Anger Management Issues
Temper, temper, Mr. Hyman. You-know-who is watching who’s naughty and nice.
If you don’t live in the Baltimore area, do yourself a favor and check out the transcript of Hyman’s Baltimore-only custom “Point” commentary. On Friday, while the rest of the nation got Hyman’s disingenuous editorial on Bob Woodward and the Washington Post, his local listeners got a treat: a “Point” just for them.
Hyman, in a Grinch-like mood, used his time to advocate for a literacy project in Baltimore. What’s Grinch-like about that? Nothing, if the literacy project was real. Instead, this was Hyman’s idea of a joke. In reality, Hyman was pretending to be fundraising to teach people on the Mark Steiner radio program (broadcast on WYPR in Baltimore) how to read.
Swiftian satire it ain’t. But beyond that, why did Hyman go to the trouble of creating this Baltimore-only “Point” to attack Mr. Steiner and his radio show? Is Steiner some sort of Howard Stern shock jock who had sullied Hyman’s august reputation by having bikini-clad lesbian dwarves riding around the radio studio on the back of a guy wearing nothing but a Speedo and a Mark Hyman mask?
Hardly (and apologies for the rather unpleasant visual).
WYPR is Baltimore’s National Public Radio station, and Steiner is the host of a long running public affairs show dealing with local issues. What sin had Steiner committed? Well, apparently the topic of Hyman’s editorials had come up in a recent on-air discussion. In the context of the discussion, apparently Steiner made the following remarks:
I guess the critique is that it’s on the news and being passed off (a) as local
news and (b) as news and having local anchors act as if it was news when it is
really – when you hear commentary on the stations, whether it is left or right –
this is pretty vitriolic, nasty stuff passing itself off as news. (Steiner, as
quoted by Hyman on the Baltimore-only December 9th edition of “The Point.”)
Notice that Steiner isn’t making these claims himself. He’s paraphrasing the arguments of those who are critics of Sinclair Broadcasting and Hyman. Not only that, but he bends over backwards to be evenhanded, saying that people object to the vitriolic nature of the editorials “whether it is left or right.”
Perhaps Hyman is upset that Steiner even suggested that “The Point” ever editorializes for anything other than far right political positions.
Whatever the reason, Steiner and the folks at his long running NPR show are labeled as illiterate because, according to Hyman, the word “commentary” appears on-screen during his pieces. A lack of hilarity ensues:
It is deeply distressing that WYPR staff cannot read so I urge you to send your
contributions for these needy, illiterate adults to me in care of Fox 45 and
we’ll see if we can’t get them learned real good. And in the off-chance that
someone at the Mark Steiner Show can actually read, but they do not understand
what the multi-syllable word “commentary” means, I am going to send them this
dictionary. Inside, I have forged autographs in the names of both Merriam and
Of course, we know from the recent GQ article on Sinclair that when local stations attempted to introduce “The Point” as an editorial segment, they were shot down by the corporate office. Moreover, we’ve noted any number of times when Hyman hides behind the façade of being a journalist rather than a commentator when it suits his purpose, such as his series of “good news” stories in Iraq, his “coverage” of the national political conventions, and the recent series of “reports” on higher education—reports that actually featured a pseudo-reporter (Dina Nesheiwat) doing interviews with conservative think tankers (although they were never labeled as such).
There can be little argument that Sinclair and Hyman play fast and loose with the labeling of “The Point.” When it suits their purposes, they make it look and feel like a news report. When they are challenged on this, they hide behind the flashing of the word “commentary” (a word much more slippery in its connotations than the more appropriate “editorial”) on the screen at the beginning of Hyman’s remarks, and they claim that Hyman is simply a Sinclair employee expressing his personal views.
But apparently even mentioning that some people have raised criticism about this is enough to send Hyman into a full-on meltdown (although, interestingly, Hyman doesn’t take exception to the words “vitriolic” and “nasty” associated with his editorials).
Methinks the Hyman doth protest too much.
And that’s The Counterpoint.
Hyman Index: 2.63