WPRO News Talk 630’s “Independent Man” John DePetro is involved in another controversy, to no one’s surprise. And, as usual, it is a quagmire of his own making.
Last week, DePetro took a break from his enforced vacation to call in to his own show to read an “apology” about his “poor choice of words” when, in September, he decided to call female union members who were protesting outside a political fundraiser “hags,” “cockroaches,” and “W-H-O-R-E-S.” Yes, that would qualify as a poor choice of words. But the Independent Mannequin has a long history of poor choices of words, thoughts, and deeds.
Here’s a taste of what others have to say about the situation.
Bob Plain of the RIFuture.com noted that “the campaign [to encourage Alex and Ani to cease advertising on DePetro’s show] has gone viral with several national labor leaders pushing the boycott on social networks. . . For years, Rhode Islanders of all political stripes, including this blog, have made a moral arguments about getting rid of DePetro. . . credit the labor movement for speaking a language a corporate-owned radio station will listen to: their wallets.”
In a column in the BeloJo, Bob Kerr talked about WPRO.com’s Thanksgiving article listing “Top Turkeys” for 2013. “It was a rib-tickling roundup of people who made the news for things they might not want to repeat,” he wrote. “Well-gelled DJ Pauly D., Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and Governor Chafee were among those cited for perceived gaffes and bad behavior. And all had their faces transposed on turkeys. It was one gobbling guffaw after another. But as I finished reading the list, I was struck by one glaring omission. The radio station failed to put itself on the list for continuing to employ John DePetro.”
Bob also reminded P&J that the Independent Mannequin called police on December 3, to report that he was threatened by union reps in the parking lot of WPRO at 8:30 in the morning (an incident that, conveniently, no other employee of the many stations operating out of that facility witnessed). Our guess it that we will hear nothing else about this “incident.”
Meanwhile, union leader Armand Sabitoni wrote a letter to the editor of the BeloJo beseeching the radio station to dump the Mannequin that said, in part, “It has now come to the point that apologies and retractions are not enough. How many instances of hate speech and vile language must occur before WPRO pulls the plug on a broadcaster whose agenda is to boost ratings through negative and insulting comments?”
P&J won’t bother getting into the time in 2006 when DePetro was dismissed from a Boston radio station for referring to a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate as a “fat lesbian,” nor the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the Mannequin by a co-worker in 2012. Everyone knows what we’re dealing with here.
All we’ll say is that it’s time for John the Journalist to finally say, “Bye, bye.”
Mandela the Sportsman