Very interesting test of media independence coming up tomorrow. WFNZ sports talker Chris McClain told his audience this morning that he and co-host Jim Celania — longtime Ch. 36 sports anchor — were having second and third thoughts about going ahead with a scheduled 8am interview on Friday with Joslyn James.
James, you may have lost track, is the porn star Tiger Woods bedded. James was also the source of some of the most lurid text messages (very NSFW here) from Tiger, as well as the very newsworthy revelation that Tiger likely had many enablers in his camp during his serial run of debauchery.
James is now herself engaged in an exploitation tour, following Tiger around to the cities he is playing in. Next stop, Charlotte this weekend. James has booked herself into local strip clubs, including the Uptown Cabaret. This is where WFNZ comes in. The Uptown Cabaret is a long-time advertiser on the station and has hooked up James for the interview. McClain pointed out that the strip club and James obviously want the interview to happen.
But where it gets complicated is that FNZ is owned by CBS Radio, also the owner of country giant WSOC, urban staple WPEG along with WNKS (Kiss FM), WBAV, and WKQC. And that is just locally. Local strip club sponsors aside, this boils down one of the biggest media companies in the nation giving a platform to a seamy side of the Tiger circus. Or not.
Here is why I think FNZ should put James on the air — and not to grill her about her motivations as Celania and McClain suggested would be the case. We already know her motivations guys, c’mon. Don’t treat us like idiots. An actual act of journalism would be to ask James if Woods ever paid her for sex. Yes or no. Does she know of any instances where Tiger paid other women for sex? Yes or no. Finally, has she ever heard of hushhush.com? Yes or no. If yes, how?
There. Totally legit questions of someone in a position to know aspects of a major celebrity scandal. Now if WFNZ, CBS Radio, and the entire local media establishment do not want to know the answers to those questions, let alone ask them, well that is another matter entirely.
And it makes Joslyn James not the only whore in town.