With all due respect to the other TV investigative reporters in Cleveland, there is Carl Monday, and then there is the rest of you. Nationally known, tenacious, mustachioed, Carl's the best in the biz. No one's mic probes deeper.
Last night's 19 Action News broadcast (Slogan: First at 4 and 5, with the news you read on Twitter at 12) was a little different than most. Along with the trademarked zooms and splashes and touch screens, Channel 19 also brought you two-plus hours of the Carl Monday mass tipline.
If you missed it, just imagine the PBS pledge drive desk — a bank of phones, lots of bored people pretending to talk to people on the phone and writing notes, lots of phones ringing. It was a special one-time only plea for your help, because Carl Monday can't do what Carl Monday does without you. So viewers were encouraged to call in, reminded by Sharon Reed during live look-ins that the phones were buzzing and Carl Monday was ready to hear your hot news tip.
Whether this was simply a gimmick, or a gimmick dreamed up because Carl Monday's tip supply has run dry, who knows. You don't question Carl Monday.
We wanted to call, not to give Carl a tip, but to find out what sort of NPR-like swag viewers who dished the dirt could get. Here's the unofficial results of our investigation:
— Anything having to do with public services, water, sewer, cable, phone: A pencil Carl Monday once chewed on while sitting in a car during a stakeout.
— City or county employee screwing around on the job: Carl Monday autographed 19 Action News mug, filled with coffee and moonshine, the fuel of Carl Monday.
— Bigfoot sighting: One Carl Monday replica mustache.
— Anything involving a library: Carl Monday will read you a bedtime story while holding his microphone and sitting in your bed.
— Masturbation: Carl Monday will investigate your ex, free of charge.
— Masturbation + library: Carl Monday will wear a trenchcoat with nothing underneath and flash you.