WRKO’s Howie Carr has been yakking on the radio for a long time. He has developed a following and a reputation. Like most radio talkers, there is a necessity to create controversy. Saying outlandish, over the top statements gets listeners’ hackles up. They respond, which impels ratings, which attracts advertisers. It is a simple format and one designed to make everyone happy unless you have a more discriminating palate.

Occasionally the talk show host strikes gold. A national tragedy, or an international incident or an untimely death stirs the national conversation. To be a part of that conversation, people join by flocking to the ‘experts’ and listening as they dispense their pearls of insight.

Prior to the capture of the infamous Whitey Bulger, Howie Carr was a guest on Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly show. He was there to parse the FBI’s TV ad campaign to capture the aforementioned Bulger by focusing on his girlfriend and her tendencies. The FBI ran ads on some specific TV shows including THE VIEW. Here is what Boston’s self-acknowleged Whitey Bulger expert and radio host said.

“Yeah. I don’t quite understand it, Bill. They haven’t seen either Whitey or Catherine Grieg in the United States since 1996. They haven’t been seen anywhere in the world credibly since 2002. I don’t know why they are running all these spots on American TV because I don’t think they have been here for a long time.”

Of course that all was moot because hours later Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica. Now Bulger is making the rounds as the ‘Go to guy’ on Bulger even though he totally missed it the day before.

There is no problem when an expert gets it wrong, but let’s sit back a moment and consider what Howie Carr would have said if the person who made the error of assessment was in his cross hairs, say a politician or a Harvard professor or someone in the arts. Now lets consider why no one is calling for Howie Carr to atone for his error.

There is a word for this, but let’s no go there. Let’s simply say it seems that what is good for this goose is not good for the gander.


The Frugal Yankee is opinionated and thrifty, not necessarily in that order. Find out more at where you can buy FRUGAL YANKEE GUIDE TO SUPERMARKETS.


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