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NEW: Rappleye, Schiller Caught Speculating Politicians’ Sexuality

Friday, January 03, 2014

 

WJAR reporter Bill Rappleye and Brown Professor of Politics Wendy Schiller were picked up on live mic Thursday speculating about the sexual orientation of RI elected officials.

In an episode reminiscent of the 2005 episode in which Guy Dufault and Mike Levesque were caught commenting on then-Governor Don Carcieri, the exchange between Schiller and Rappleye took place in the January 2 taping of "Political Notebook" -- and the videoclip that was up on the WJAR website, which had the conversation, has now been removed.

Prior to being pulled down, a Tumblr post by Stephen Miller transcribes the live-mic conversation that took place. Read Miller's transcript below.

Rappleye Confirms, Wades Into Twitter Debate

Rappleye tweeted at Miller, and Miles Grant, who originally posted the "Political Notebook" clip, about the incident, saying "Not so huge that reporter hears, shares rumors. Bad form to do it with microphone attached."

Neither Schiller nor WJAR News Director responded to request for comment.

Transcript of Miller's Tumblr Post

In his post, Miller wrote the following, entitled "WJAR-TV hosts speculate on sexual orientation of RI electeds -- and caught on camera". 

In the January 2, 2014, edition of “Political Notebook” uploaded to WJAR-TV’s website, the station’s Bill Rappleye and Brown University policy professor Wendy Schiller are caught on hot microphones with some pre-show banter, speculating about the sexual orientation of Providence mayor Angel Taveras and other Rhode Island elected officials.

Spotted by Miles Grant on Twitter
(beginning at 9:45 in the video file)

Bill Rappleye: “It was from a cop.”

Wendy Schiller: “A cop?”

Bill: “And he says one reason you might think it’s true is, you notice all the Cicilline holdovers — his drivers are still on the job. They’re discrete with the former mayor. They’re not going to [inaudible] —”

Wendy: “Yeah but nobody in Providence cares if he’s gay. Nobody in the state cares if he’s gay.”

Bill: “Yeah, but then why’d he get married?”

Wendy: “That was because old Catholic women do not like it if you have a kid out of wedlock and don’t marry the woman. That’s a different demographic.”

Bill: “Neither do I as a matter of fact. I don’t like that either.”

Wendy: “So that’s a different demographic. David Cicilline is gay. Nobody cared.”

Bill: “Right but —”

Wendy: “He was always gay though. I mean, and Gordon Fox was always gay — nobody ever tried to hide it, right?”

Bill: “Yeah but Gordon didn’t come out until the surprise at the state house one day, at the rally. Others have never come out.”

Wendy: “Avesi — It’s got to be Azunya (sic).” [ed: Scott Avedesian? Schiller was unclear here.]

Bill: “Steve Costantino, he never came out.”

Wendy: “Oh, I didn’t know he was gay.”

Bill: “Well, it’s accepted that he is. It’s called the Velvet Mafia up there.”

Note: I am not familiar enough with RI politics to identify who Wendy is referring to by “Azunya,” though the beginning of her comments indicate she is referring to Scott Avedesian. Help, anyone?

Update 2:57 PM ET: It appears WJAR has taken the video down.

 

Efforts to reach Schiller were unsuccessful. Lanni refused to comment due to storm commitments.

 

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