COMMENTARY: First we were “ignorant”; Now Commissioner Thompson says we’re “whores”

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Submitted: Sun, 01/30/2011 - 1:58am
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:10pm


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – There’s no doubt about it, you’ll never have to guess what New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Thompson means when he speaks. He’s very straightforward, shoots from the hip, and sometimes makes our jobs fun with his spicy comments.

This week was no exception. County Commissioners have been questioned by many local media outlets on why they chose to spend $36,000 to have someone from out of state come in this week to help facilitate their annual two-day workshop where they got the chance to play with Tinkertoys.

When asked about being in the media spotlight of late and the commission being transparent, Thompson told the local newspaper, “They are whoring themselves out for ratings.”

That’s been one of Thompson’s standard responses when asked about recent coverage of spending choices commissioners have made of late — they’re just doing it for ratings. He’s also quick to glibly reply that if people don’t like the job he’s doing, they can just “fire him.”

This is the same commissioner who called me out personally a few months back when we asked why he, as chairman, chose to give the USS Gravely Commissioning group $25,000 to help host a party for a ship that was coming to Wilmington with or without the money. He said I, and the TV station, were “ignorant” if we didn’t see the value of spending that tax money on entertaining sailors and VIP’s.

This is the same commissioner that, when faced with a budget shortfall in 2010, chose to hold Airlie Gardens and Cape Fear Community College’s new Union Station building hostage unless voters approved a new tax.

Yet he doesn’t mind spending $25,000 here for a party and $36,000 there on a two-day meeting, when now taxes are higher, the county has been freezing jobs and taking furlough days, and county workers have gone months without seeing a pay increase.

And let’s not forget that this is the same county commissioner that “invited” Leland Mayor Walter Futch out into the parking lot during a committee meeting to discuss comments Futch had made during a prior meeting. The invitation, Thompson said, was so they could settle the dispute like men. But then Thompson backed up a bit, saying he’s recently gotten good with God, and WOULD HAVE invited Futch out, but was a changed man. But then he makes the invitation formal again, or said Futch could sit there and “wet his Huggies.”

One major detail Thompson seems to be in the dark about is TV ratings. First, there are only four formal “ratings periods” for TV stations across the country. They happen in February, May, July and November, so Mr. Thompson, we’re not even IN a ratings period.

Second, WWAY doesn’t subscribe to Nielsen Ratings books anymore. We don’t even know WHAT are our ratings are.


  • Guest33 says:

    I don’t agree with the spending, but I do agree that wwayTV3 reports on these things to stir the pot.
    Its a good thing that Scott P isn’t bitter.
    so childishness.

  • Guest10 says:

    Thank you WWAY and Mr. Pickey for printing your commentary. Many New Hanover County residents will be outraged to learn Commissioner Thompson used such language and conducted his responses in such an improper manner. Citizens expect and deserve professional, polite and courteous behavior from elected officials. It is the responsibility of each of us to hold our County Commissioners accountable with the use our tax dollars. Any questions, from WHOEVER, are reasonable and should be expected. The County Commissioners should understand the public is watching how they spend our money. It effects all of us.

    Thank you again for printing your commentary.

  • Hank says:

    Continue to expose that which is rightfully our, facts!

  • Anita H. says:

    You said “…and county workers have gone months without seeing a pay increase.”

    Months without a pay raise? Are you kidding? County workers dont DESERVE monthly pay raises..and where in this country does anyone GET MONTHLY PAY RAISES?

    Im in a Tech job and make way above average wages for Wilmington and havent seen a raise in years. NO ONE gets monthly pay raises, so that doesnt hold any water. If they do, then that could be part of the problem here with our budget.

    As far as Jason goes, I dont particularly like the guy, but hes right in the aspect of having to spend money to get people here. 20-40k dollars isnt too much to spend to bring people to Wilmington that will influence others to help out or to act as goodwill ambassadors to others for future possible relationships.

    And Scott, Im surprised you took the time or have the understanding of anything that isnt related to fluffing & covering for Obamas plundering mistakes and ineptness.

  • Guest-of-the-day says:

    does Jason do this volunteer job because he he wants to represent the taxpayer in an efficiently running local government (people just like himself), or because he likes the parties and VIP treatment?

