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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Thompson’

Steve Schorr

Longtime Las Vegas resident Steve Schorr died Thursday in Nevada.

He was 74, and died of natural causes, according to a statement issued by his family.

Schorr lived and worked for decades in Sin City, but came to the attention of Whidbey Island when he launched a YouTube show, The Whidbey Buzz, in May, 2019.

The twice-weekly broadcast, primarily a mix of regurgitated press releases and info lifted from local newspapers, was shot in front of a digital screen with the assistance of Rigel Studios, formerly known as Ads4TV.

That company is owned by Rick Manning, who, like Schorr, worked for Nevada TV stations in previous decades.

The Buzz was a carbon copy of other Rigel Studios-produced shows, but Manning declined to speak about it when I messaged him in June, 2019.

Despite assurances Schorr didn’t bite, the Vegas lifer quickly proved unwilling to answer many questions.

This included refusing to provide his legally-mandated federal tax number after declaring The Buzz was a non-profit, then blocking on Facebook a former CPA who asked for the information.

There was confusion at first when the show launched, as Schorr, who lived 1,200+ miles from Whidbey, seemed to have no connection to our Island.

Later, it was revealed he had at least one – a friendship with former Vegas resident Scott Thompson.

The Sin City transplant has spent several years trying, and failing, to gain approval for a proposed housing development known as Wright’s Crossing.

Schorr and Thompson met in Vegas when the former, who also operated Penny Lane Dobermans with his wife, sold the latter a dog.

This was something they acknowledged when we spoke in person before a sparsely-attended Buzz meet and greet in the small, windowless basement of the Oak Harbor Best Western.

Schorr, however, never told his viewers about this relationship when featuring Thompson or any of his businesses on the Buzz, a clear violation of longstanding journalistic ethics.

This culminated with a recent show in which the anchor allowed the builder, and a rep from Wave Broadband, to promote proposed internet service for the proposed housing development in a 15-minute piece, without disclosing their personal relationship.

Thompson later posted that Buzz episode to the Whidbey Island Community page on Facebook, referring to the video as a “press release.”

The proposed Wright’s Crossing development is currently a giant pile of twisted, uprooted trees and a lonely office trailer perched on the hill above Safeway and Wal-Mart in Oak Harbor.

Thompson, despite financially backing candidates in both Oak Harbor City Council and Island County Commissioner races, has failed so far to build much support for his development among local officials.

Dan Evans, not the popular former state Governor, but a transplant from Minnesota, lost his recent Commissioner race to two-term incumbent Jill Johnson by 10,000+ votes, one of the largest margins in recent Island county political battles.

During the race, Thompson and his wife were the largest financial contributors to Evans, donating a perfectly legal amount according to public records.

The duo, and former Oak Harbor Mayor DeVere “Scott” Dudley, best known for not being allowed to sign city checks during his time in office, were among a group which relentlessly leveled personal attacks at Johnson, a lifelong Oak Harbor resident.

While questions about others financial involvement in The Buzz were frequent, Schorr repeatedly insisted he, and he alone, financed the show.

If true, Friday’s broadcast, hosted by a fill-in, former Vegas TV anchor Casey Smith, could be the final broadcast of the show.

Smith, capping an 18-month run of The Buzz botching local names and area history, had a big stumble at the end.

And yes, he pronounced it on camera exactly as it’s shown on screen.

 

Neither Smith or anyone at The Buzz have responded to requests for info on the future of the YouTube show.

 

To follow my winding relationship with Schorr, here is a timeline of previous stories I published:

 

https://coupevillesports.com/2019/06/30/let-the-sun-shine-in/

https://coupevillesports.com/2019/07/11/vegas-legend-buzzes-whidbey/

https://coupevillesports.com/2020/06/04/vegas-scalawags/

https://coupevillesports.com/2020/06/10/rumble-sin-city/

https://coupevillesports.com/2020/06/12/swing-and-a-miss-sir/

 

UPDATE – Sunday 7:40 PM:

Scott Thompson, who still lacks the permits to build Wright’s Crossing, says I am a “sick human being, a punk, and an asshole.”

So, I got that going for me.

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Steve Schorr likes some people. He doesn’t like me, though.

Well, I hit the big time.

Sort of.

I got namechecked Wednesday on The Whidbey Buzz, called out as Public Enemy #1 by anchor Steve Schorr, a longtime Vegas resident who has pumped out a twice-weekly web show which has tried (largely in vain) to pass itself off as a local production.

This is the story which irritated him:

https://coupevillesports.com/2020/06/04/vegas-scalawags/

I stand behind every word I wrote.

And Mr. Schorr, if you truly believe what I have documented are lies, why do you, once again, dodge a chance to address the issues raised and the questions asked?

I’ll give the dapper one credit – with his old school suits and his hair tinted purple by the digital set he shoots on – he pronounced my last name virtually flawlessly.

Which is noticeable, since it’s not an easy name, and Schorr has a long history of mangling pronunciations of things, people, and places located on Whidbey.

In today’s video he calls up all the gravitas from a 40-year career of reading a teleprompter in Sin City to chastise me for not fully believing in his faded act.

To which I would respond, if my grandfather, the otherwise quite despicable Elmer Svien, ever taught me anything, it’s this:

If it looks like a con artist, and sounds like a con artist, it’s probably a con artist.

Allegedly.

As much as I hate to post a Buzz video, thereby helping their numbers — at the time I’m posting this, the video below has … one view on YouTube  — here you go.

I get chastised beginning at the 4:43 mark of the video.

 

Let’s be clear. I have no problem with Mr. Schorr choosing to vent at me.

His anger at being called out, and possibly his sadness at frittering away the tail end of his career in this manner, are understandable.

I do have a problem with two sentences in this video, however.

Schorr claims I have made “vile threats” against him, and that my “friends” have threatened him physically.

My first response, “Bull.”

My second response, “Prove it.”

You say you want only the truth. So, speak truth, sir.

I am operating alone in this matter, as the newspapers and TV stations in the area have not chosen to shine a spotlight on The Buzz.

Yet.

I’m not sure what “friends” you speak of in this matter, sir.

Might help if you were forthcoming with names so we could tell if I actually know these possible ruffians.

You and I have never spoken on the phone, Mr. Schorr.

We spoke in person once, in front of a group of people, during your depressing meet and greet in the bowels of the Oak Harbor Best Western almost a year ago.

No one had to separate us, sir, though you did get visibly annoyed when I asked you questions you didn’t want to answer – such as those about your lack of transparency.

Below, to remind you of our conversations online, I am posting them complete, lifted from our Facebook exchanges.

Please review and point out any “vile threats” depicted in those speech bubbles, sir.

I can’t learn if you’re not willing to be my teacher here, Mr. Schorr.

Respectfully yours,

Someone who doesn’t “feel threatened” by you.

The phrase you’re looking for, Mr. Schorr, is “someone who feels saddened” by you.

 

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