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NEW: DePetro’s Attorney Blasts Governor Chafee

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The battle that started three years ago between talk radio and Governor Lincoln Chafee hit a new level of conflict. As GoLocalProv reported last night, Chafee called for WPRO to fire talk show host John DePetro.

Today, DePetro's attorney issued a blistering attack on Chafee.

The statement issued:

"John DePetro has been a frequent critic of certain union positions and tactics. John has been a vocal critic of Governor Chafee and he has questioned many of the Governor's policy decisions and the priorities of this administration, including his past refusal to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. 

It is no surprise that certain union activists, now joined by the Governor, simply want a critic with a microphone and an audience to be silenced.

Mr. DePetro has been threatened with physical violence. This has no place in a civilized society. Have we heard from Governor Chafee or the offended progressive that it is wrong to threaten an individual with physical harm based upon language used or thoughts expressed? Of course not.

The Governor is joining forces with those attempting to suppress the free speech of a radio talk show.

Suppression of political thought is zealously exercised by many governments and regimes around the globe. Attempts to suppress the free expression of speech, thoughts and ideas, is antithetical to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the vibrant history of this country and the State of Rhode Island to freely debate and discuss the political and social issues of the day.”

Timothy J. Dodd, Esquire

Attorney for John DePetro

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above statement replaces an earlier version - the change was made at the request of Mr. DePetro)

Related Slideshow:
Rhode Island’s Changing Media Landscape

Radio, print, television and digital- the faces in Rhode Islands's media has changed drastically over the past months... Let's take a look at some of the biggest moves:

Prev Next

Phil Marcelo

After a seven year stint reporting for the Providence Journal's state house bureau, Phil Marcelo left the paper to take a reporting gig with the Boston office of the Associated Press.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Marcelo came to ProJo in 2006, and covered everything from regional news, to Providence City Hall and the Statehouse. Marcelo's departure was first reported by WRNI's Ian Donnis.

Prev Next

Julie Tremmel

Formerly a nightly news reporter for WJAR, Tremmel was fired from the "Team You Trust" after two clips, one of her performing on-air handstands, and the other offering tips on what to do during a bear attack, went viral.

The video became an internet sensation, but long-time Channel 10 newsman Jim Taricani called Tremmel’s antics “a smudge on our station's reputation.”

Prev Next

Jim Taricani

A long-time staple of Channel 10’s news team, Taricani announced plans to retire after over three decades with the station. 

Taricani has won 5 regional Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award for investigative journalism and a Prestigious Yankee Quill Award from the New England Newspaper Association.

He was convicted to six months in prison in 2004 for refusing to reveal a source, and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame.

Prev Next

John DePetro

WPRO talk show host has come under fire for comments he made on air regarding women. Leading union organizations have called for DePetro to be fired. 

Most recently, he has been on announced suspension.

DePetro apologized for his comments.

Prev Next

Helen Glover

Former star of the reality show Survivor, turned talk radio show host is out. Helen Glover departs and is replaced by radio Veteran Ron St. Pierre, who only months earlier was let go by 630 WPRO. St. Pierre is a radio Hall-of-Famer and former top sports anchor on WPRI-12.
Prev Next

Mike Stanton

Mike Stanton, the remaining reporter from the Providence Journal's once storied investigative team, is leaving Fountain Street for a teaching job at the University of Connecticut.
Stanton, who was part of the team that won the Providence Journal's last Pulitzer and is the author of the "Prince of Providence," the Buddy Cianci expose, departs leaving the Projo without an investigative reporter. 
Prev Next

Dean Starkman

GoLocal named Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dean Starkman as a contributor and editor-at-large.
"Dean Starkman has a tremendous track record in financial, media, and investigative reporting. His work at the Wall Street Journal as a reporter and as an editor and writer at Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), coupled with ground-breaking investigations of public corruption for The Providence Journal, is unsurpassed in the region," said Josh Fenton, Co-Founder and CEO at GoLocal24, the parent company to GoLocalWorcester.com.
Prev Next

Karen Bordeleau

Karen Bordeleau takes over for Tom Heslin as Executive Editor for the Providence Journal.
Before joining the newspaper in 1996, she worked at the Kent County Times and the Woonsocket Call. 
She is a graduate of Northeastern University and a Rhode Island native.
Prev Next