    His record speaks for itself and if the media is under-reporting the truth, he merely needs to correct them. These obstinate responses speak volumes.

  • Guest461 says:

    Never argue with a fool (like Jason Thompson), as those observing may not be able to tell the difference.

    Just get him to extend his “parking lot” offer to you and then proceed to stomp a southern mudhole in his backside….

  • Guestdougie says:

    When the economy was better NHC employees were given raises once a year. For both fiscal year 2009 and 2010 employees have taken a reduction in pay.

  • Guest7969 says:

    explain how county residents can FIRE YOU before your term expires….we’ll oblige…sick of hearing this guy spout off!

  • Guest1903 says:

    more and more lately the news stories have been basically straight from the tabloids or trying to stir stuff up.

    i agree with the commissioner on that.

    also we have elections if you don’t like him then don’t vote for him “this he said she said stuff is bs”

  • LAC says:

    and I can’t believe the people of Wilmington voted to have him represent them. I for one am glad I didn’t.

    Another politician who is not representing the people the way he should. Seems to me like others he is in it for the power and the glory. He has no problem spending the money but maybe he should stop spending it on parties and playing with Tinker Toys and start using the money to hire more police to clean up the issues Downtown.

    Every time he speaks…I cringe!

  • Guest says:

    JT was right on about wway3 and their campaign of fear and smear–sorry to see him go–he was right on

  • Guestwit says:

    We will reach a point where no one will want to hold office–wway3 and pickeys slime tactics will backfirwe on our community—mean spirited , viscious and distorted reporting are the reason they are in the pits as reporters and in ratings—

  • truthseeker says:

    Barfield is Thompson’s clone. I am sick and tired of seeing both of them on TV, news, newspaper, anything. Both of them are plain morons and I believe their political careers are over. Next election they are gone and they can take the Water and Sewer department with them. Maybe the sewer will dispose of them but with Barfield and Thompson they would clog the sewer lines.

  • Guest says:

    No one said they should get monthly pay raises. He said they haven’t gotten one in months. Could mean 12,16,24,etc,etc,etc. Anyone knows nobody gets monthly raises.I know it’s a conservative trait,but when someone makes a comment about one of your heroes you shouldn’t respond by showing your ignorance.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    No we don’t have to vote for him anymore than you have to read or watch WWAY. Don’t be a cupcake.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    In my many years of life I have found that most bullies who keep threatening people get their clocks cleaned when someone actually takes them up on the offer.

    Here’s hoping it happens very soon to Thompson. He needs it.

  • Guest says:

    Thompson and his clone Barfield need to remember who got them where they are. Election time will be here and hopefully we can say NA NA NA Hey Hey Hey Goodbye!!! Thompson is constantly shooting his mouth off and I wish he would stop whoring himself out to be in the news!! WWAY is asking questions that the people of New Hanover County want answers for. Why did you need to bring in someone to do a two day retreat when you are freezing jobs etc. Have you never heard of Skype? Desperate times means desperate measures! If you expect us to cut back, then we expect you to budget our money and not spend it on this type of spending. My Mom always said if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen…..hint hint…..Thompson and Barfield did you catch the hint? Thompson I guess thinks he is still in the military and can bully or shoot his way out of a situation. CAN’T WAIT TO SEND YOU PACKING THOMPSON!! OH BARFIELD START PACKING TOO!

  • CM says:

    Sir, that probably wasn’t the right language to get his point across but within the past few months WWAY has let its earlier success get to its head. Thompson has made a very accurate, albeit blunt point; your organisation now chases after headlines (and if not ratings, website hits) with little to no regard for who you hurt in the process. While I commend you for your past exposure of political scandal (RC Soles) and nursing home abuse, among many other excellent stories, I must condemn you wholeheartedly for your persistent and recent journalistic failures. Among other things, you have allowed your news organization to become a forum for disgruntled, maladjusted, and often illiterate individuals to settle their own vendettas against local doctors, businessmen, and even their neighbors and former friends. Rather than reporting the news, you often make the news, and rather than fact-checking, you make assumptions. Furthermore, your writing style is hyperbolic and frequently didactic. Unless you return to journalistic integrity and the fundamentals of newsreporting that once earned the respect of Wilmington, you should expect to be called out for your recklessness and sleaze-mongering.

