I’ve got a profile of Dan Rea in the new issue of CommonWealth Magazine. Rea, a longtime television reporter at WBZ-TV (Channel 4), is now the host of the talk show once helmed by the late David Brudnoy and Paul Sullivan at WBZ Radio (AM 1030). “NightSide with Dan Rea” is an oasis of civility in the talk-radio wars. But can it work in today’s caustic environment?
Rea’s got some tough things to say about the state of local TV news, telling me, “It was very clear to me that there was a direction of television news that was not going to be reversed, and I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to continue doing television news as I was doing it.” He added:
Local television news is one of the great purveyors of racism of our time. They don’t understand that. But if you are somebody who lives out in one of the 128 or 495 suburbs, and never have a reason to really interact with people of color, the only time you’re going to see young black males is when they’re being arraigned, they’re being arrested, or they’re dying in the street. We ignore the 99 percent of the kids in that community who are trying to do the right thing, trying to go to school, trying to participate in community programs and athletics.
Rea is probably best known for his years-long efforts on behalf of Joseph Salvati, wrongly convicted of murder because of the false testimony of a government-protected witness.