The ongoing Hatefest at Salty's Joint has hit the Urinal, with an absolutely ridiculous story alleging that veteran Rhode Island radio hand, Ron St. Pierre, inadvertently "assaulted" John "The Journalist" DePetro with an 8x11" sheet of paper loaded with a dangerous metal staple. (Disclosure: P&J appear on alternating Wednesdays on the Buddy Cianci Show on WPRO.)
Unfortunately, Mike Stanton's story rested almost entirely on the words and perspective of Peter Koch, an eye doctor who wasn't at WPRO when the alleged skirmish took place. Koch is not just DePetro's eye doctor (who has provided the Journalist with Lasik surgery services and also advertises on the station), but is a virtual lifelong buddy of DePetro's.
The reason the only attributions in the article came from Koch is because it is standard policy at most broadcast media outlets to impose a cone of silence over such shenanigans. It would also be assumed that the station would be very upset if the Journalist encouraged his buddy to talk to the BeloJo.
P&J reason, however, that DePetro had to have encouraged Koch to get his story out to the press because, if he didn't have DePetro's blessing, it would be a serious violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the statute that makes disclosure of patient information a federal crime. No problem (except, perhaps, with the management at WPRO) if DePetro gave Koch the green light.
We have heard from two sources at Citadel Broadcasting who dispute the existence of a staple in the balled-up paper. We also suspect that the Journalist's eye-patch-sporting had less to do with an "injury" than his fervid affection for Captain Jack Sparrow.
It seems to P&J that the Independent Mannequin is just a very bad driver. His wife ended up under the bus when multiple Arbitron rating books magically sprung from his home address last year and now, we suspect, Dr. Koch may find himself under the same bus with HIPAA regulations sprouting from his back pocket.
DOUSING THE FIRE
Now that the geniuses who run the Providence firefighters union have succeeded in trying to make Providence and the state look as bad as possible in the American public eye, perhaps they should consider this fact: You shot your load.
Now that they scared off vice president Joe Biden and a raft of Cabinet members and Obama administration officials, they can't do any worse to ruin the perception of our Capital City. If P+J were Mayor David Cicilline, we would look at the firefighters' officials and say, "I'll never sit down with you. Who gives a damn about your picketing at this point? You got your national media attention, so anything from this point on will be thin gruel, publicity-wise."
Phillipe and Jorge are and always have been union guys. But the picketing was ill-advised, and was a blow to everyone in Rhode Island, economically and image-wise. That smoke coming out of the top of the shoe of Paul Doughty, president of Local 799 of the International Association of Firefighters, is where the bullet went in. Nice shot.
ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
Speaking of pickets, when was it decided that municipal officials would tell protest groups where they could hold their demonstrations, as evidenced during the US Conference of Mayors in Our Little Towne?