Producer Joe of WGRD’s radio program Free Beer & Hot Wings Show has apparently had enough of the wave of fake veteran panhandlers allegedly hitting up Grand Rapids, Michigan for money. Last week, he targeted one of the fake hobos with a big cardboard sign that said “Liar.”
The self-appointed Hobo Truth team then ultimately used the Producer Joe WGRD stunt to raise $2,170 for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
The idea started with a report from WZZM 13, a West Michigan news station which stated that panhandling in the area had exploded after a federal ruling in summer 2012 “declaring panhandling to be a Constitutional right.”
Don’t hate on me. That’s their phrase. I’ll assume that the feds ruled that bums, like anybody else, have the right to ask me a question.
And I, like anybody else, have the right to say hell no if the question is, “Can I haz cheezburger?”
Be that as it may, WZZM 13 is clearly fired up about the panhandlers that they said infested not just the inner city of Grand Rapids, Michigan but also area suburbs.
In particular, they interviewed one bogus beggar called Rudy who isn’t a vet but who says he is to increase the take from his downtown corner where he begs for money.
Asked if he felt bad about the lie, Rudy told reporter Hannah Saunders, “No. Uh, yeah, in a way… you got to make money somehow; it’s better than robbing people and doing drugs as far as I’m concerned.”
And that got Producer Joe at WGRD fired up as well.
On Wednesday, he showed up on Rudy’s corner with a big sign that said “Liar.” You can see their confrontation on the station’s video footage right here.
With his hustle busted, Rudy took off.
But then Joe decided to see for himself how good the corner really was. WIth cameras rolling, on Thursday he panhandled the corner himself, with all funds destined for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
He raised over $1,000 from passerby — and Producer Joe’s WGRD radio station itself doubled the money, resulting in a $2,170 payday for the real veterans.
Does that mean that Rudy was raking in thousands of dollars a week from that corner? Before you quit your day job, I’m just gonna say I doubt it.
I live in New Orleans and used to commute to Las Vegas, and I’m reasonably sure that nobody would work in either town if all you had to do was stick your hand out. I’ve known some people to boast about their panhandling take, but my inspection of their lifestyle suggested to me that it was just a boast.
I doubt the people who gave to Producer Joe’s campaign would have given as generously to a real, smelly, drunken, alcoholic bum.
WZZM talked to one woman who said she earned $20 an hour but, eh, I don’t even believe that.
In other words, I think WGRD did a cool thing in raising some money for real veterans. But I’m kinda skeptical that the bum they busted was taking much money with his pitiful scam.
What’s your reaction to the Producer Joe WGRD “Hobo Truth” fake veterans bust?