He was Raleigh’s Jim Anderson – the “city father” who always “knew best”. Robert Young’s 60s TV dad personified local media mogul – Jim Goodmon of Capitol Broadcasting. THEN; first thing ya know Citizen Goodmon morphed into a snarling, finger-pointing constipated screeching left-wing media mogul meanie – A sad sordid tale of spousal dominance and limo-liberal guilt……
This Jekyll-Hyde transformation now has Goodmon stuck in Hyde-mode. Our community is the worse for it.
I first met Jim Goodmon in the early 90s. He was “too good to be true”. He was everything Raleigh, or any city, could ever want in a “city father”. Raleigh born and bred. His maternal grandfather had started a very successful TV/radio media empire including the local CBS-affiliate. When Old Man Fletcher passed on, Jim emerged from the internecine family feud to take-over the corner office. He proved a most worthy steward with shrewd biz sense tempered with a good heart. Jim Goodnmon WAS “the package”….. back then.
There were parallels between the Fletcher/Goodmon radio/TV empire and the Daniels’ newspaper behemoth. Both families had granny knots in its DNA helix to be sure, with the Fletcher/Goodmon side perceived as far less Borgia-like than Josephus Daniels’ crazy kinfolks.
The Daniels’ were unabashed yellow dog Democrats; but no one was sure what Jim Goodmon “was”. That made Jim the ideal “City Father Knows Best”. This was “the civil 90s” – a simpler era when high profile citizens could be conscientious objectors in the R vs D War.
How non-partisan WAS Jim Goodmon back then? ….. Jim had an Administrative VP who was responsible for seeing that Capitol Broadcasting was squeaky clean politically. CBC employees were forbidden from displaying ANY political affiliation whatsoever. No partisan bumper stickers allowed in the CBC employee parking lot – Wow!
Jim’s generosity was legendary when his community needed “an anonymous donor” to step up with some $$$$ to bring a worthwhile project to fruition. His most notable benevolence was The Olympic Festival in 1987. Similar projects included a Desert Storm Tribute and saving the local minor league baseball team. There were countless other less public generosities to arts and culture projects.
Every conceivable charity and cause lined up outside Jim’s office with hat in hand. More often than not Good Citizen Goodmon dropped a little (or a lot) into all those hats. A charitable conscience is a wonderful thing and a necessity for a balanced perspective in one’s life. THAT Jim Goodmon was “balanced”.
What a great story! Almost too good to be true. How does it end? Not too well I’m afraid.
While Jim was printing money with his mega-successful media empire and distributing lots of his capital gains back into the community, the cancerous seeds of terminal limo liberal guilt were growing within wife Barbara. Uh oh!
Who knows what worms get into the heads of folks who win Life’s Lottery either thru birth or marriage? As Barbara Goodmon aged into her dowager era, her “inner evil earth mother” emerged. Did she fall under the spell of a Svengali-guru? Was it bad mushrooms? Was it genetic?
Was Jim faced with the time-worn choice of the sofa versus the Serta or even worse – the doghouse out back. Did Barbara “gaslight” Jim’s morning coffee with some concoction she was given by a guru. Whatever, the non-partisan Jim“do Good”mon described earlier disappeared. Replaced by an angry constipated ranting version.
Good-by kindly Dr Jekyll. Hello snarling Mr Hyde.
“Evil Jim’s” public debut was the ’08 election when he ordered his TV sales guys to reject an NCGOP ad critical of Barack Obama. Meanwhile “Mr. Impartial Media Mogul’s” front yard had not one but two Obama yard signs on display. Cheeky Jim, cheeky.
Raleigh has a nasty mud-slinging public school board war the past several years. The same take-no-prisoner bloodbath most metro communities deal with these days.
The McClatchyites, of course, assumed their hard-Left position. With readership falling faster than an anvil dropped off a rooftop, their influence is the death gurgle of a dinosaur in a tar pit. Enter Citizen Goodmon……
It was not enough that Jim was already writing maximum amount checks to every liberal candidate as well as funneling more funds to dingbat Left-wing causes thru his Fletcher Foundation front. Jim decided to “out himself” as a Left-wing hardliner.
Unlike his squishy McClatchy counterparts, Jim, to his credit, came charging out of the non-partisan closet with eyes abulging and guns ablazing.
At the height of the school board brawl, Goodmon addressed an audience of goggle-eyed liberal loonies and announced he had instructed his WRAL News reporters to:
“…. don’t be so worried about presenting both sides of the story. This is too important to leave it to voters to decide. We must tell them how to think…..”
Jim’s snarling, fist-shaking rhetoric had his hard-Left audience swinging from the chandeliers.
That was The Day Jim “Good”Mon Died……
Epilogue: Bullmoose thinks it is fine for private citizens “of means” to fund candidates and issues. Local citizens Art Pope and Jim Goodnight come to mind. Art is a noted Conservative. SAS’s Goodnight is whatever his wife nags him to be. No problemo…..
A media mogul like Jim Goodmon going partisan bonkers is another matter altogether. Public trust of “the media” is lower than Joe Biden’s IQ as it is. Jim Goodmon is a major reason why.