Bob Whitcomb

Bob Whitcomb has been the editor of the editorial page of the Providence Journal since 1992 and Vice President since 1997. 
His book, "Cape Wind" unveiled the business and political story behind Jim Gordon's effort to build a wind farm off of Cape Cod.
Prior to being a powerful voice at the Providence Journal, Whitcomb served as Financial Editor at International Herald Tribune.
He is slated to leave later this year according to RI NPR.
Prev Next

Tom Heslin

Managing Editor of the Providence Journal, Tom Heslin, is retiring. 
Heslin who has been a journalistic leader of the Journal since the 1990's, led the paper's team the one their last Pulitzer Prize in the early 1990's and had to implement a series of staff cuts during the past decade.
Widely respected by journalists, Heslin has recently suffered from health issues.
Prev Next

Tara Granahan

The former co-host to the morning drive show is now Buddy Cianci's sidekick and co-host on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm drive time show on WPRO AM.
Granahan has had a host of assignments at WPRO and is the only woman on air at WPROAM. 
Prev Next

Connie Grosch

She was the star photographer for the Providence Journal for better than a decade.
Her State House/Political photos made her one of the most influential members of the Providence Journal staff. 
In late 2012, the Providence Journal let her go as part of the latest cost cutting ordered by the home office in Dallas.
In January, she was named press secretary to U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-1). She just announced she was leaving the Congressman's staff to return to photography.
Prev Next

Gene Valicenti

The co-host of Channel 10's 6:00 pm news is now doing double as the host for WPRO's 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show.
Previously, Valicenti lost his 11:00 pm slot on WJAR.
Prev Next

Andrew Gobiel

The former WLNE 6 TV reporter, served as co-host of morning drive with Tara Granahan, but the Valicenti hiring left no room for Gobiel.
No word yet on where Gobiel has landed.
Prev Next

Jennifer Jordan

One of the top Providence Journal reporters is leaving not only Fountain Street, but also journalism. 
She was one of the guild members with the least longevity - more than 10 years.
She leaves for Boston-based Opportunity Nation - a not-for-profit.
Prev Next

Fred Campagna

The former ABC 6 Meteorologist left in the summer and launched his own digital weather platform.
Fred Campagna's new gig is titled, RightWeather.
Prev Next

Ron St. Pierre

The new guy at WHJJ - he takes over the morning show from the departed Helen Glover.
For decades, Ron St. Pierre has been a key player in the media industry in both local television and radio.
St. Pierre handled sports at WPRI TV, hosted morning drive at WPRO AM, and most recently, was Buddy Cianci's co-host in the afternoon.
(Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr)

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Odd Job

Chaffee..stick with your ball of yarn.

what cheer

DePetro's lawyer talking about "civilized society". Now that's Rich. John DePetro is to radio what Jerry Springer is to television. Keep John Loughlin, he is so much better than John DePetro. I actually listen to WPRO in the morning with John Loughlin. I turn the dial when DePetro is on. This is the one time I actually agree with our Governor.

Jonathan Flynn

Mr. Todd must work Pro Bono. Mr. DePetro works Pro Boner.

Jimmy LaRouche

"Suppression of political thought is zealously exercised by many governments and regimes around the globe. Attempts to suppress the free expression of speech, thoughts and ideas, is antithetical to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the vibrant history of this country and the State of Rhode Island to freely debate and discuss the political and social issues of the day.”

Well said...

G Godot

Well put Mr. La Rouche. Killing the messenger, if the messenger is right of center, is a regular pastime in this third world backwater of a one party state. There was not a PEEP from the "professionally outraged" ragarding what "Scare America" said about Governor Palin, for example, or what fat Sgt Schultze says about the GOP in general. Of course NOBODY watches his "network". Chrissy Matthews, "Tipper" O'Neil toady drink fetcher can say anything HE wants on PMSNBC or whatever administration propaganda organ he is "on" these days. SO, poor dear Bashier is driving a taxi in New York these days, I expect he has come to understand HE is the fall guy for the rest of the flap mouths.

G Godot

I do find it interesting, though, that Imus had to go with little John for rather pathetic comments on the Whitey Bolger trial, Imus' mouth having goten him into a jam with Howard Lawrence Carr some years ago. Carr, has, of course, written BOOKS about the Whitey & crew.

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