By Phil Riske || Senior Reporter/Writer
Monday’s canning of FOX big mouth Tucker Carlson and problem-child Don Lemon at CNN painfully reminds me of losing my anchor job at WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill.
The station annually hosted the Jerry Lewis telethon for muscular dystrophy. Lewis and Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon was at the station to promote the event. We had a collection box for donations at the curb to the side of the station where people could drive up and donate.
I was putting that night’s newscast together when I witnessed McMahon and others counting the money left in the outside box, all of which should have gone to the “Jerry’s Kids.”
It was instead divided among several station managers as their kickback for broadcasting the telethon.
That very night, President Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused and resigned.
Naturally, I made that the lead story on the newscast and was fired for not running the MD telethon first.
The local newspaper ran the story about my firing.
I was reinstated.