The Patriot Press

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The Patriot Press is the newspaper of Port Morris High School. On the 2/7/06 show, a reporter from the paper named Ethan called to interview Tom. Here is the piece that ran in the 2/14/06 issue (contains some factual and typographical errors):

Tastes Great

Local radio host tells Port Morris students to keep their hats and cell phones in their locker; issues support for embattled councilman.

By Ethan Wainsworth IV, Staff Writer

I was recently granted an exclusive interview with Tippi Scharpling, the host of The Best Show on WFMU, a weekly transmission of mindmelts, madness and mathematics that airs from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday. It is currently the highest-rated radio program in the country and was the second-most downloaded podcast in the entire world last week, only trailing Gervais and Merchant. I spoke to Timmy about how he entered the entertainment industry and a variety of hot-button issues affecting the Port Morris student body. This is Scharpling's first interview since he spoke to Trouser Press (#89) about the burgeoning "kiddie-punk" scene in Southwestern Newbridge. (Certain segments of this interview -- including interesting discussions about his heroic stint in the Persian Gulf War, his turbulent, six-month reign as Iron Chef New Jersey, and the time that he and Page Hamilton invented the electric guitar in the stock room of a Radio Hut in Clifton -- were cut for space, but you can read the unabridged version online).

Patriot Press: How did you get to host the show?

Tammy Scharpling: Basically I wanted to do a radio show, I volunteered here at the station, and one thing led to another and I got a show. I submitted a tape and they liked it, and then I did a music show and it became a talk show after a while.

PP: Who has been your biggest radio influence?

TS: I like listening to a lot of talk radio. Sometimes the people I'm most influenced by are people I don't like. Bob Grant – I despise his politics, but I think he’s an engaging broadcaster. I also did my fair share of listening to Howard Stern when I was growing up. And I also like Bob and Ray, who are two old-timey radio personalities.

PP: What advice would you give to any high school student interested in disc jockeying?

TS: Huh. That's a good question. Maybe get involved in a small station, get on the mic sooner than you would at a big station. Learn as much as you can about all the facets of radio.

PP: What is your stance on cell phones in school?

TS: What's that?

PP: Uh, your stance on cell phones in school.

TS: I guess I would think that they might be counterproductive to learning. Maybe you bring 'em in and shut 'em off and keep 'em in your locker.

PP: What do you think about school uniforms?

TS: Public, I would disagree; private schools can have whatever agenda they want to have with clothing, but a public school -- I would not support that.

PP: This next one is kind of a touchy subject. When you were in school were there any gay or lesbian students, and how were they treated?

TS: When I was in school, it was not an issue that was discussed a whole lot. I'm sure there were, but it was not an issue that you would talk about. It would be somebody's private matter.

PP: What is your favorite new music?

TS: I guess stuff I play on the show a lot. I like this record by Boris, I like this recod by The Black Lips, I like the new Robert Pollurde record. You can take anything I play on the show and that's me enjoying it. I get paid to play records, but I actually do like some of them.

PP: Hats. Allowed or banned? What's your take.

TS: I kinda don't have much of an opinion on hats in school either way.

PP: You don't have a quote or anything?

TS: Maybe hats should also be left in the locker.

PP: Recently, Senora Belle, one of our school's Spanish teachers, suffered a mild heart attack. Do you have any messages for her while she recovers in the hospital?

[Scharpling laughs]

TS: Feel better. Please have a safe and healthy recovery and feel better soon.

PP: Recently a student of ours was quoted as saying he drinks beer, but was penalized for it. Do you think that's fair to the student.

TS: Why do you need quotes from me on these things? I don't go to your school.

PP: I have a deadline tomorrow.

TS: In what context did he say that?

PP: Well, they asked him does he drink and he said he drinks because it tastes good and he got taken off of student council.

TS: Well, maybe it wasn't the smartest thing for him to say in a public forum, but I think he should be allowed to offer his opinion.

PP: Could you repeat that?

TS: I don't think maybe it was the smartest thing for him to say on school grounds, but he's entitled to his opinion, and that's an issue between him and his parents.

PP: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Um. Par-. Alright, um, alright, that's it. I don't want to waste your time, it's just that my journalism editor is a real tightwad.

TS: OK, well, it's a pleasure to help you out for your school thing.

PP: OK, real quick, just one more. Valentine's Day is coming up, do you have any Valentine's suggestions or memories.

TS: Suggestion in what way, like if you have a date or something?

PP: Yeah.

TS: Buy your girlfriend or boyfriend something nice.

PP: Do you have something better?

TS: Something better than that? I would say you try to treat them as nice as you would treat them on Valentine's Day every day.

PP: Do you have something better than that?

TS: That's actually pretty good advice: the way people want to be treated on Valentine's Day, you should try to treat the people that are special to you like that everyday.

PP: I already have like three quotes for that and those were two of the ones already said. Do you have something better?

TS: Try to do something unique to take them by surprise. How's that?

PP: Also one of the other quotes.

TS: I can't help what else you've got! Come on!

PP: Well, I'm-

TS: I gotta say goodnight.

[I start crying.]

TS: You're not crying?

PP: No, no. I'm the voice of the public.

TS: What's wrong with you? I give you a quote, look you've got your quote. I can't help it if people already said the same thing.

PP: No, no.

© Patriot Press, 2006. A publication of Port Morris High School.