The Wonderful World of Bill Kamal

May 14, 2005

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The Bottom Line WPLG and Bill Kamal. Winners of the 2005 South Florida Media Sleaze Award.

Let’s focus the spotlight off of Michael Jackson for a few minutes and consider the case of another celebrity pedophile (or alleged pedophile in Jackson’s case).

In this case, the pedophile (not alleged, as he plead guilty in a court) is Bill Kamal, former weatherman for WSVN Channel 7, the South Florida Fox affiliate.

Kamal, a long-time meteorologist for the channel was busted in October of 2004 for soliciting minors for sex online. The minors turned out to be cops in an undercover sting operation. Kamal promptly plead guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. And that was the last anyone heard from him.

Until two weeks ago when local ABC affiliate WPLG Channel 10 began boasting of an upcoming interview in which Kamal would tell his side of the story. A good thing one might say. Let the man tell his side, and then let the people judge for themselves.

However, WPLG couldn’t leave it at that. In the week leading up to the multipart interview, they hyped it the same way the record industry hyped the debut album by the Strokes in 2001. In essence, they tried to play it up the way the National Enquirer would play up one of its stories. Imagine an Enquirer headline screaming “Videotape found showing Michael Jackson circle jerking with three thirteen year olds at his hidden NAMBLA nudist colony in Neverland” and you get the idea.

Now let’s pause here and do a quick compare and contrast between WPLG and WSVN. WPLG had, up to this point anyway, a reputation as the least sensationalistic news station in the local area. Whereas Bill Kamal’s former employer had a reputation as the most sensationalistic, known for blowing stories out of proportion and making category 2 hurricanes seem like category 22 ones.

So the question is: why did Kamal not go back to his former employer for the interview?

According to a statement Kamal gave not long before the interview, he said he didn’t want to give an interview in tabloid style. Or something to that effect.

But what did the actual interview look like? Was it a sharp confessional in which Kamal admitted to his mistakes and took responsibility for his actions? Or was it like something right out of the OJ Simpson playbook?

Three guesses. Okay time’s up. The answer is: OJ Simpson must surely be smiling.

In essence, Kamal now claims that his arrest and conviction were part of a mass “government conspiracy”.

Kamal claimed that he entered his guilty plea only because his attorneys urged him to. He charged that he was in actuality not guilty and that he just acted on their advice. A subsequent response from the attorney in question claimed that Kamal made the decision to plead guilty completely on his own.

Kamal claimed that he didn’t know anything about the criminal justice system when he went on trial. But you worked in the Media Bill. Oh that’s right. You were a weatherman, just like you pointed out in the interview.

Kamal also claimed in a subsequent letter to his sentencing Judge Michael Moore (no relation to the filmmaker) that the internet sting was part of a villainous plot by the GOP and the Bush family:

"It is the Political Ambitions of the Bush family, as Jeb Bush allegedly plans to run for President in 2008, and thereby promote a rather evil Political Party as good and saintly."

While I’m not one to say that the Bush family isn’t involved in fishy business of some kind, it doesn’t seem likely that their political ambitions would involve taking down a local TV weatherman. Certain Democratic members of Congress maybe. Certain pundits yes. But what would they get from framing a local TV weatherman who was hardly known on the national level?

With the Kamal interview, WPLG succeeded in surpassing WSVN as the winners of the South Florida Media Sleaze award for 2005. And Bill Kamal did not succeed in redeeming himself in the eyes of South Florida. So I’d suggest getting ready for WPLG’s new reality show: “The Hunt for the REAL Pedophile”. Co-starring Bill Kamal and OJ Simpson it’s sure to be a big hit.

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