Tag Archives: John Edwards

Diner Replaces Plaque For Disgraced Politician John Edwards With… RuPaul

The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH, is one of the most popular stops for presidential candidates.

The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH, is one of the most popular stops for presidential candidates during the New Hampshire Primary.

My fascination with the New Hampshire Primary began 24 years ago after chasing Vice President Dan Quayle around the Food Court at the Pheasant Lane Mall.

Six primaries later, I’ve been trailing presidential candidates around more upscale restaurants and diners (classier than the Food Court) for New Hampshire Magazine.

Here’s a fascinating tidbit that didn’t make the final edit.

The Red Arrow Diner, a popular haunt of local celebs like Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman, honors its most famous customers with commemorative plaques screwed to the booths and countertops. You can plop your rear end on the same barstool as the Bare Naked Ladies or Rudy Giuliani!

But now, fans of former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards no longer have a shrine to worship. When the Red Arrow ripped up its countertops during its fall 2015 renovations, the Edwards plaque mysteriously disappeared.

Might it have something to do with Edwards cheating on his wife Elizabeth while she had cancer and then illegally using political donations to pay off his mistress?

I bet all the “Bill Cosby Sat Here” plaques around the country are also disappearing. Continue reading

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Filed under Election 2016, New Hampshire Magazine, New Hampshire Primary

Meet America’s most (unintentionally) condescending bosses

7-Eleven's CEO was shocked his employees regarded the third shift as a dead-end job

Before all the sex scandals, remember the “Two Americas” theme of the John Edwards presidential campaign? It was tough to take the guy seriously about working class issues when he was infamous for getting $400 haircuts.

CBS obviously has a recession-boosted hit with “Undercover Boss,” the new reality TV series that lets corporate executives play Blue-Collar Dress-Up at their own companies for a week. Disguised as entry-level workers, the CEOs are shown talking to their minimum wage employees, learning about the challenges of their jobs and building empathy for their pitiful lives eating brown-bag lunches and driving used Honda Civics.

The opening credits show foreclosure signs and laid-off employees carrying their belongings off in a cardboard box.

“The economy is going through tough times. Many hard-working Americans blame wealthy CEOs out of touch with what’s going on in their own companies,” the deep-voiced narrator says. “But some bosses are willing to take extreme action to make their businesses better.”

Then comes the graphic dissolve of the show’s slogan: EXTREME TIMES CALL FOR EXTREME MEASURES.

Sorry, I’m not impressed when a CEO grabs a mop, puts his arm around the other guys with mops like he’s at some group therapy session, and then pontificates about how he appreciates the struggles of the working class. Especially when it’s for the cameras.

In this week’s “Working Stiff” column, I argue that the participating CEOs on “Undercover Boss” come across as insincere, patronizing buffoons.


Going on this show is a foolish PR move. Even if a boss is sincere and really does feel for the guy making $8 bucks an hour to get his hand stuck in the meat grinder, the melodramatic music and close-ups added during editing will make him look condescending.

One CEO proudly declared he would be slumming it in budget motels “that are in line with someone who is new to town and working at an entry-level position.” Oh, the sacrifice!

Another boss seems shocked that a third-shift delivery driver never gets to see his wife awake.

Again, these executives are in a no-win situation. Even if they do sincerely care, caring on camera comes across as ridiculously contrived.

The smart CEOs would be much better off being nice off-camera.

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Filed under Undercover Boss, Working Stiff