Alycia Lane Gave Us All a Bad Name

And three years later, it appears that she’s still at it

For young women looking to break into journalism—especially in broadcasting—there’s always this cautionary tale: If you don’t work hard enough to prove yourself, you may end up being hired on looks alone. And, well, that can never be good for anyone, can it? It happens in the world of broadcast journalism, so the story goes, and the women hired as pretty talking heads tend to stand out as such.

I always went with the head-shake/shoulder-shrug/eye-roll approach in response to this. With such prominent women in the news who are both beautiful and sharply intelligent in the way they report the news, like the Diane Sawyers and Katie Courics of the world (or, to put it locally, the Monica Malpasses and Nydia Hans), I assumed the phenom’s bark was worse than its bite.

Then there was Alycia Lane.

Lane, who, depending on how you look at it, ruined her own career one way or another—you’ve memorized the details by now. Her scandal—bad news, followed by worse news, followed by even worse news—blew up in dramatic fashion, just in time to tear down any confidence the younger version of myself had built up about how things really worked in the media world.

And now, more than three years later, she’s still giving the rest of us a bad name. I don’t think I need to remind you that on Monday, more news of yet another Alycia Lane/Larry Mendte back-and-forth-saga chapter surfaced, complete with all the salacious details you could hope for in a poorly plotted smut novel. I realize, after reading too many angry comments to count on Larry Mendte’s recent Philly Mag piece, that there are enough people who dislike him, but I’d venture a guess that even more people dislike her—and probably have a better reason to do so. I mean, did anyone buy that those infamously disseminated bikini photos were really an accident or “innocent,” way back when? Did anyone raise an eyebrow in surprise when the news about Lane allegedly assaulting the NYPD officer surfaced?

I’m certain that Lane wasn’t the first bright-eyed, shiny-haired, perfectly built female reporter to let her fame and ego get the best of her, and I’m certain she won’t be the last. But her misadventures continue to bring us—at least in my eyes, as a young female journalist—steps back.

Maybe it was because I was young, green, just starting out when the Lane scandal really broke, but whenever news of Alycia Lane surfaces, I think back, and I see that in some ways, my days in journalism can be divided: pre-Alycia and post-Alycia. But I don’t resent her for it as much as, in a strange way, appreciate her. In her self-destruction, we all saw how ugly it can become for a woman who—perhaps from the get-go or perhaps from whenever something went terribly awry—let her good looks and the power that came with them get the best of her in a world where, since everyone wants to help you along that road, it can be all too easy to do.

Luckily, there are still those Monica Malpasses, Katie Courics and Nydia Hans to set the record straight for the rest of us.

  • Jenn

    Are you kidding me?Alycia Lane may have a mess of a personal life, but she didn’t break the law like that creep Mendte. What kind of name does he give all the men out there?

  • Terry

    I agree with Jenn. With all of her problems and issues, Alycia did not spy on Larry.
    The one thing that we hope to cherish in this world is privacy and Larry Mendte betrayed her privacy.
    So I guess you (Morgan) are saying to women don’t come forward if someone peeks into your private life or you would “give us all a bad name”.
    Frankly, I think we should applaud Alycia and all women for having the courage to stand up.

  • Tim

    I would check into the past of Monica Malpass, in your magazine alone, before praising her.

  • Charles

    I’m going to ask this question, realizing it might offend some (and I apologize in advance for that) – but why do so many women journalists find it necessary to tear down their own? I find it comic that this author passes off Mendte’s felonious activity with an offhand “people dislike him”, so that she can get to an allready established conclusion that Moore is more disliked, without a piecee of evidence to support the assertion.

    And btw, Monica Malpass certainly has made a lot of headlines over the years for activities away from City Line Avenue.

  • Linda

    Are you kidding me? Monica Malpass? You most certainly did not do your homework. Journalist? I hope you have a back up plan for a career.

  • Nadine

    Ms. Lane and Mr. Mendte gave all journalists a black eye. Let’s not just blame one person here. He spied, she tempted, no one is above the law and the dignity and hard work that journalists work hard for.
    Yes, there are some journalist we all may want to avoid to emulate. I won’t mention names. I hope this is a lesson to all journalist- REPORT THE NEWS, DON”T BECOME THE NEWS, unless you rescue a child from a burning building.

  • Joe

    Why would you mention anything about the “alleged” assaulting of the NYPD officer if the charges were dropped? That whole story was very fishy and seemingly generated by her broadcasting partner. I’m sure Alycia Lane has a lot of detractors but pursuing vengence for what was done to her is something I can’t blame her for.

  • Steve Russ

    Alycia destroyed her career? Don’t know about that. She’s a co-anchor in the second largest TV market in the Country. Doing a morning show now – but if she can refrain from punching cops and sleeping with the wrong people –who knows where she winds up.

    You would venture to guess that more people dislike Alycia than dislike Larry? Maybe true…..maybe not but what does that observation get us? Two disliked people battling for next to last place? And there’s a difference between someone making very poor choices (that she paid for with her job) and someone who commited a felony and was very fortunate to only get House arrest for it.

