Some unhappy with a recent story at Boston’s WCVB are taking an unusual approach this week in makingtheir concerns known:by accusing one of its investigative journalists of secretly drinking his own urine.
While the allegation doesn’t quite pass the smell test, it hasn’t stopped a small internet mob from tweeting, writing Facebook comments, and even organizing call-in campaigns to the ABC affiliate’s offices to demand that journalist Mike Beaudet answer for his alleged proclivities.
Beaudet, also a journalism professor at Northeastern University, caught the ire of these pranksters after he and his students aired a segment about “illegal late night parties” in Allston last week. You can watch their report here:
The student journalists described buying $25 tickets and receiving an email the day of the event revealing the party's “secret location” — secret, the report correctly observed, to avoid scrutiny from city hall and the police.
Hidden cameras captured footage of DJs, a cash bar—“no ID required,” Beaudet notes in a dramatic voiceover—and students using drugs like cocaine and marijuana. Really, not unlike what you might normally see at college party.
Beaudet wrote on his Facebook page that the story identified “legitimate issues” about the safety of these gatherings, but many critics ripped into the reporter, accusing he and his student journalists of “snitching” and “narcing” on young people just trying to have a good time.
One such detractor was Allston-based comedian Dicky J. Stock, who called the segment “an attack on Allston subculture” and said Beaudet owed the community an apology.
As you may have guessed, this is where the pee-drinking stuff comes into play:Stock, known online for his earlier efforts to get the MBTA Police to name their new dog “Mr. Spaghetti,” posted these items on both his own Facebook page and the Facebook page he created for his satirical Masshole character Kimberly Strubell.
Another graphic, which provides dialing instructions to reach the WCVB newsroom, encourages critics to “ask [one of Beaudet’s] friend[s] about his pee drinking habits.”
“I started this campaign against ‘journalist’ Mike Beaudet because I have some very serious questions regarding the integrity of his journalism,” Stock said. “There’s more violence at legal establishments, but that’s a harder story to write. It just sounds like a news guy who has run out of news to sell. And I find this to be bottom-feeding.”
“When I saw the actual piece I was totally blown away by how unprofessional it was,” he continued. “I was angry, and I know this sounds silly, but I recalled an old rumor that he engaged in drinking his own urine. I think he should address his own vices, true or not, if he's going to attack an entire subculture.”
While most pee drinking-related comments seem to be quickly deleted from WCVB’s Facebook page, Beaudet’s is another story:
Some also took to Twitter...
...and others to YouTube.
Beaudet, perhaps unsurprisingly, declined to comment on this story, though he did engage with some of his less urine-fixated critics on his Facebook wall.
“I appreciate all feedback and I would have appreciated it if the organizers talked to us so they could represent their side of the story,” he wrote. “However they chose not to. I stand by the story. City officials deemed this a legitimate issue and have concerns about safety. By the way, there's an open invitation to anyone involved in the underground music scene who wants to discuss on camera its merits."
One commenter points out that the party organizers might expose themselves to legal liability if they were to be identified in a news segment.
“You drunk pee though,” another chimes in, on cue.
Judging by his latest Facebook post—a link to a YouTube video of Jimmy Kimmel’s reading mean tweets about himself -—Beaudet seems to be taking all of the attention in stride.
“Just part of the job,” Beaudet wrote. “Thanks for the laugh with my coffee, Jimmy.”
Your "coffee," Mike?Hmm...