Best of Phoenix 2013: Best Moments in Local Television
In honor of this year's edition of Best of Phoenix, we bring you the year's best local TV moments.
5.) Michael Marin's suicide
When jet-set multimillionaire Michael Marin fell on hard times in 2009, the former Wall Street trader and lawyer decided to torch his Biltmore Estates mansion when a huge balloon payment came due. Marin made his famous escape from the house in scuba gear. Fast-forward to June 2012, and Marin was found guilty of arson. Shortly after the verdict was read, Marin appeared to cover his mouth as he appeared shocked. Moments later, he was on the ground, convulsing, and eventually fell unconscious before being declared dead at a local hospital. Turns out when he put his hand to his mouth, he popped in a cyanide pill -- which he'd bought on the Internet -- and killed himself right there in the courtroom, an act that was caught by the news crews of several local TV stations.
Usually, Go Daddy just shows off the good-lookin' chicks, and tells you to head to the website to see the stuff that's "too hot" for television. If only we could be so lucky this year. Instead, Go Daddy decided to go with an ad in which the "talent" has a graphic make-out session with some fat, curly-haired, nerdy bozo, with an intense focus on the sound of these two going at it. Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving issued a press release indicating that he would not apologize for making Americans sick to their stomachs, and remarked that he personally believed it was hilarious.
Dennis Welch (center).
Before the veteran reporter started co-hosting 3TV's Politics Unplugged in June 2012, he was part of a team that launched the now-defunct Arizona Guardian, a news website that doggedly covered Arizona politics. He's tough and fair during interviews with political figures and was even "slugged" by Governor Jan Brewer after he posed a question to her about global warming. After she eked out a nonsensical answer, she hit Welch and asked him, "Where the hell'd that come from?"
With many of the local TV news stations all too willing to plant their lips upon the butt cheeks of politicians across the state, there's one TV network that's not afraid to expose their frequent disservices to the taxpayers. Unfortunately, that network is called Comedy Central, and Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report are the ones doing some of the best TV reporting of Arizona's political news.
Arias' epic murder trial had everything that voyeurs, gossips, and just plain curious computer users could want, starting with the terrific decision by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens to allow the case to be televised. With the case's long prehistory -- going back to June 4, 2008, the day Arias sliced, stabbed, and shot her 30-year-old former boyfriend Travis Alexander at his Mesa house -- the media cannon was well primed by the time the trial started on January 2.
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