Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –
You are currently employing an on-air personality named Evan Dawson.
He was hired by WXXI after apparently being run away from Channel 13, and he currently hosts a two-hour show called “Connections.”
I used to respect him as a journalist, because he feigned a sense of objectivity very well.
That was until he interviewed Mayor Lovely Warren recently, or should I say when he literally attacked my mayor like a pit pull.
He lit into her, attempting to draw blood, with his false accusations, and with questions that I believe were obviously drafted by the mayor’s opponent Rachel Barnhart, and her campaign Manager, Joe Ritter.
I’ve not only heard that Joe Ritter was fired from the Monroe County Legislator’s Office for sexual harassment, but I’ve also heard that he is a very close friend of Evan’s.
I take exception to his line of questioning, which has not only stemmed from the fact that I am one of Mayor Warren’s supporters, but from the fact that I’m a columnist who follows local politics.
Evan never asked Rachel Barnhart or Jim Sheppard about their campaign finances, and he should have.
When Rachel was on his show, he was soft-pedaling, and it almost appeared as thought she’d paid him for the support she received.
During the show, he also refused to allow calls from me and my friend Howard Eagle to be put through, while she was his guest.
Maybe the person Evan should have asked about campaign funding is Jim Sheppard. Sheppard has not only received over-payments from individuals, I believe he has also been bought and paid for by the unions who were refusing to honor the PLA agreement with the modernization program and the midtown project.
When the mayor was on City Council, she called them all into question, and forced them to comply, by hiring more blacks and Hispanics.
As a result, they have chosen to pour money into a puppet’s campaign – one they CAN and WILL control, if given the opportunity.
Mr. Silverstein, I can’t speak for everyone in my community, but my voice expresses the concerns of many people who share my opinion, and who have said so publicly, particularly on social media.
The way Evan Dawson treated our mayor was scandalous, and I would like to see him RETIRED or FIRED.
In our opinion, Evan should offer a public apology to our mayor, at the very least.
She did not deserve to be ambushed.
The way she was treated was more than insulting, and Evan should be taken to task for it.
The one positive which came from his unprofessional demeanor was that some people who were not supporting the mayor have changed their minds, and they have contributed to her campaign as a result.
Therefore, we thank Evan for his negativity, in that respect.
Some other community members are also calling for a public boycott of WXXI.
The Democrat and Chronicle also seems to be in the same character-assassination mode as Evan, for whatever reason.
They too will be dealt with eventually.
In the future, the NAACP and the Rochester Association of Black Journalists should be the ones calling your station into question. However, many of them may be bought and paid for, and they would be too fearful of losing their jobs if they walked in locked step with the truth.
Unfairness is unfairness. Insults are insults.
I believe the FCC has regulations governing the behavior of an on-air personality.
I also believe that, when it is time to renew your license, our community will be there to protest, based on your ignorant and arrogant on-air personality’s attempt to grandstand.
There are many members of my family, and personal friends of mine, who have contributed money to WXXI on a regular basis, and I am calling all of them to withhold their contributions until you deal with Evan Dawson.
And, I believe anyone within the sound of my voice or reading this column should also consider doing the same.
I am from the old school, the one that utilized picket lines and picket signs, and I know how to organize a boycott.
You just let me know WHEN.
As a community, we got Bob Lonsberry fired from his show when he insulted our former mayor, Bill Johnson.
Evan Dawson has apparently chosen to walk in Lonsberry’s shoes, and assumes there will be no outrage or consequences for his actions.
If you have not done so, please take the time to listen to his recent interview with Mayor Lovely Warren.
Channel 13 got tired of him, by several accounts, and hopefully you will also send him on his way, as he so deserves.
Perhaps a career move and career change would deflate that seemingly big ego he has manged to inflate.
He is no longer serving this community objectively, and, if he wants to be in politics, then perhaps he should resign, and run for office to find out just how unpopular he is.
He is no longer considered an asset to this community. Instead, he is more than a LIABILITY, from where I sit.
It’s time for him to GO, and to be dealt with!!
The ball is in your court, Mr. Silverstein.
Here’s to hoping you do the right thing for this community, and for our mayor.
She deserves more respect than she was shown.
Evan needs to understand that, even if you don’t like the person you are interviewing, you should respect their POSITION.
And, whether he and his cronies like it or not, she IS our Mayor!!!
(Disclaimer: The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)