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By Frank Parlato Jr.

The day to day scramble to fill news space on television stations is a rugged test fit only for the heartiest news-chasing souls.

Perhaps it was in that frenzied state of "how do we fill the half hour," that Channel 2 sent out reporters to track down Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster on March 28 to get his take on the crisis currently playing out in Libya.

Their thinking, perhaps, was that "Mayor Dyster allegedly was an international arms negotiator in the late '80s, so he must have something worthwhile to say about Muammar Gaddafi and the Lockerbie bombing."

They dutifully stuck the microphone in the Mayor's sallow face and talk-away he did.

As we watched, it struck us as simply astounding that this man could, with a straight face, weigh-in on such heady matters as international terrorism and Middle East war.

What the hell was he doing, talking about something he knows so little about when he:

For the record, Channel 2 provides, in our opinion, solid and oftentimes stellar news coverage, but, in this one particular instance, perhaps the good reporters and editors there might have benefited from a slight reading of the Reporter story of March 22, where we revealed that Mayor Paul A. Dyster, contrary to his own braggadocio, apparently was no arms negotiator during the START talks with the Soviets or at any other time.

He was, however, as we reported, a state department worker in 1989, employed as a "Principal Bureau officer" whose duties, according to the job description in the state department manual, was to run the cafeteria and food service and stock the vending machines while the START negotiations were taking place.

That might be a good story for Channel 2.

Meanwhile, Libya, Mayor? How about solving Main Street and the downtown?

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com April 5, 2011