Each month we at Boom Bap Radio will bestow "The Douchey McDouche Bag" award on the biggest dickheads in the news. This category is not limited to politicians or entertainers or even athletes, there's room for everyone on this bench.
However, each month one person stands out as the absolute winner of our coveted prize.
The award is based on the name I gave a menial worker from a big box department store, who insisted that my item was no longer in stock without looking. This douche actually made me order the item online and had a whole five-minute explanation of why the product was not available days after Christmas. Evidently it was shipped back to some remote warehouse over the hills and far, far away.
Imagine my surprise when about an hour later, while walking to the other end of the store, I found piles of my item, neatly stacked and very much available.
So, this one goes out to that collared shirt wonder, who obviously knew nothing, but before he knew a whole friggin' lot “Douche Bag!!" Hey dickwad - this award Â goes out to you - Douche!!!
Â The August 2015 Douchey McDouche Bag Award
As a former daily newspaper journalist, one of the first things youâ€™re taught is: â€œto cover the story, but never become the story.â€
What that meant to us:
- Make sure youâ€™re not in pictures of the subject of your stories.
- Donâ€™t have a meltdown that gets you thrown out of the event.
- Keep your personal opinions to yourself.
These basic guidelines served as a tome for any young reporter who should find himself or herself covering a story for a big time daily newspaper. They were rules to live by and if you didnâ€™t follow them, they could become words by which your career dies.
On Aug. 26, 2015 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan threw the rule book out and caution to the wind and in doing so, didnâ€™t just jeopardize his career, no his crazy ass blasted his way to infamy and into the top spot in our monthly contest for douchiness.
On that day Flanagan (a.k.a. Bryce Williams) left his fancy-smancy, showbiz nom de plume at home and showed up at an assignment with a gat instead of the mandatory pad and pencil. Once at the assignment Flanagan slayed two former employees and injured the subject on live television.
On that day Douchey McFlanagan murdered WDBJ-TV journalist Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman 27-year-old Adam Ward during a 6:30 a.m. broadcast. Obviously not dispatched to this assignment, Flanagan calmly walked up to the two news people and the subject of their story and began blasting.
Fourteen shots later, Flanagan fled the scene, only to be found about 200 miles away in a rented car where he took his own with the 15th shot.
There was no clear reason for Flanaganâ€™s attack, but an angry multi-paged manifestos and social media posts all point to a volcano of anger.
Some believe it may have been twisted retribution for racial injustices he believed he suffered or maybe just good old fashioned anger over being fired.
As far as Flanagan goes, he wrote that the June shootings at a historic church in South Carolina pushed him over the edge and caused him to stalk two former news people and murder them.
While some ponder why Flanagan decided to murder, we here at Boom Bap Radio were clear on his purposes. He decided to â€œgrab his gat and go rat-ta-tat-tatâ€ and became the subject of a news story within a news story because he was indisputably a frigginâ€™ douche bag!
Mindâ€™s Playing Tricks?
The shooting, one of the most shocking in U.S. history, occurred in real time as Parker interviewed Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, for an early morning spot. Ward, who served as her camera person, was thought to be working his last assignment for the Roanoke station. Wardâ€™s fiancÃ©e was due to move onto a new station in North Carolina in the near future.
Parker, who was newly engaged, had recently moved into a new apartment with her fellow station reporter, Chris Hurst. She too was on her last day with WDBJ and was expected to start a new gig in Charlotte, N.C.
It was never discerned whether the coincidence of the attack on their last day was a fact perhaps known to the shooter and perhaps followed on social media.
However, what was reported was Flanagan made his co-workers feel uneasy and threatened around him when they all worked together in 2012 and 2013. His personnel file suggested he could be abusive and due to outbursts, especially when it came to dealing with camera personnel.
During his time at Roanokeâ€™s WDBJ, Flanagan was written up and given warnings about his inability to work with others and ordered to improve. The television also criticized his reporting skills and asked him to seek help with his anger issues. He was employed at WDBJ for about 11 months.
When fired in February of 2013, Flanagan allegedly told station management he was not leaving and to call the police. The newsroom was later cleared and that was the end of â€œBryce Williamâ€™sâ€ television reporting career.
A further inspection of Flanaganâ€™s file, found that he had problems with both the reporter and cameraman shortly before his employment was terminated.
Our douche bag would state Parker â€œmade racist commentsâ€ and Ward had filed a Human Resources complaint against him after a contentious assignment.
On social media, Flanagan pointed to Parkerâ€™s alleged use of newsroom term â€œin the fieldâ€ as a veiled racial reference to slavery and picking crops in the field. Flanagan pointed to Parkerâ€™s asking him to â€œswing byâ€ a site as also being racially charged.
Both comments were allegedly made while Parker was interning at the station in 2012.
Evidently our douche took those nuggets and sat on them, perhaps being angered to a boil day after day.
Previously published reports characterized Flanagan as an â€œinjustice collectorâ€ who sued a Tallahassee, Florida television station WTWC for discrimination in 2000 after allegedly called a monkey by station management and his contract not being renewed.
While reports of his reporting competence and temperament vary, his Florida lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount a year later after threat of an Equal Employment (EEOC) complaint
Flanagan also worked at North Carolina television station WNCT from 2002 to 2004, as well as other stations over the years.
