Talk about buzzkill.
This time yesterday, I sat down to write one of my snarky open letter thingies to Alycia Lane. Something about how it's never OK to punch a cop, even a bitchy female one who's getting in your face, but that if Lane was trying to exert her journalistic rights in taking pictures of an altercation, then maybe -- just maybe -- she'd be able to save her $700,000 a-year job. I mean, around the time of Rich Eisen-gate, I started to really believe someone up in NYC (a frenemy from Ronkonkoma still upset that she didn't get to sit at Lane's lunch table in high school, maybe?) had it in for her. Oh, I was having fun with it, alright: Overpaid TV babe + low-rent DJ boyfriend + alcohol + cops? It writes itself, people.
Then Lane called the governor, and the whole thing went from you-ignorant-slutville to career suicide. Was Missus Booker's post-bailout call to Rendell about the city's gun crisis, or the casino controversy, or why the PPA hasn't fulfilled its obligations to Philadelphia's public schools? Because any one of the above would have been a legitimate reason for the most visible (and likely among the highest-paid) female journalist in town to ring up the governor. Pleading your case to save your ass isn't, even using the Mississippi River-broad definition of "journalist" necessary when discussing local news anchors, or if you use the "Ukee Washington" rationale -- meaning, why not go right to the top?
As of this writing, Lane is inexplicably still on staff at CBS3 and somewhere, Gail Shister's brain is about to explode. (There was also talk of Lane trying to call Sen. Vince Fumo, who famously (and unsuccessfully) once tried to woo Lane, but that seems less ethically troubling than it does colossally desperate. Forget the bikini pics, I'd pay good money for a tape of that phone call.)
By 11 p.m. Monday, Lane had been excised from CBS3 promos and the station's holiday special and is off the air for the forseeable future, but she still has her job, her online bio box still listing Diane Sawyer and Judy Woodruff as professional role models. Like I said, it almost writes itself. Stay tuned -- I'm sure there will be an update about this on tonight's news broadcasts, hopefully after the updates on the 4-year-old who shot himself in the neck and the Conshohocken mom stomped to death over takeout food.
PS: Best line on the whole sordid scandal, courtesy of one of Gawker's commenters and re: whether Lane called the female cop "fucking dyke" or "fucking dyke bitch": "Did she suck Rich Eisen's dick with that mouth?"
* Hot off the press, Karen Heller's take -- classily free of dick talk! -- is here.
Then Lane phoned Gov. Edward Rendell "to tell her side of the story," according to her a spokesman. In journalism, this is worse than hitting a cop.
Reporters, even exquisitely lit television anchors, are supposed to cover politicians not hit them up for assistance. If Channel 3 is truly in the practice of journalism, the managers shouldn't have a qualm about saving $700,000 next year.