  • Gueststandards says:

    Go to a meeting and ask Jason Thompson to step outside and see if you aren’t escorted out by law enforcement and possibly charged with threatening a government official. Go to a meeting and call Jason Thompson a government whore and see how long you last. Ask Jason Thompson if he’s wearing Depends and see if the gavel doesn’t come crashing down on ya. Jason Thompson chooses carefully the people he asks to “step outside” and is a slap in the face to all that may require them.

    IMO, Jason Thompson doesn’t have the best intrest of ALL the people in mind but rather those and the things that benefit him and his.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the same term applied to some politicians who pander for campaign contributions and votes.

  • Guest2020 says:

    The politics in Wilmington and New Hanover County make me glad that I don’t live there anymore. I really hate what the commissioners and the council over there are doing to my beloved hometown. I wish y’all would vote the bums out.

  • Guest1903 says:

    for one thing i know your not replying to me.

    but all i was saying was there is a difference in reporting news and trying to make news.

    trying to make news is what scott has been doing for awhile ,who gives a damn what the commissioner says it’s his job to run what ever if the people don’t like the way he is running things they can decide next election or they can go tar and feather him and run him outta town either way i don’t care nor do i care for whatever piss party him and scott have together far as discussions,”it’s he said ,she said bs” that isn’t news.

    this article was just reporting drama and trying to explain a reporters side of the story and make the big bad commissioner out to be the bad guy .


    i like wway i just don’t like bs reporters like scott.

  • Guest says:

    One of the few politicians not be cowed by the McCarthy like tactics of this network–thrown enough smears-distort the facts–take words out of context—Pickney and McCarthy–two of a kind–shame on us for encouraging this!

  • Guest says:

    Thompson and his buddy Barf-ield are both buffoons. It’s time for them to be gone.

  • Guest says:

    Truth is an absolute defense so i hear—jason told the truth-although hoes do it because they need the money–pickney does it because he wants the ratings and has little moral fiber—and will run any story to boost the ratings he says he doesnt know. At long last has this station no sense of shame. Thompson is courageous for taking on this sleaze–this isnt reporting or scoops—its pathetic pandering. Keep up the good work Comm. Thompson!!

  • Guest says:

    For the record: County employees have not had any raises in YEARS!! (At least 5 or 6). They have lost 2 weeks of vacation and taken days off without pay.

  • Guested says:

    You are absolutely right with your comment about vulger tactics of this station–they will attack anyone based on any innuendo-regardless of credibility or bias of source or accuracy of their innuendo. There racist reporting of recent stabbing death in community and smear of a dead man for no purpose shows how low they will go, They are what Jason Thompson calls them –they care not what they say or who they hurt.
    This isnt reporting–this is junk hate of the worst kind. Thank you JThompson for taking on these tactics of vulgarity. We can vote with what we watch—NO to this kind of sleaze-much better choices out there for our viewing—no wonder so many of their better reporters have left–people with character reject this approach–go JT

  • Scott Pickey says:


    Thank you for spending time on our website, reading our story and the comments left by our users, and taking the time yourself to leave one.

    We appreciate it!


  • Guest says:

    poor reporting—innuendo-out of context remarks—no wonder no one watches you—only reason to note is we need to stand up against the kind of sleaze you encourage—your comment board is a place for those that care but also some nut cases here that belong in institutions. sorry to see we have gone from Cronkite to the likes of you—no honor, no class—junk station. Cant we do better here?

  • Guestmike says:

    With violence here locally and around the states, how could any one support an elected official that challenges another to go fight in the parking lot? That’s crazy. What would have happened if they did go outside? How many people are arrested every week for doing just this, “going outside and settle this like men”. Please, is the bar really set this low?

  • Guest says:

    As usual the nuts and wackos have come out to join this network in vulger comments about a public offical. At least he had the guts to tell this station and its news director what he thought–frankly they are lower than prostitutes–this sleaze reflects on all of us-its qa shame to see Thompson go.

  • Guest says:

    I am a NHC homeowner and I appreciate the way Jason Thompson runs his position, he is a no-nonsense person that doesn’t ride the fence on issues and doesn’t change what he says or his opionions on matters simply to try and pacify everyone. His ideas are fresh and challenging and just what NHC needs for a positive change. It’s good to have someone who is not afraid to go against the grain. Thank you Jason, keep up the good work.

