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REVIEW: Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth

The show which debuted last week is a cautionary tale in the evils of addiction and how an addict can have plenty of incentive to behave but if their disease goes untreated it will destroy them.

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A person who is addicted cares little about the consequence they may face for their reward-seeking behavior. Addiction expresses itself in ways that are anti-social such as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, overeating, using illicit drugs, or gambling.

Contrary to what society may believe, addiction is a disease that cares little about socioeconomic status. Nobody is exempt from suffering from it, former WFAN radio host Craig Carton knows this well. In the wee hours of September 6, 2017, Carton was arrested by the FBI and charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. It was later revealed that he gambled compulsively to the point where he was recruiting “investors” to fund his disastrous habit.

Carton’s downfall is documented in a HBO show called Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth. “My name is Craig Carton. I have lived through the most public, vicious, self-inflicted fall from grace,” Carton said at the beginning of the film. “I had it all, the career, the beautiful country house, I made over two-million dollars a year, and now it’s all gone.”

The show which debuted last week is a cautionary tale in the evils of addiction and how an addict can have plenty of incentive to behave but if their disease goes untreated it will destroy them. I have personal experience with addiction and recovery. For more than 20 years I battled drug addiction. While working for several different radio stations I used cocaine excessively and tried to hide my problem from the world. I thought nobody understood my problems. I thought nobody cared about me. I wallowed in self-pity and used every excuse I could find in order to justify my behavior and to continue using drugs. I was harboring a secret that nearly killed me.

During the program Carton alludes to the secretive nature of his gambling habit. While he did boast a ton about his gambling escapades while he was on the air at WFAN, nobody knew how deeply he was affected. Addicts tend to lead secret lives. My experience is that when you are in the grips there are only a few roads out of your predicament; jails, institutions, or death.

Carton’s rise at WFAN was hard fought, taking over for the late legendary Don Imus. Carton was paired with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and on September 4, 2007, the eventual top-rated Boomer and Carton show debuted. “I have never met anyone like him in my life,” Esiason said. “He was a cross between a Martian and Don Rickles.”

The show also featured several of Carton’s former co-workers sharing their experience about working with him. Current WFAN sports anchor Jerry Reeco called Carton’s talent transformational “At six o’clock when the music rolled and the light went on, something just overcame him.”

When Carton was on the air he was perceived as a loudmouth and a know-it-all but when he was off the air he demonstrated that he was a kind and compassionate guy who gave back to his community and had a soft spot for troubled kids. “He has compassion for kids who are misunderstood because I think that is how he viewed himself when he was growing up,” Esiason said.

Carton reveals how being molested for eight weeks during a summer camp traumatized him to the point where he kept the secret and did not tell anybody. “I was abused every night for eight weeks, something I withheld for more than 30 years of my life and I still had shame over it,” he said in the documentary.

Although I am not a survivor of sexual abuse, I have sat in many recovery meetings where addicts have shared their experiences about the horrors of being molested as children. They say that these acts contributed to their addiction. I have also seen many people overcome past abuses to lead successful and productive lives. However, if untreated these memories can lead back to active addiction.

While incarcerated at Lewisburg federal penitentiary, Carton kept a daily journal of his experiences. “Every meal seems to be served with rice and beans,” Carton recalled. “One wrong move and they send you to solitary confinement. Ever since I was a kid my greatest fear was being sent to prison.”

In June, Craig Carton was released from prison after serving 36 months of a maximum 42-month sentence. He said the prison term was a “life-changing experience” and that he is a better person for having done the time. Although he admits that he is a lousy businessman, he did not address the need for continued treatment to prevent relapse.

News Television

NBC News Has Major Plans for “Meet the Press'” Digital Shift

NBC News will put out its new digital products in June simultaneously with the daily “Meet the Press” streaming show launch on NBC News Now.

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NBC News is putting stock in the digital transformation of its marquee show, “Meet the Press.” by rebranding its separate website for the franchise.

The network’s overhaul of its political newsletter and adding a new blog comes days as they plan to shift the “Meet the Press” show from MSNBC at 1 p.m. to the network’s 24/7 news streaming service NBC News Now at 4 p.m.

“Really where we are putting a lot of our time, attention, and investment is on these other platforms,” Carrie Budoff Brown, senior vice president of “Meet the Press” at NBC News, said to Axios. “This is where we see our growth.”

NBC News will put out its new digital products in June simultaneously with the daily “Meet the Press” streaming show launch on NBC News Now. Furthermore, next month, the franchise will add a new show podcast for the “Meet the Press” daily show, moving over to streaming.

“We’re taking the entrepreneurial, experimental point of view that Chuck has shown for the past seven-eight years and turbo-charging that,” Budoff Brown said. 

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Joe Scarborough Wants Media to Focus on Losses by Donald Trump-backed Politicians

The morning show host added that “two-thirds of Republicans in Pennsylvania voted against Donald Trump.”

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The Providence Journal

MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough wants a bigger spotlight from the media on losses than wins of candidates backed by former President Donald Trump. 

Scarborough’s statement comes as multiple Trump-backed candidates lost in primaries on Tuesday, including Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Idaho Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin, and candidate for Nebraska governor Charles Herbster, lost.

“Every time a Trump candidate wins, I think the media makes such a huge deal about it,” Scarborough said, per Mediaite. “He picked a crazy governor, gubernatorial candidate, in Pennsylvania, that was on his way to winning anyway, which is why Trump jumped on the bandwagon there.”

The morning show host added that “two-thirds of Republicans in Pennsylvania voted against Donald Trump.”

“So, again, I’m not saying Donald Trump doesn’t have sway in the Republican Party, but I’ll tell you what, it’s nothing like it was in 2020, and I think the media needs to focus more on those massive losses instead of having the headlines about that his endorsement really means something significant,” Scarborough said. “Because I’m not so sure it does this year.”

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News Television

Dan Abrams Calls NPR’s Mask Report Hotline “Ridiculous”

NPR recently announced a hotline that would allow staffers to report maskless colleagues, leading to the host on “The View” clashing over this issue.

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NPR recently announced a hotline that would allow staffers to report maskless colleagues. During a segment on “The View,” the hosts clashed over what the radio station is implementing. 

Co-host Joy Behar kicked off the discussion by stating she would never report a colleague, citing she’s “Italian” and that they “don’t snitch.” However, Sunny Hostin was on the other end, calling the new hotline a good thing. 

“It’s a good thing,” Hostin said, per Mediaite. “We’ve been terrible to each other during this pandemic. So I just think you have this mechanism now where you can just call and snitch and protect yourself as opposed to taking it on yourself.”

Nonetheless, co-host Ana Navarro and guest co-host and Mediaite founder Dan Abrams pushed back at Hostin for her claims. Abrams called the hotline “ridiculous.”

“How do you know it’s not somebody just snitching on somebody they don’t like?” Navarro said. Hostin did push back when pressed by Navarro, saying that it would be up to HR to investigate.  

“We’re at a different point in Covid now,” Abrams added. “We’re not at the point we were two years ago. What if I’m living with someone that’s immunocompromised or my parents and you give it to me and I go home and kill my dad or kill my mom or I kill my husband?”

“It’s not about just following the rules. There are a ton of risks people take every day, right, in going to work, exposing themselves. We’re going to have to live with Covid.”

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