A very wise man named Newton Minnow once called television a "vast wasteland" and I've always pretty much agreed with him when it comes to local television news.
But today I've got to take my hat off to Kent Wainscott of Channel 12.
I was the managing editor of the newsroom when Wainscott came to Milwaukee as a consumer affairs reporter. He was like a lot of young reporters, more concerned with how he looked on camera than anything else.
Now, however, he has grown into the best television political reporter in this market. And it's not even a close contest.
Channel 12, alone among the local stations, devotes time and resources to political coverage. But none of that would be worth a hoot unless you have someone to be the face of the coverage.
Mike Gousha leads the way with his normal brilliance, but Wainscott does the day-in, day-out coverage with a sense of leadership that is a real treat for the viewers.
The hardest thing for local television news to do is to have some sense of context around the news story. Wainscott knows the canvas upon which he is painting his story and makes sure that viewers aren't shortchanged.
In a world where newcomers dot the screen and try to pretend they know what they are screaming about Wainscott is a real breath of fresh air. He's lucky that he works in a newsroom where they actually care about real news and the trust the station has put in him is not misplaced.
If there were a lot of reporters like this in Milwaukee we'd all be a lot better off.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published April 17, 2014
Recently, it was news that the state Republican Party is going to vote at its convention on a resolution that says the state party "supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin's right, under extreme circumstances, to secede." Secede? You've got to be kidding me. Maybe we should all find a way to get the Tea Party to secede from the rest of us who have at least a little bit of common sense.
Published April 15, 2014
Tiger Woods missed the Masters Tournament last week, which was won by Bubba Watson. Waton had to fend off 20-year-old Jordan Spieth to claim his second green jacket, and it proves to me that the game is better off without Woods.
Published April 14, 2014
You really have to hand it to George Webb, the venerable Milwaukee restaurant chain. There may be a "new" kid on the block, trying to mimic Webb's claim to fame, but the Webb people aren't all that concerned.
Published April 13, 2014
Ever since he made his debut into the American pop culture world, Superman has been a character who made people wonder what he really was. After all, he's technically an alien disguised as a human. That was kind of the way I felt walking out of the opening night of "The History of Invulnerability" at the Milwaukee Rep. I wasn't totally sure what I had just watched, but I knew whatever it was had made me a little uncomfortable.
Published April 12, 2014
Everybody wants Tito Morelli except his wife, and she's ambivalent about the whole thing. It's those burning desires from six wacky characters that are at the heart of "Lend Me a Tenor," the Ken Ludwig chestnut that opened at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Friday night and runs through April 27.
Published April 10, 2014
In these trying times it's obviously good to have a job, but some jobs are much harder than others.
Published April 8, 2014
This season was a thrilling ride for the Wisconsin Badgers and it seems almost too much to hope for another one next year. But on paper, next year's team looks even stronger than this season's.
Published April 7, 2014
In a way, the theory behind "Mr. Marmalade" is admirable. Take Lucy - a 4-year-old with an imaginary friend - and give her a whole bunch of experiences that are more suited to adults on massive drug cocktails than to a child, no matter how precocious. Unfortunately, the show itself - which runs through April 19 - is just too much of a one trick pony.
Published April 7, 2014
Ten years ago, I saw the Renaissance production of "Skin Tight," a story of love and life. A decade later, the company brought back the original cast and its original director, Laura Gordon. This new version, running through April 27, is even richer and more nuanced than the original.
Published April 5, 2014
"Three Views of the Same Object," the Henry Murray play that opened Friday night at Next Act Theatre and runs through April 27, is a story is of honor and betrayal, truth and lies, the things we do either for or to the people we love. And in this production, it's a story told on the shoulders of giants.