RUTLAND—On Jan. 5, at 6 p.m. PEGTV will air the first episode of “Jim Riley’s Reality Check,” a current affairs, news and politics talk show.
Jim Riley is a former U.S. Army and Army Reserve enlisted soldier, N.C.O., and officer who served in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States, as well as a former federal agent (criminal investigator) with the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, Riley has worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier; in broadcast, print and multi-media; in management; and as a small business owner. He has also worked as a Hollywood background actor in T.V. shows such as “L.A. Law,” “Mad About You,” and “N.Y.P.D. Blue,” or movies such as “Jerry Maguire,” “Outbreak,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “Wayne’s World II.”
Riley has a master of science degree in criminal justice and speaks English, Spanish, and some German and Polish. In his lifetime, Jim Riley has sat on many community boards. In 2012, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives (Congress) in Texas and with little to no money, he garnered 41,842 votes.
Riley relocated to Rutland with his wife Cristina and their children a little over a year ago.
Watching and meeting Mike Lannon (a.k.a. “The Conservative”), on PEGTV, Riley thought that maybe the community could use another voice or perspective on current events, news and politics. Riley’s education, experiences, and travels have opened his eyes and made him more liberal than conservative, he said, claiming that he’s a proud Democrat, not a blind Democrat.
“I am hardly perfect,” he said, “and I know good people can disagree . . . but, seeing some of our political leadership, some common misperceptions, and even religion being used to get people, good people, good Americans to vote against the interest of our children, our economy, and our country . . . or to fall for the temptation of hate, bigotry and racism, I had to do something.”
But “Jim Riley’s Reality Check” will not be neutral, luke-warm, or limp.
He has disagreed with President Obama on some items, and said so: “When we disagree, it’s our duty to speak up.” But, he added, “when we look at the other party, it just doesn’t make sense to support their candidates, they want to hurt children by taking money from education, they want to hurt the elderly and disabled by defunding Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, they want to hurt veterans like myself by closing clinics and privatizing the Veterans Administration, they seem to be against criminal justice reform, besides helping the rich and powerful, it’s hard to name anything that some of these people are for.”
“I think the American people are better than this,” Riley continued. “One of the leading candidates for president is saying the most hateful, racist things . . . He’s a religious bigot . . . not that long ago, it was the same kind of hateful speech against us Irish, and against us Catholics. But Americans resoundingly defeated the forces of hate and we’ll do it again.”
“Jim Riley’s Reality Check” will air on PEGTV, Channel 21, starting Jan. 5, on Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m., and Sundays at 7 a.m., as well as on-demand online.