Nick Iannuzzi

Too much politics this morning. One final item before I turn to the day job. Yesterday afternoon I received a call from Watertown Tab & Press reporter Jeremy Fox. He asked: What did I think of a candidate for Governor’s Council paying in order to appear on a radio talk show?

What Fox described was so odd that we had to spend some time talking it through. Here is Fox’s story. It seems that an independent candidate named Nick Iannuzzi is paying $490 to be interviewed this Saturday from 8 to 8:25 a.m. on WCAP Radio (AM 980) in Lowell.

The arrangement will be fully disclosed while Iannuzzi is on the air, so I can’t say that anyone’s doing anything unethical. But what I find bizarre about this is that, except for the disclosure, Iannuzzi will appear to be just another guest on Warren Shaw’s talk show.

Station owner Clark Smidt (remember him?) says it’s no big deal. But Shaw admits that in his 15 years of hosting the show, this is the first time the station has asked him to interview a paid guest. Shaw adds: “If someone schedules an interview for me on Saturday morning, I do it.”

You might say that such an arrangement would preclude tough questions, but Shaw makes it clear to Fox that he tosses nothing but softballs anyway. Weird.

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