Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

July 23, 2008

What do those TV newsreader smiles really hide?

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media, Online, Television

An American TV news anchor is facing a possible jail term over allegations he hacked into a co-anchor's e-mail account.

Side by side the pair sat in front of cameras for the evening news in Philadelphia no doubt trading all the usual smiles and frowns as the various TV reports were broadcast.

Now it's claimed that Larry Mendte was so jealous of co-host Alycia Lane's career that he broke into her e-mail account more than 500 times and leaked her personal messages to the media.

The ninemsn report "Newsreader 'hacked co-anchor's emails'" (Wednesday 23 July 2008) says they worked together for four years but the older Mendte was allegedly furious that Lane was paid $103,000 a year more than him.

The e-mail leaks are said to have lead to a number of gossip stories about Lane that saw her eventually lose her job earlier this year.

Now Mendte is the subject of an FBI investigation, his home raided and his personal computer confiscated.

Further details are now emerging in the local Philadelphia news including "Mendte faces a felony count" from the online version of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The same publication includes an interesting dig at TV anchors in "Larry, If You're Reading This..." (Tuesday 22 July 2008).

The whole Larry Mendte mess should be labeled Exhibit A in the argument that television newsreaders -- as opposed to the hard-working broadcast reporters, camerafolk, producers and technicians -- are overpaid to do little. The object of Mendte's obsession, Alycia Lane, was known to BlackBerry newspaper reporters during commercials breaks while she was on the air.

Australian TV anchors have been warned. Leave your BlackBerry alone and change your passwords now.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.