After seven years in federal prison, and four months on the job market, ex-congressman Jim Traficant debuted a WTAM talk show host on Saturday. In a press release, Program Director Ray Davis said, “I am all about giving people a second chance in life.” Scene had planned on asking him if he was comfortable having that kind of guy around, but WTAM didn’t return our call or e-mail.

Traficant, a 17th District Democrat with conservative tendencies, was well known for a bad hairpiece and skinny neckties (and not as a new-wave fashion). He was popular and brilliant: In 1983, he successfully served as his own counsel and beat a RICO rap. The feds came back at him in 2002, and the Rep was convicted of pocketing campaign funds and sent away for bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion He was also accused of forcing aides to work on his farm and house boat. (If the station had talked to us, we planned on asking if he’d have access to interns.) — D.X. Ferris

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.