Monday, June 18, 2007

Excuse Me, Are My Knuckles Dragging?

I'm easily amused I suppose.

Here in Henry County we have a very diverse media. On the far left is the Martinsville Bulletin, a locally owned newspaper that makes no attempt to hide its owners liberal/Democratic bias. Oh, Ginny Wray, the paper's capable, dedicated, and hard working editor, will deny any bias, but there is never any real attempt to hide it.

On the other hand is a local cable access channel that can best be described as "eccentric" I suppose. The owner of this media outlet first gained fame in Henry County when he was stopped for speeding and some stolen video production equipment was discovered in his car. Soon after that he launched Media Six, a cable access television station in Martinsville. After several brushes with the law and a successful libel suit brought by a local prosecutor, his raucous, yet refreshingly honest brand of journalism is still on cable here in Henry County.

Somewhere in-between is the subject of my current amusement.

Bill Wyatt is the owner/producer/director/on-air-talent/janitor/bottle-washer-in-charge of several local media outlets. Two AM radio stations, a small, non-affiliated broadcast television station, an on-line daily newspaper/blog, and an on-line community forum constitute the Wyatt journalism empire. He's practically a one man media conglomerate.

A few days ago, during a typical Bill Wyatt monologue about how much fairer and balanced-er he is than the Martinsville Bulletin, and for no apparent reason, Bill launched into a diatribe directed toward this writer. Yep, me.

I first learned of this on Tuesday of last week when someone in Martinsville told me about it. You see, Bill's media empire does not extend into Patrick County where I work. At least not very far into Patrick County. Oh, on some days, when the atmospheric conditions are just right and your car is pointing in a favorable direction, his little AM station can be heard on certain sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but that area is a half mile high and in direct line of sight with the broadcast tower in Chatham Heights.

Anyway, I called badrose that evening and asked her to set up her recorder in order to see if the inevitable nightly repeat broadcast could be captured. She did, it was, and we finally found time yesterday to sit down and watch the show.

Did I mention that it was amusing? I'll have audio posted on here in a day or so. I may even risk further antagonizing Bill by posting a YouTube video. But for now I'll just hit the high spots.

Bill and I have never met. Other than a couple of calls to his evening talk show, I don't think we've ever had a phone conversation. We have corresponded via email on several occasions, though, but I repeat, we've never met. Nevertheless, his monologue consisted primarily of a long description of me. According to Bill Wyatt I am, "...a big, lumbering, man."

Those of you who know me are aware that it would take someone of very small stature to even consider calling me "big", and as to the "lumbering" part, I also plead innocent. While I'm certainly not as graceful as I once was, I am quite proud of the fact that I was an accomplished figure skater during the years that I also played hockey. No Bill, while I may seem big to you, I'm definitely not lumbering.

I do take a certain amount of pride in knowing that Bill considers me to be, " of the area's staunchest Republicans." But I take a small amount of offense at being described as "...a man who absolutely hates Roscoe Reynolds." Bill, I most certainly do not hate Senator Reynolds. I feel strongly that he has not risen to any acceptable level of competence while representing this area in the General Assembly, and I dislike the condescending air he takes on when speaking to the folks in Henry County, but I will maintain that he was a more than adequate Prosecutor for this area. Hate him? Of course not. But I do wish to retire him from the Senate.

Next I was described as a "wolf in sheep's clothing, but with a very large knife behind his back". Of course, Bill quickly pointed out that the knife was merely a metaphor, but I have no idea where he gets the wolf part. To my knowledge I've never betrayed Bill in any way, with the possible exception being that one time long ago when I pointed out a small lapse of journalistic ethics on Bill's part. But that was long ago and Bill immediately corrected the article in question. I hold no grudge of any sort over from that incident, and I would assume Bill doesn't either.

There's much more, and I promise to have audio here soon. Only then will you, my readers, be able to enjoy the full comedic impact of the monologue. Until then, I'll be lumbering off with knuckles dragging and a large knife tucked into my belt. See you soon.

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