By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor
New York’s WABC-TV morning show just lost one of its anchors.
Ken Rosato, a news personality with twenty years at this major television station, was fired this week, allegedly for calling a colleague a name (yes, one of the very bad ones) on a hot mic. The station decided it has a zero tolerance policy on talent insulting each other on the air, so Mr. Rosato has been given his walking papers and his bio has been scrubbed from the website.
I’m a Chicagoan. I know nothing about the local news scene in New York, but from what we’ve heard about the town bleeding residents at a speed rivaled only by Illinois, I wouldn’t be surprised if the station is looking for any justification to cut personnel.
At the rate Mayor Eric Adams is going, it won’t be long before the station has more employees broadcasting to the New York City viewing area than there residents left in the area to watch their programs.
But that’s not the interesting part of the story.
Here’s the interesting part. Even in the rather highly regulated arena of broadcasting, a private employer such as a television or radio station can still fire an employee for violating company policy.
Out here in flyover country, we have our own television personalities, our own radio personalities too, in every genre from news to country, from classical to alternative. And they all have the same battles for market segments, for ratings, for advertising revenue that they have in NY. Any one of them could be fired without notice for something they say on air, even by mistake.
These stations are private employers. They have the right – the obligation, in fact – to safeguard their reputation and keep their audience happy with their programming.
Now, for contrast, let’s look at another prominent New Yorker, Alvin Bragg.
Alvin Bragg is a multimillionaire (and in case you’re wondering, nobody really knows how) lawyer currently serving as the New York district attorney – in other words, he’s the county’s main prosecutor.
Outside of a very brief couple of years in which he worked for a private law firm, his career has been entirely in the public sector, working for the federal DoJ and the city and state of New York in various prosecutorial roles.
Alvin Bragg has led high-profile pit-bull attacks on private companies, private individuals, and politicians, with targets ranging from the Weinstein Company to the Donald J Trump Foundation; he’s even sued the U.S. Census Bureau.
In his current position, which he’s only held for sixteen months, he has already amassed a long list of malicious and outrageously ill-considered decisions.
Alvin Bragg prosecuted Jose Alba, a convenience store clerk, for defending himself against a violent robber, only finally dropping the charges after a national outcry.
Alvin Bragg illegally indicted television host Steve Bannon on dubious charges for which he had already received a presidential pardon.
Alvin Bragg indicted President Trump for an alleged campaign finance-related crime for which nobody has ever been prosecuted, one that the Federal Election Commission (the only bureau with the actual responsibility for enforcing these regulations) had already announced did not apply here.
But most shocking (despite the lack of rarity) was what Alvin Bragg did his first week in office: Alvin Bragg announced from the start that his office would stop prosecuting criminals caught for what he alone considers “minor” crimes, such as prostitution and resisting arrest.
Alvin Bragg has in fact become the latest major example of the epidemic that has spread to so many American cities over the past ten years: an anti-prosecutor, a destructive leftist enemy of law enforcement who uses his office to undermine the police, to empty the jails, and to fill the city’s streets with unimpeded criminality.
Readers of a certain age will remember how dangerous New York City had become by the 1980s, and how Mayor Rudy Giuliani (1994-2001) turned the city around through the use of broken window policing (the approach in which heavy enforcement even on minor crimes will scare the criminal element out of committing crimes at all).
Alvin Bragg and his ilk use the exact opposite approach: through outright refusal to enforce laws considered minor or even somewhat severe, and only enforcing the absolutely biggest of felonies, they enable the criminal element to dominate whole neighborhoods without fear of arrest.
Every time a New York policeman risks his life to bring in a robber, mugger, burglar, rapist or dealer, only to see the prosecutor’s office set him free, Alvin Bragg makes the city a little more dangerous. In addition, he makes that policeman question his career choice, and discourages other potential future recruits from ever applying to be police.
Every day, Alvin Bragg makes the city a little more dangerous. Some days, a lot more.
And that’s without even considering the prosecutions he does support with gusto: unfounded political attacks on Republican politicians, and outrageous prosecutions of good Samaritans and victims when they themselves are under attack by the miscreants coddled by the Bragg administration.
A perfect example made the news last week: chronic repeat offender Jordan Neely, who had repeatedly brutalized the passengers of New York’s subways without ever doing serious time for it, finally went one step too far recently, threatening the passengers of a train to the point at which good Samaritans rushed to the victims’ aid and held him back. The city’s own task force had put Jordan Neely on a list of the “Top 50” known threats to safety in the city’s transportation system, but that didn’t stop Alvin Bragg from charging Daniel Penny with murder, just for protecting innocent passengers from this violent psychotic.
Alvin Bragg has committed hundreds of such intentional errors in judgment since winning this office with the help of billionaire leftist donors (such as the million or so he got from George Soros). And yet, does the state government move to remove him from office? Of course not.
Nobody could be a worse prosecutor than Alvin Bragg, but mistake after mistake, disaster after disaster, he remains in office, empowered to fill the local bureaucracy with fellow destroyers who will be difficult if not impossible to get rid of in the future. Long after the voters finally tire of him and replace the man at the top, the hundreds of functionaries he’ll have populated the department with will remain in office, as untouchable civil servants, doing their damage for a generation.
Every honest New Yorker knows that Alvin Bragg should be fired, but it can’t be done.
And now, thanks to an errant comment on a hot mic, every New Yorker is forced to make an unpleasant connection, as they realize how easily the private sector can fire someone who fails to live up to the requirements of his job.
Broadcaster Ken Rosato is fired for one accidental insult, broadcast by a live microphone; District Attorney Alvin Bragg can’t be fired no matter how many hundreds of bad hires, and how many thousands of opportunities to make the city safer he consciously chooses to blow.
What a dichotomy.
There is a difference between the public and private sectors. When a private business sees a mistake, it can react to it. When government sees a mistake, it either can’t or stubbornly won’t.
Government isn’t just unresponsive when its policies are errant; it consciously enables those errant policies for years, even decades, before inertia is overcome and it finally rights the ship.
Two New Yorkers in the news, one private, one public. And what a lesson they provide for a nation in crisis.
Almost makes one second-guess the idea of ever choosing government to be in charge of anything, doesn’t it?
Copyright 2023 John F Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009. Follow John F. Di Leo on Facebook, Twitter, Gettr or TruthSocial.
A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.
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By John F. Di Leo, Opinion Contributor