  • Go Figure says:

    Jason Thompson is gonna call the wrong person out one day. His mouth will eventually overload his butt.

  • Scott Pickey says:

    Dear Guest:

    Let me help you clarify some things you brought up in your post:

    First – poor reporting. You may think it’s poor writing – but it’s not poor reporting because it’s not reporting at all. It’s a commentary, you know .. an editorial. It includes my opinions, which I clearly state at the top of the article.

    Second – Innuendo. Please help me understand where I was unclear or insinuating something.

    Third – Out-of-context remarks. Again, where? Mr. Thompson has been very clear about that which he speaks. Nothing here was taken out of context.

    Finally – there are MANY people who watch us – and use our website – on a daily basis. You’re a perfect example! Thanks for stopping by!!


  • Grand Ole Party says:

    Well if you know my reply was not to you then why respond to it? In your first post you stated WWAY was ignorant, in the second you stated you like them. Make up your mind.

    Oh and on a side note: It should read (I know you’re not replying to me” Not “Your”

  • Guest212 says:

    Well Played Scott. Way to go!

  • Wade griffis says:

    If WWAY and other news sources are “Whores”, then Jason is the pimp. Nobody else in city or county government has ever had as much free publicity. Of course that is exactly his purpose.

    The stump grinding business is probably pretty boring.

  • Guest says:

    I say BRAVO for telling it like it is.

  • guesty says:

    About time that block head thompson started to figure it out, the public is tired of your antics. You are ignorant, a whore and most importantly, an idiot. We hope to fire you next time you run.

  • KrisC says:

    If people can’t control their words any better than this, they should not be in office. Disgusting choice.

  • Guest says:

    At this point I strongly believe that Thompson is doing alot more harm to the reputation of the board and of the people of New Hanover County.He has once again let his mouth override his brain and come out with more damaging talk. Do we really need to put up with this street punk representing us as a county? Its time for you Jason to resign or sit down and shut up! Years ago the school board made a policy that only one person on the board would be a spokesperson,,,maybe its time the county board does the same!

  • Guest3658974 says:

    Jason Thompson, how dare you bring GOD into this. You are nowhere near what a christian should be. As a taxpayer and your boss, How about I demand your immediate resignation. Take Barfield with you. There is a reason you are not on the city council anymore. However, I must say you fit the right definition of a whore. “Selling your body and principles to the highest bidder for money, throwing all morals aside.” Oh and be careful who you call out into the parking lot. This is the south and there are quite a few good ole boys that would love to take you up on that offer. In the words of Donald Trump, you’re fired.

  • sounder says:

    Why is WWAY TV3 taking news and making it personal? I appreciate knowing how the money is spent and the response given by commissioners as to where it is spent, but this is slightly worse than community rant boards.
    Scott Pickey seems to have gotten some of the morning beat in his coffee and is now copying their act. I’m more conservative than democrat, but there is no need in taking your Pickey Vs. Thompson personal dislikes and placing them on the news.
    Thompson’s responses are certainly news worthy. The other juvenile ticky tack crap that floods this article is high school material at best.

  • Guest says:

    This commentary is right on! WWAY should report news and not try to make it…. while Scott acknowledges his personal opinions are included – as a paid reporter this is inappropriate & your editor should have flagged them and deleted. Please elevate the level of ‘professional’ reporting at WWAY and also cancel that silly “Rant” segment. At least the new team of anchors (Cacky & Chris) present themselves professionally.

  • Level Headed Voter says:

    I agree that Mr. Pickey is using his news arena to express his personal dislike of Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson has a job to do and does it well. My opinion is that Mr. Pickey should go back to doing the job he is paid for which is reporting the news. Mr. Pickey, I beleive you have accomplished what you set out to do seeing the number of comments on this issue.
    If we want entertaining drama on this level we can tune into TMZ at 10:00pm during the week.

  • Guest says:

    “Second, WWAY doesn’t subscribe to Nielsen Ratings books anymore. We don’t even know WHAT are our ratings are.”

    Finding out the truth would be devastating I am sure!

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