed, mean-spirited, and offensive as to be laughable — if the subject weren't so serious.