I thought Billy Penn’s Anna Orso was going to lay into WIP, Wing Bowl and the culture surrounding it, and while there is indeed some implied criticism of it all in her profile of Angelo Cataldi, the result was a fair and interesting piece about one of the hardest working men in Philly sports that included anecdotes like this one:
Rendell and the late Arlen Specter were known to frequent the show. Then-candidate Barack Obama was on with him twice in 2008, a Senator who wanted to win over Pennsylvania voters in the presidential primary. The first time Obama called into the show in March, Cataldi asked him questions about his politics: Why should we elect you president? How will you approach being the first African American president? Are we empowering our enemies by ending the war in Iraq the way you want to?
Throughout the interview, Obama sounded a little off, quieter than usual. Seems taken back by Cataldi’s line of questioning. After the six-minute interview wrapped, a WIP producer got a call from Obama’s campaign:
“What the hell was that? Senator Obama was on to give his NCAA basketball picks. He wasn’t prepared to talk politics.”
But no one had told Cataldi that. So two weeks later, they brought him on again. This time, Obama talked about how he’d really rather be Dr. J in his prime than be president of the United States.
“When I have to lapse back into journalist-doing-an-interview,” Cataldi says, “that’s a whole different persona than the guy that’s on most of the time.”