The troubled newsman also filed an unsuccessful Equal Employment (EEOC) complaint against the station and who had also lost a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against the station just a month b
When Flanagan was fired, it was Ward who filmed the whole sorted affair, evidently for shits and giggles.
In his manifesto, Flanagan said he was moved to violence as a result of the actions of another Douche Bag â€“ South Carolina alleged murderer Dylann Roof, who killed 9 people in a historic church two months earlier.
In the end, Flanagan made the decision to calmly flee the murder scene, post his misdeeds on social media and roll towards the airport in a 2009 Mustang. There he ditched his late model Ford and switched it out for a rented Chevy.
As police reviewed license plate recognition technology and searched for Flanagan, he was caught in the area of Falls Church, Va. Where pursuing authorities turned on their sirens and the suspect swerved off the highway onto a grassy median where he ended his life.
The tragic path of Vester Flanagan arguably began in February of 2013 when his professional personality, Bryce Williams was â€œseparatedâ€ from ABC affiliate and television WDBJ in Virginia.
By the time facts caught up to the crime, the news media had already gone into 21st Century mode and started tricking-out this psycho douche.
In the sensational format that makes American media darn near yellow, journalists focused not on the mental state of our sicko, or the need for firmer gun laws, or even the possible need to handle disposed employees with care.
Nope, our media relied on the cheap thrill of oddity and scandal to fan the flames of infamy when it reflected on the deeds of Flanagan on the years before he went on a murder spree.
Once Flanagan was I.D.â€™d as an kookie murderer, a treasure trove of oddities that ranged from old shirtless pictures, gym identification cards, Facebook posts, elementary school photos, interviews with old friends and associates magically appeared all across the media.
It was reported that the fluffy, 41-year-old Flanagan had been a $2,000-a-night male escort back in the day. He, evidently, â€œturned headsâ€ and was coveted by his male clients.
Flanagan had also played into the feeding frenzy by reaching into his media bag of tricks and mailing a 20+ page manifesto to WABC news, the parent company for his former station. He placed the proverbial douchey-cherry-on-top when he posted a first person POV of his murders and attempted murder on social media.
Before he was found as roadkill along the interstate, he was found to be in possession of sun glasses, a wig, shawl, and other disguises, as well as numerous license plates from different states.
On the surface it looked as though Douchey McDouche had hunted his prey and prepared for his murderous ambush perhaps since that fateful day in 2013.
Media accounts suggested Flanagan made his newsroom colleagues feel threatened and that he exhibited harsh language and â€œaggressive gesturesâ€ causing great friction among his colleagues on at least three occasions.
He was told to seek help for anger management issues.
Other reports critiqued his reporting and his inability to make posts to social media and to the web in an amount that was desirable to management.
Before it was done, his reporting skills were questioned and his questions about the questioning seemed to lead to more angry confrontation with management, which ultimately fired him in February of 2013.
By the conclusion of the news-cycle, psycho-analytical media babble ruled and any and every picture of Vester Flanagan could be seen from website to website.
There were pictures of him with headphones, selfies, prom pictures and a very confrontational phone video of a road rage incident. Flanagan was infamous and everywhere, despite his douchey act.
And then it got downright douchier, when news outlets channeled Flanaganâ€™s dead mother for information and insight. Court documents from Betty Flanaganâ€™s divorce from the gunmanâ€™s father emerged, painting a picture of a child caught up in the throes of a family split.
News reports stated Flanagan was prone to outburst s and had survived a living situation where his father did not believe Vester and his siblings to be safe around his mother. Reports stated Flanaganâ€™s mom threatened to beat him with a brush or belt and that he feared for the youngsterâ€™s safety.
Obviously whuppinâ€™ that ass didnâ€™t make a dent in the actions of the future whacko, but the odd connections and features that were sewn together made yet another tragedy nothing more than a brief visit to the media freak show.
The Wrap Up
In our media saturated society, the murder of two television reporters on the air turned out to be less than spectacular and itÂ soonÂ became yesterdayâ€™s news. It’s theÂ downside to the endless news cycle,Â where everyone becomes a little numb from what seems like a weekly violent incident involving a gun.
So, there was no press conference from the White House; no nationwide outrage and no bullet points from a national organization for the mentally ill.
Nope, the shocking murder of two young journalists by a former colleague left most of us with the same empty feeling we usually get when some other person went on a shooting rampage with a legally purchased gun.
It appears to happen so often, that only odd circumstances propel it into the headlines and the reveries of millions.
In the end, Flanaganâ€™s murderous ambush brought to light a sad, sad tale about a lonely, little man, who decided to go the way of the gun as only an American can.
He legally purchased a gun and then used it on his prey and then himself, before it was all done.
In this case, a disgruntled douche hunted down former employees, just days before they were to leave their common job site and be it because they were racists or not, launched himself onto our front pages and into our trophy case with little warning.
Yo â€“ Bryce Williams, you finally got your anchor spot in Hell; right along with all of the other pathetic gunmen who shoot unsuspecting and unarmed people and then take their own lives.
So cue to the live remote, Vester Lee Flanagan you are the winner of the Boom Bap Radio Douchey McDouche Bag Award for the month of August 2015.
Enjoy your prize, you very dead, injustice collecting, YouTube posting, murderous washed up reporting, Douche!
Hey, you know the rules, keep it moving, thereâ€™s nothing more to see here.