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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

Jessica Tarlov, Leo Terrell Clash Over Roe v. Wade Ruling

It didn’t take long for news outlets to begin sparring on the issue, and one of the more animated ones occurred on Fox News.

Eduardo Razo

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On Friday, the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, which now hands over the determination of abortion legality to individual states. 

It didn’t take long for news outlets to begin sparring on the issue, and one of the more animated ones occurred on Fox News. Contributors Leo Terrell and Jessica Tarlov disputed multiple times on the topic following the ruling. 

Tarlov, a Democratic strategist and co-host of The Five, said that this decision would have dire consequences, something that made Terrell shake his head and interrupt multiple times.

“Alito made it clear that he didn’t think this it would expand to contraception and same-sex marriage, but [Clarence] Thomas said he thought they should be reevaluated, and when you consider the fact that Justices [Brett] Kavanaugh and [Neil] Gorsuch lied to the senators that they met with —” Tarlov said, per Mediaite

“They followed the law. You may not like the law, but we are a nation of laws. That’s what they did. What they basically said was if you don’t like the ruling, you go to the states,” Terrell fired back.

Tarlov and Terrell continued clashing in another segment while discussing the potential consequences. 

She said “every man that takes part in conceiving a child” should be on the hook for child support, leading to Terrell shaking his head while muttering, “oh God.”

“Stop saying, ‘Oh God!’” Tarlov said. 

“I can’t believe you’re using this quality time to push a democratic agenda. Go ahead. I’ll be quiet. Go ahead. Keep talking. It’s ridiculous,” Terrell snapped.

“I’m sorry. Were you pregnant recently?” Tarlov stated.

“Every time I come on this show, I’m attacked,” Terrell mumbled.

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News Television

Kim Godwin: “Newscasts at Some Point Will Be Totally Streamed”

Godwin sat down with Recode host and Vox journalist Peter Kafka at the Collison Conference in Toronto.

Eduardo Razo

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ABC News president Kim Godwin has been in her position for more than a year and she recently sat down with Recode host and Vox journalist Peter Kafka at the Collison Conference in Toronto, where they discussed the future of news media. 

With streaming both on the audio and visual side, becoming more of a player for news and how they reach the younger audience, Godwin says that getting to the demographic is via a digital strategy. 

“The price of admission is that digital strategy. That push alert – getting to people early,” said Godwin, per TV Newser. “And then we have people who really are in tune with the way people are consuming news.”

“You really have to niche it out. You can’t put a TikTok on Facebook…. You have to approach it with a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach and try to get there first.”

Furthermore, Godwin wants the network to lean on their brand on various platforms that are skewered to the young generation, like TikTok. 

“ABC News is a strong news brand in America. So we are leveraging that brand on TikTok. [ABC News foreign correspondent] Ian Pannell who is covering the war in Ukraine right from the frontlines,” Godwin said.

“In addition to the reports he’s sending back for World News Tonight and Good Morning America, he’s doing TikToks. And they’re interesting, different and customized for that audience. As journalists, we are looking at our coverage in a different way.”

Godwin was then asked how she plans to get the younger crowd to turn on ABC News, where they make their money, but she says news could be heading toward being streamed rather than having the more youth turn on ABC. 

“I think there is going to be a business for us there one day (on TikTok),” said Godwin. “That’s where all the bridges are leading. Everything is getting smaller on linear, but maybe the newscasts at some point will be totally streamed, like ABC News Live,” Godwin concluded. 

“Maybe that’s where World News Tonight and GMA will eventually be. I really think we are headed that way, all the numbers show that… Maybe they meet in the middle somewhere eventually.”

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Dan Abrams: Someone in Donald Trump’s Inner Circle Could See Charges

“For the first time, I think there’s a real possibility a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle could face criminal charges related to Jan. 6,” Abrams said on Thursday’s edition of “Dan Abrams Live.”

Eduardo Razo

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The hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol remain ongoing, and following the raid on former Trump Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark this week, anchor Dan Abrams has a bold belief. 

Abrams, the founder of Mediaite and anchor on NewsNation, considers that for the first time, someone from former President Donald Trump’s inner circle could see criminal charges.

“For the first time, I think there’s a real possibility a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle could face criminal charges related to Jan. 6,” Abrams said on Thursday’s edition of “Dan Abrams Live.”

“It’s generally seemed to me that the criminal inquiry into Trump and his inner circle in connection with Jan. 6 wasn’t going anywhere. I’m talking about what I actually think is happening, that’s all.”

Abrams stated the latest hearing and the Wednesday raid on Clark are what altered his view on whether anyone could end up seeing charges.

“What we learned today changed my analysis. That’s because federal investigators just raided the home of former trump department of justice lawyer Jeffrey Clark,” Abrams added. 

“He was the guy heading the justice department’s environmental division who Donald Trump tried to put in as acting attorney general could see was apparently the only one within the DOJ willing to support the effort to overturn the 2020 election.”

Finally, Abrams conveyed that the raid’s timing before the hearing could examine Clark’s role could lead to something significant when facing jail time.  

“To get authorization to raid his home now, the day before the Jan. 6 committee held a hearing examining Jeffrey Clark’s role in trying to overturn the election, suggest to me that they believe they suddenly could have something big,” Abrams concluded. 

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