Ne Ne’s no no’s

neneGotta admit, we didn’t expect much from Dana Fowle’s I-Team piece on NeNe Leakes, one of the insufferable blowhards who starred on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  The AJC had  reported six days earlier that NeNe and her family had been evicted from the pricey Sugarloaf Country Club home they occupied for the Bravo reality show.  That short piece in the newspaper spoke volumes about the phony-baloney quality of the woman who boasted that she doesn’t “keep up with the Joneses.  I am the Joneses.”  How much more can there be?

Quite a bit, it turns out.  Fowle’s piece on WAGA focused on her husband, Gregg Leakes.  The reality show describes him as a real estate investor.  Fowle learned that he’s actually a property manager.  And not a very good one, according to the on-camera finger-pointer who said that one of his tenants — a friend of Ne Ne and his — all but ruined the pricey home the tenant rented under his management.

NeNe & Gregg Leakes

NeNe & Gregg Leakes

Various legal actions ensued, including the one that forced NeNe’s family out of their TV mansion.  It seems they owe over $100,000 in back taxes. Complaints with the Georgia real estate board have driven Gregg Leakes out of business and the family into seclusion.  Fowle went a-huntin’ for them, but was rebuffed at the doorway of their townhouse by disembodied voices coming from an intercom.  (Leakes did a sit down interview with WXIA earlier– see comments below…)

Who cares?  All your neighbors and family members who watch shows like TMZ, the syndicated program that airs on WAGA.  TMZ’s MO is to revel in the sport of celebrity harassment.   Who cares?  All your neighbors and family members who loved or despised the Bravo reality show, who doubtless were shocked by or cheered the comeuppance of its arguably most arrogant yet likable (so we’re told) character.  Yes, there’s an audience for this investigative report.

Dana Fowle, WAGA

Dana Fowle, WAGA

Did Fowle cringe at the prospect of spending days or weeks stalking this pseudo-celeb, rather than pursuing other important investigative stories on corruption and ripoffs?  Not likely.  Tearing down a bloviating fraud is good, useful work.  NeNe sought the spotlight.  The reality show covered up her reality.  On its best days, the news biz tears away that baloneyous charade.  And Fowle got the goods.  Grade:  A-

This entry was posted in fowle, WAGA on by .

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

16 thoughts on “Ne Ne’s no no’s

  1. daryll

    If I cared to follow this story, I’d watch TMZ. Can’t we get away from pseudo-celeb journalism? Dana Fowle is much too talented to waste on this ponderous subject. I didn’t need the i-Team to tell me what was obvious. These folks are phony. Covering the graft and the high jinx of high ranking government officials is much more compelling television.

  2. DroolingoverDagmar

    Doug! Doug! Doug!
    Give me a frigging break. This is crap pretending to be news! If WSB or GCL did this you would be all over them! Another example of your extreme bias for your former employer and buddies at WAGA.

  3. jimmyjohn

    you gotta be kidding me…. you blast stations for some of the non-journalism work they do and not covering relevant news and you give praise to this?

    Come on…

  4. Matt K

    Lighten up people. This show was actually a big hit for the Bravo network and was a relatively big local fluff news item especially considering they’ve green lit a 2nd season. While I don’t care for this show either, it is whether you like it or not, a relevant LOCAL news story.

  5. News Junkie

    I think your grade for Fowler is a bit generous, since she got beat twice by a competitor at 11 Alive.

    It was quite funny to see the over-the-top promos for Fowler’s piece that noted “NeNe had lots to say on the Real Housewives, but now she’s not talking”…and then to see NeNe Leaks conducting an interview with Karen Grier the next day. It’s not that NeNe isn’t talking — it’s that she’s not talking to obnoxious “investigative” reporters who love to wield a hammer but can’t nail down an interview. So Fowler got beat on the interview.

    She also got beat on timing, as the 11 Alive piece aired before the Fox 5 piece, and the 11 Alive story included a jab from Grier along the lines of “despite inaccurate reports at some TV stations that NeNe has gone into hiding, 11 Alive sat down at talked with her” … Priceless!

  6. live apt fire Post author

    @ news junkie–

    As a big fan of Karyn Grier, I can’t blame Leakes for wanting to talk her. I suspect Leakes couldn’t have been more happy with the way her interview with Grier turned out. See for yourself below.

    Grier didn’t have the information about Gregg Leakes’ financial troubles. And Grier allowed Leakes to deny that she’d been evicted without any prodding whatsoever, or so it seemed. In other words, Grier’s piece didn’t challenge Leakes one bit.

    So yeah, Grier beat WAGA on timing, and the interview “get.” But she got kinda clobbered, content-wise. I haven’t heard from her, but I suspect Grier is giving Fowle a bit of a hat-tip right about now.

    It’s cool that you may prefer that kind of softball stuff. I suspect most folks prefer to see a BSer exposed. It’s part of the “obnoxious” business of journalism.

    Thanks for weighing in– I didn’t know about Grier’s piece until you pointed it out.

  7. DroolingoverDagmar

    You have all turned into media whores. Is this why you wanted to get into TV….I doubt it. Unless you enjoy producing crap and just like to see your ugly mug on the air every night. What the hell is wrong with all you morons. I want to go puke reading the excuses for covering fluff!

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  9. Laura

    This is the third incarnation of Real Housewives (following RH of Orange County and New York City) and the only one featuring African American “Housewives” –4 out of 5 of them. I think it’s cool they didn’t change the formula of the trashy little show because of this–they didn’t Tyler Perry-ize it–and it’s even more popular than it’s predecessors.

    Anyway, My question is: Would the media be trying to scope out the financial dirt–trying to see if any of these women is frontin’–if it was the white cast? I’m not so sure.

    I do wish it was actually shot in Atlanta–don’t tell me they couldn’t find some Buckhead Betty’s and Cascade Keisha’s to agree. What does it say that it’s not actually shot here, do you think, about Atlanta?

    1. live apt fire Post author

      Laura raises an ugly and commonplace question that arises when complainers can’t squawk about a story on its merits. Playing the “you’re after us just coz we’re black” card shows a certain amount of ignorance about newsrooms, which follow tips and try to overturn dirt in whatever direction that leads them to a story that will help their newscast build an audience. Click through the “investigative” sections of the websites of WAGA, WGCL and WSB, and you’ll see that they are equal opportunity sleuths. As for Gregg Leakes, it sounds like this guy has pissed off plenty of people. Those are the kind of folks who call newsrooms with tips, irrespective of race.

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