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 Nov. 27, 2014
There was a lot to be thankful for ths past year, but thanks also can be given for things that might happen in the next year. Call them wishes or hopes, but thanks are still deserved.
Published Nov. 25, 2014
It's the time of year when we all try to figure out what it is we are thankful for and sometimes it's hard to make a decision. But in the world of sports there are a lot of gifts that we get and we should hold hands and say thank you for players, teams and owners.
Published Nov. 24, 2014
Hard to imagine, but four college chums go through all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in just under two hours. It's a laugh-filled romp onstage at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre that has frat party mixed with the Three Stooges as models.
Published Nov. 23, 2014
"The Wizard of Oz" on stage at the Skylight is a warm and wonderful journey into the Emerald City and beyond. The search for the wizard who can get Dorothy home and a heart, courage and brain for her three friends gets a creative treatment good for the holiday season.
Published Nov. 22, 2014
A 70-year-old play about an imaginary six-foot rabbit delivers laughs, but it also is a lesson about how important friendship really is and how loyalty must withstand every single challenge. There is nothing quite like the friendship between Elwood P. Dowd and his best friend, Harvey the Pooka.
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Scott Walker has until Feb. 19 to decide whether to approve a casino in Kenosha. But that facility would clearly have an impact on Milwaukee's Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, and that would certainly be an added hardship for hundreds of charities in the city.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
In the 121st meeting between the two programs, fireworks are the rule, rather than the exception between the Wisconsin Badgers and Marquette Golden Eagles.
Published Nov. 16, 2014
"Frankenstein" has all of the intensity and drama you'd expect from the creation of a monster, but the pace is relentless and that can wear you out. It would have been helpful to have a little bit of room to breathe and sit back in your seat.
Published Nov. 15, 2014
A. J. Gurney's play is supposed to poke fun at the rich, big business and big religion, but it falls apart in an avalanche of trite liberal talking points. Next Act deserves and normally delivers much better.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
When winter hits local television news stations go nuts with the kind of advice we've heard over and over again. Who doesn't know that you ought to slow down if the roads are covered with snow and ice?