About a year ago, I argued that New England Cable News should pull Open Book Club--the vanity project featuring Debbie DiMasi, wife of then-MA House speaker Sal--off the air, due to the problematic entaglements the show created between the station, the DiMasis, and the Cashmans (i.e., bigshot developer Jay and his wife Christy). The problem was threefold: actions taken by Sal DiMasi had financially benefitted Jay Cashman; a production company run by Christy Scott Cashman was paying NECN to broadcast Open Book Club; and no one knewhow much money--if any--Debbie DiMasi was getting, courtesy of the Cashmans, for her involvement with the program.
The show stayed on the air. But now, in the wake of last week's indictment of Sal DiMasi--which, it bears noting, doesn't involve Cashman--it's putting the kabosh on the program indefinitely. NECN president/GM Charlie Kravetz issued the following statement today.
NECN is aggressively covering the government's case against former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi. In order to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest, NECN has decided to suspend indefinitely the airing of The Open Book Club through which it has a business relationship with Christy Cashman and Deborah DiMasi.
The right move, I think.