There have been some great comedic pairings throughout history – Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, The Smothers Brothers, and now John Frank & Mark Binker. There is one real distinct difference between the first three pairs and the last one — the first three were intentionally trying to be funny. The last two try hard to be serious, but end up leading the effort to turn political journalism in North Carolina into a farce.
We all remember WRAL’s Mark Binker from the whole gun owner’s database episode. Binky thought he was too cute by half in posting a database identifying all of the concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina. Grassroots North Carolina turned the table on Binky by putting quite a bit of Binky’s personal information out there on the Internet. Needless to say, Binky and WRAL were not pleased. Privacy for me but not for thee. ( I am sure Binky made a face quite similar to the one he is making in the photo accompanying this post.)
John Frank of The N&O holds down a dual role in Raleigh’s political power structure — McClatchy’s top political reporter AND executive editor John Drescher’s pet shih-tzu. Those of seeking political coverage in North Carolina are often forced to rely on Binker and Frank, with a smattering of contributions from geriatric lefty bias-peddlers Jim Morrill and Rob Christensen.
Not long ago, Binky & The Shih-Tzu showed up at an event in Wake County where a Christian-based crisis pregnancy group was honoring Dr. Greg Brannon for his leadership efforts within the organization. Brannon spoke for 20 to 30 minutes. He spent another 20 minutes or so afterward with the dynamic duo. Both of those knuckleheads ended up running with stories suggesting Brannon was a fan of that whole slavery thing. How you get ”slavery” from a Christian-based pro life event …
Binky has proven himself to be quite bipartisan in screwing up news coverage. On at least one high-profile instance, he managed to botch a story that ended up embarrassing the Democrat leader of the state Senate AND the Republican secretary of NC DHHS. Binky attributed a quote to the senator that wasn’t real close to what he actually said. WRAL had cameras at said event, by the way.
I don’t recall seeing an apology or a retraction. And Binky is still on the job — making trouble.
The shih-tzu has been camping out in a Wake County courtroom these past few weeks trying to cover civil trial proceedings involving Senate candidate Greg Brannon.
I am blessed to have a source in the courtroom — not a party to either side in the case — who has to be there thanks to a paycheck. The source has been sending me regular texts and Twitter DMs. My source says Frank regularly appears confused by the proceedings. The source notes that, one day, Frank didn’t even show his face in the courtroom — but managed to post an article on that day’s proceedings. It was loaded with quotes from the plaintiff’s attorneys. So, I am sure the coverage was based on a call to the attorney’s cell phone after court adjourned. It *couldn’t* have been fabricated …
It’s amazing how both Binky & The Shih-Tzu continue to cover the court case as though it is a criminal matter. As though Brannon is being prosecuted by the state and is risking jail time.
Thanks to people like John Edwards and all of those ambulance-chasers running those wall-to-wall commercials during the morning news shows, doctors quite often find themselves with bulls-eyes on their backs. Chum to be fed to the shyster law-sharks.
Today, Binky decided to pile on with a story about Brannon and his wife being late paying property taxes. The deadline was the first week in January (and here we are in February), and Brannon’s wife apparently forgot to mail the check in a timely manner. The Brannons have been a little preoccupied here lately.
Oh, and that was quite interesting how Binky decided to report the value of Brannon’s home. Privacy for me, and not for thee.