This Just In: July 2 - 9 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This Just In: July 2 - 9

Summary: A local limousine driver recalls a week with the late Michael Jackson -- 20 years ago. Reporter: Paul Martino, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 44 seconds on June 26 Visuals: * The former chauffeur and now limo-biz owner, being interviewed while leaning against -- you got it -- a limousine. But not the one he chauffeured Jackson in. * Several groovy clips of Jackson singing and dancing. Highlights: * When anchor Ken Rice segues, "This has been a rough day for people who knew Michael Jackson, still coming to grips with his surprising death. And that includes a local limo driver, who got to know Jackson in his heyday." * When Martino announces, "We're hearing from more and more people who say they are touched and impressed by Michael Jackson, after meeting him during his visit to Pittsburgh over 20 years ago. They are praising the now-dead entertainer as a man who went out of his way to be nice to everyone, even though he was a big star. And that goes for limo driver James Shento of Penn Hills, who has a lot of stories to tell about Michael Jackson after spending more than a week with the 'King of Pop.'" * When Martino narrates, "[B]ack in 1988, [Shento] was the limo driver who got the assignment to chauffeur Michael Jackson around Pittsburgh." * When Shento recalls, "Someone as big as him, it was very, very surprising that he was so willing to do just anything, to take pictures, to sign autographs and just be nice." * When Martino adds, "Shento spent a lot of time with Jackson during his three days in Pittsburgh. The pop star evidently liked the limo driver so much, that he invited Shento to chauffeur him to the White House, where Jackson was being honored." * Shento's disclosure, "He went shopping, went out to dinner. And I had the opportunity to really spend a lot of time with him, and actually had a lot of conversation with him." * When Martino continues, "For an entire week, Shento drove Jackson around D.C. ... An article in Spin magazine says Jackson wouldn't have made it to the White House without [him]." * When Martino informs us, "Shento got to meet the elder President Bush. But his greatest joy was getting to know Michael Jackson, a man he says went out of his way to care for others. Like the time they saw a motorcyclist get hit by a car." What We Learned: There is always a local tie to a national story. Always. Unanswered Question: When will we see the interview with Jackson's cousin's boyfriend's niece's aunt twice removed from 30 years ago, who served his nephew's grandmother's beautician's doctor an ice cream cone in Windgap? News Value: 1. Find the guy who says Jackson was a bastard. Now, that would be a story.