Saturday, January 24, 2004
Local anchor feels our pain from afar : "On one of the coldest mornings of the year, veteran WBZ Radio anchor Gary LaPierre couldn't get over how frigid it was outside.

'Would you believe it's 5 below zero right now?' he told listeners yesterday at 6 a.m. 'The only thing worse than the actual temperature right now is having the wind chill factored in.'

What he didn't mention was that he was actually in northern Florida, where it was a balmy 50 degrees.

It turns out that LaPierre has been co-anchoring the WBZ Morning News remotely from his home in the Sunshine State on and off for the past two years. His home in St. Augustine is equipped with its own studio, where he can conduct interviews, touch a computer screen to broadcast commercials, and scan the Internet for Boston's news.....

Ethics specialists argue that LaPierre is breaching an unspoken contract of honesty between journalist and listener. "You can't deliver news and create the illusion that you're in the city where everybody's mucus membranes are frozen when really you've just picked a grapefruit off the tree in the backyard for breakfast," said Roy Peter Clark, an ethics teacher and vice president at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla."

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