Did you ever see that old movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”? In the sci-fi flick, alien beings took over the bodies of family, friends and neighbors. It was genuinely creepy; imagine your sweet Aunt Gladys as a secret space monster beyond her horned-rimmed glasses!
Well, I have some bad news.
They got Alison Bologna.
You probably know Alison Bologna as the pleasant face on WJAR-TV NBC 10 morning news out of Providence, RI. By all accounts, she’s a groovy person. Caring, accomplished and real – with a great side-hustle: she has a non-profit that funds free Yoga programs in schools, hospitals, recovery centers, shelters and other places of need.
But…they got her.
They being the corporate media overlords which own Channel 10: Sinclair Broadcasting – which are as close to alien beings as we’re ever likely to see in our lifetimes. It’s the stealth evil empire of news outlets that since the George W. Bush administration has surreptitiously used its size and clout to put its thumb on the scale for conservative, right-wing candidates and causes across the nation.
Including, our region – even our city.
How they got Alison…
If you watch WJAR-TV with any frequency, you may have noticed that Alison and the avuncular, uncle-like anchor, Frank Collata have been featured in promo spots that don’t seem quite right.
They assure viewers that WJAR isn’t in the “fake news” business – by basically using the dog-whistle code words used by Trump and company and, in its full text, implying that the mainstream media can’t be trusted.
But WJAR can. Because, hey, it’s groovy Alison and cool Uncle Frank telling you so.
Except it’s not.
It’s actually a script written somewhere in Sinclair Broadcasting headquarters and sent out to their 190 TV stations across the nations – with instructions to the local channels that it be read by anchors and broadcast frequently on their stations.
You should know at this point, that Sinclair is basically all-in for Trump – and has no problem parroting his talking points. Whatever your politics, this isn’t exactly a shining moment for journalism.
In fact, it’s an insidious assault on free media – especially as it uses trusted, familiar local personalities as substitute propagandists to promote a political agenda. These folks are no doubt afraid to lose their jobs if they don’t comply with this scheme. According to truly independent journalism, that’s the way Sinclair operates.
The details are all in this NPR story. Which also has a link to the viral video put together by Deadspin mashing up all the stations across the country reading the same script that Bologna and Collata read from. And yep – it includes Alison and Frank.
It’s creepy. And scary.
They made it into New Bedford’s center….
WJAR-TV also has a New Bedford bureau, located downtown on Pleasant Street. It was seen as something as a feather in the city’s cap a few years ago that it could attract its own TV news bureau.
In reality, it’s been a mixed blessing. I know I’m biased because I’m a newspaper guy, but TV news mostly sucks. Especially, as practiced by Channel 10.
Sure, I like some of the personalities, like Alison, the superb meteorologist, Kelly Bates, and the fun Zach Green. But the reporting is drive-by at best and mostly focuses on crime (it’s amazing how the trivial becomes sensational when a satellite TV truck shows up).
Also, someone at Channel 10 must have decreed that any news story it broadcasts must be no longer than ten seconds….or otherwise some actual facts may get in. Which would probably cause Sinclair Broadcasting to make like one of those alien creatures inhabiting human bodies in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” (Click below.)
Anyway, Sinclair’s scheme is probably back-firing due to, you know, real reporting by multiple credible sources.
Which once upon a time may have included WJAR-TV, but maybe not any longer.
Because we know who the aliens are…and we know that they have got inside the gate and can be found on Pleasant Street, New Bedford and Providence, RI and in local newsrooms around the country.
Thanks to a truly free media.
Still, it stinks that they got Alison.