Ex-talk show host Mike Webb saw his first trial date today - facing insurance fraud charges - & Meet the Stress was there to witness (or add to?) the spectacle.
Mike Webb? What's all this, then?
Alright, a quick recap - skip the itals if you know the backstory: Mike Webb is former 10 year talk-jock vet at KIRO. A left-leaning liberal of sorts, but never mentally stable/sharp enough to help push the progressive movement wagon forward. Thanks to progressive blogger extraordinaire Blatherwatch's Michael Hood, we all followed Webb's downward spiral into oblivion - culminating in December 2005 (of sorts) when Webb was charged with insurance fraud, and then promptly sacked by KIRO.
As mentioned, this is the quick recap. For the unabridged version of all things Webb, you would be wise to visit blatherwatch's detailed Mike Webb file, or Geoff Parish's expose' "Tangled Webb".
So when I last visited the "Mike Webb file", I also discovered the heading "Mike Webb trial finally begins Thursday!" (07/27/06). Hmmmmmmmm... Thursday. Not much on the personal docket that day.
Arriving at 9:45am at the King County Courthouse outside room E-733, I link up with Michael Hood of blatherwatch - a man who hears every flea-fart in NW radioland - and we prepare for Webb's entrance. I had seen Webb before at a KIRO "battle of the talk show hosts" event, but not long enough to talk to him or take a photo, so I really didn't know what to expect.
Webb turns the corner - a literal behemoth of a human being (the ol' radio/visual disconnect shock)- & I start snapping off a few photos. (Note: I am SERIOUSLY in need of some digicam assistance/tutoring). Webb immediately raises his briefcase - not unlike a perp-walking corporate schill - & passes us by. I tried for a few more clicks, when Webb turned to me and says:
"You know, you're a real asshole!"
I know, huge dis right? Would've cost him a cool 350K on KIRO, but not so much as a dent here. I'll check with Hood, but I may have shed a tear.
The court proceedings are fairly uneventful - mostly trial/vacation scheduling issues (seriously). Well, I should say uneventful aside from a few Mike Webb over-the-shoulder bellers toward the gallery (occupied soley by Michael Hood & yours truly). My favorite, looking in our direction:
"Watch your back!"
Duly noted. Did the stenographer pick that up? Actually I take that back. That was my favorite Mike Webbism until defense attorney Mark Larranaga got up to leave & directed Mike "Don't talk to anyone, okay?". Webb's response?
"Can I shoot em?"
Mentally unstable? Pshaw!
OH YEAH! Judge Spector did ask if Webb's attorney would be bringing character witnesses ("No"). To which the Judge responded:
"Alright, so there will be no mention of Mr. Webb's good character"
*Chuckles, guffaws, & sniggers from gallery*
I know I know, this was just legalese , but still hit us both in the coffee-spit mechanism.
The trial day finally winds-up much how it began: a few motions of which no one will object; a few other motions that are too thick & get punted. Yawn. I start to warm-up the digicam. Mike Webb notices this, whips out his cell phone, & starts taking a few photos of his own inside the courtroom. I wave & ham it up a tad.
And then the fireworks really crackle. Outside the courtroom, I try to reciprocate with a few more candid shots - Webb does the suitcase perp-walk again. But then as he gets in close, Webb grabs for - and runs off with - my camera. Both Michael & I shout about this, & Webb tries to dunk it in the nearest recycling container (failing).
Note: This whole time Webb's attorney Larranaga is exhorting him - much like a mother with a child: "Mike! Mike! STOP THAT!"
Webb & attorney turn towards stairway door & scramble through. I attempt to follow, but Mike Webb - former KIRO News/talk personality - has decided to play a game of push o'war with the door.
Webb finally releases the door, and I fly through - only to face-off with him once more. Well actually, the truth is that the liberal, progressive, & tolerant Mr. Mike Webb backs me up into a corner & proceeds to spout-out a few dozen more FCC 350K words. It was quite Cheney-esque. I responded with something about my 1st amendment rights equaling his - you know, a progressive backbone phrase - but it didn't seem to matter.
After several more barrages, Mike Webb's mouth seemed to run it's course, & proceeded to fade-out into nothing, growing fainter & fainter down the King County Courthouse stairway.
But fear not, folks. Coming again on Tuesday - August 1st, 10:30am in Room E-733, I can just hear the barrage starting anew from the depths of those hallowed halls - as the Mike Webb insurance fraud trial rolls on.