Opinion » Bill Cope

GAG In Your Face

Does Cope have the right huff 'n' puff?

by

CC: Bill Cope

Subject: Be Our Snoop Dog?

Mr. Cope, I believe I have found the perfect fit for you in our G.A.G. team. After much spit-balling, the Trending Now Troop—formerly the Programming Development Division of the G.A.G. Media Group, of which I was Director until I convinced the boys up-stairs that "Trending Now Troop" is a more Millennial-sounding approach to what we do and now I am Director of that—has decided to add an exciting new investigative viewer watchdog feature to our KGAGNews@5&10News. If you ever watch any of the other local news productions—which I encourage all G.A.G. employees to do because knowing what the competition is up to is a short-cut to keeping informed on what we should be up to, too—you may have noticed they have been 1) reporting on troubles individuals have encountered with contractors, businesses, government agencies, landlords, neighbors, etc., and 2) confronting said troubles causers and asking "Hey! What's the deal here?"

For instance, just last week, in one segment of another station's broadcast, they reported on a Kuna woman who had paid a cement contractor $3,500 to tear up her old driveway and install a new one. The very next day, the contractor showed up with a jackhammer and broke her old driveway into big chunks, but never came back to finish the job, or even pick up the chunks. That was four months ago, and the poor woman has had to replace the oil pan on her Subaru twice already because every time she drives into the garage, the bottom scrapes over all those chunks.

So then the reporter went to confront the cement contractor, but it turns out he moved to Arizona the day after he broke the woman's driveway. The reporter then talked to a guy at the Better Business Bureau, who advised people to never, ever pay a cement contractor up-front. Especially a cement contractor who drives by your house in a 1987 Econoline van with his wife and kids, stops and knocks on the door, then tells you that he couldn't help but notice your driveway has some oil spots on it, and if you don't do something about it, the EPA might declare your property a Superfund cleanup site.

The reporter ended the segment with "This is No-Lie Jack, at your back!... reporting."

It was thrilling journalism—or at least, as thrilling as journalism in a place like Boise is apt to get—and we have committed to launching our own version. We have tentatively titled it "The G.A.G. Corps" with the tagline "Looking out for Number YOU!" But we are open to other suggestions.

Mr. Cope, we would really like to see you join our proposed crackerjack team. The Trending Now Troop feels you would have no problem taking on City Hall, crooked contractors, lousy landlords, anyone who thinks they can get away with doing rotten things to innocent Boise people. Or Kuna people. Whatever. Adding to your value as a G.A.G. Corps reporter is that you would be the only member over 27-years old, meaning those bad people would take you seriously—something that doesn't always happen with our younger reporters.

Please consider our proposal. And keep in mind that G.A.G will cover the expenses of dental work if someone you're chasing down for an interview knocks your teeth out.—Alanah Bronahnah; Director The Trending Now Troop; G.A.G. Media Group

•••

Re: Alanah Bronahnah

Subject: I like my teeth the way they are

Ms. Bronahnah, once again I am flattered that you have considered me for a position with your company. However, I am semi—mostly—retired now, and have no wish to be the guy whom all the fresh young perky people turn to and say things like, "William, I imagine you've seen a lot of this sort of thing in your time," or "And now, for the seniors' perspective on the Meal On Wheels debate, here's our own Bill Cope."

Even though I no longer have any interest in showing up somewhere for work every morning, I would be more than pleased to help choose a name and/or slogan for your proposed crackerjack team. I love making up names for things. I seriously considered going into the freelance rock band names biz, until I realized that few rock musicians would be willing to hand that privilege over to a total stranger. As is often the case, naming their band is as close to creativity as a rock musician will ever get.

But I digress. Let me throw out a few tags for your segment and see if anything sticks. How does this sound? "GAG!... Up Your Alley!" Or perhaps, "The 'Got Screwed?' Crew," along with the promise that "We'll ask the questions you didn't think to ask in the first place!"

Here's one I like: "Force KickAss From G.A.G.—We'll bring the camera... you bring the sad story." And: "The Butt-In Bunch: On hand for you (in a non-legal, non-binding way)!" I believe this is my favorite: "The GAG Pack—We're paying attention for a day or two!"