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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.

Ryan Hedrick

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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

CNN Asks Florida Judge to Toss Out Donald Trump’s Defamation Suit

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October; now, over a month later, the cable news channel is asking a judge in Florida to toss the case (h/t The Hill).

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump’s attorneys argued CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source.”

Additionally, Trump’s lawyer says that CNN attempted “to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

CNN lawyers have pushed back against Trump’s claims saying that the former president “seeks to silence any criticism of Plaintiff’s debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen.’”

“Any alleged association resulting therefrom are also ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘pure opinion’ under well-established principles of defamation law,” CNN’s lawyers added.

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News Television

Investor Cautions Over Possible Fox-News Corp. Merger

Irenic Capital, which owns about 2 percent of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger between Fox and News Corp.

Eduardo Razo

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Rumors have swirled over Fox and News Corp. possibly merging into one entity, but Irenic Capital, which owns about 2% of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger.

A merger would produce a more complicated company and turn off investors rather than increase the company’s lagging stock price, Irenic Capital stated in a letter to the News Corp. board.

“And even if such synergies do exist today, they would principally benefit Fox and reside in the News Media segment of News Corp,” Irenic Capital said (h/t Deadline). “For example, Fox Business may benefit from greater integration with The Wall Street Journal and some of Dow Jones’ other properties, but it is highly debatable whether the benefits from such an association flow both ways.

“Combining News Corp with Fox will result in a combined company that is obviously more complex than both companies left separate.” 

Irenic believes a unification would aid Fox far better than News Corp. and cautioned that the board has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate all possible routes to develop value beyond the one suggested by its primary shareholder.

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News Television

Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree

The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News held its annual All-American Tree Lighting at FOX Square in New York, New York Monday during “The Five.” The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

In a release, the network said it partnered with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to host a toy drive benefiting New York City’s youth. The network also honored first responders by selecting representatives of the FDNY and NYPD to light this year’s tree.

Guests included FOX News personalities and their families along with first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, including members of NYPD Precinct 32, who lost Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera this year, and members of EMS Station 49, who lost EMS captain Alison Russo earlier this year.

FOX’s All-American Christmas tree stands at 50 feet tall and is adorned by 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 lights. The tree has 500 branches, a star topper that is over six feet tall and more than four miles of cord wrapped throughout.  Made in America, the tree features a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue decorations.

“After a busy year in America, it’s nice to, let’s just take a step back and celebrate traditions like this and remember how important it is to come together and focus on what truly matters,” said co-host Dana Perino. “This tree is not just for us to enjoy. We want you watching at home to be able to come here and make Christmas memories with your family and friends and of course, your pets, too, of course, as you can imagine.”

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