The Phoenix’s Adam Reilly has some rather startling news. Apparently Paul La Camera, general manager of WBUR Radio (90.9 FM), is thinking of bringing in former Globe and occasional Herald columnist Mike Barnicle to do commentary.
La Camera has done a great job of bringing stability to ‘BUR and of adding some local focus to a station that has long been admired for its national reach. But he’s just wrong when he tells Reilly that Barnicle was done in by “wild accusations.” Barnicle left the Globe in 1998 after he was caught plagiarizing and making stuff up, but those were only the latest in a quarter-century of similar, very credible complaints.
La Camera and Barnicle have a history: Barnicle is a contributor to “Chronicle,” a magazine show on WCVB-TV (Channel 5), the station La Camera used to run. It was La Camera who decided to keep Barnicle on “Chronicle” after his meltdown at the Globe, a decision that played to mixed reviews internally.
Barnicle already does commentary for WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) and MSNBC. His grumpy-old-man shtick does nothing for me, but if he’s good for ratings, then fine. But ‘BUR and the National Public Radio system are news organizations that take credibility and ethics very seriously. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out.