    At this point – I wish them both a better future. but if one of them decides to send me a picture of them-self wearing very little……….I’m voting for Alycia. Maybe Larry can hack into her e-mail again and help me out with this.

  • John

    I agree. Alycia Lane didn’t necessarily give you a bad name but sloppy biased journalism certainly will.

  • Maureen

    I’m thinking you are still young and green. Larry Mendte committed a felony AND cheated on his wife (and don’t forget about their children). All Alycia Lane did was make bad choices in men – isn’t everyone entitled to that type of mistake? If LM hadn’t leaked her emails (what an unbelievable creep) she could have walked away from that relationship with no one getting hurt. I wish her the best.

  • MBK

    I’m a journalist and I am offended by other so-called “journalists” who don’t check their facts. Good luck with your “career.”

  • Jennifer

    “ruined her own career one way or another?”
    Alycia has billboards up and down LA and its THE HOST of the morning show out there. How can you say her career is ruined when she is better off there then she was in Philly? This article sounds like you have your own personal hatred towards Alycia, which many people do for their own personal reasons, but to blame her for giving female journalists a bad name? That’s a really far stretch kitty cat…

  • Rico

    Wow. Everyone has taken the words right out of my mouth. I agree with you all.

    Morgan, you have, yet again, written an awful piece.

  • Stop the insanity

    Journalism in Philly is not what it used to be (prior to Lane and Mendte). Some of the evidence of that is right in the Philly Post. Can anyone seriously offer up a good source for local news? Its not on TV, and I haven’t found one in print or on-line. Oh how I miss the Inquirer of old

  • Bleudogman

    I can’t believe how quickly everyone threw a line in for this one…. LOOK at the web address at the top of your screen: BLOGS.PHILLYMAG. Let’s not think for a moment this was journalism, even if the author claims the title.

  • Pete

    I think the problem is that talking heads and bloggers are considered “journalists” these days.

    And not to be too snarky about it, but…

    “Her scandal—bad news, followed by worse news, followed by even worse news—blew up in dramatic fashion, just in time to tear down any confidence the younger version of myself had built up about how things really worked in the media world.”

    Which younger version of yourself are you referring to? As you just earned your B.A. in Journalism from Temple less than three months ago, was your younger version 13 years old? Seventeen? If you are a little older and went back to college as an adult, I apologize. But if you are what I think you are, people who were born during the Clinton Administration should ease up on chastising adults who’ve actually accomplished some things in their lives…even if they are fairly horrible people (both Alycia and Larry).

  • http://breakingthelaw NewsLady

    Alycia Lane did break the law. She was drunk in public and assaulted a cop. If your million dollar a year career were destroyed by that accusation and you were innocent, why would you plead “no contest”? Lane could afford the best lawyers money could buy (and did) and yet they KNEW she was guilty. But her money got her something. Those expensive lawyers found a loophole and got the charges dropped but only if Lane agreed to stay out of trouble for a probationary period. Frankly if someone falsely accused me and my cushy high profile career (and reputation) were wrecked… I’d spend 3 years fighting in court to prove my innocence. Instead Lane chooses to fire her employer, which will only destroy jobs within the company. It’s so sad that she was raised with no sense of decency. None. Sad

  • Joan

    I agree with Dawn…oops, I mean “NewsLady” wink, wink.

  • TC

    Alicia did nothing wrong. The deflection title of this piece assumes far too much. Larry Mendte was the catalyst and the felon. She was only the victim.

    Give it a break with these misleading types of stories.

  • News Observer

    Morgan: You should be ashamed of yourself for this hit job on Alycia Lane, who did NOTHING wrong except co-anchor with Larry Mendte, a sociopathic, convicted felon. Classic case of blaming the victim, which is precisely what she was. It is obvious that you, as a print reporter, are taking your frustration of not being able to get an on-air reporting job, on Ms. Lane. Please chose a new career…now.

  • Chris

    Actually Morgan, you do quite a bit of your own part to give female journalists a bad name.
    As in… female “journalists” are often self absorbed, self important and whiny.
    What rubbish.
    Drawing preposterous sweeping generalizations from the foibles of one flawed, but still highly successful, person is a sign of incredible shallowness. The fact that you assigned such industry-spanning importance to this silly little tawdry tale reflects very badly on your own attempts to be a journalist and your ability to process facts.

  • HC

    You come off as a remarkably self centered and clueless person here. Lane’s actions no more reflect on other female journalists than Mendte’s did on all males. What business is it of yours who she chose to send a picture of herself to? The only reason anyone knew about it is because of the guy hacking her emails, yet you trash her for seeking to hold him accountable for it.

    This story has nothing to do with you. The only thing that gives you a bad name from it is your insipid attempt at commenting on it here.

  • Fat Fredd

    Morgan, you are still “young and green”. I suppose no one told you to read over what you write FIRST. It may save you from revealing how amazingly dumb you may be. Do you have a not-so-secret crush on Mendte? Or are you related to him. Alycia has flaws but Mendte is a pathogical nut case, by his own admission. Your attack on Lane will accomplish nothing but making sure very few people take you seriously.

  • DDP

    Never heard of this “journalist”, but the very fact that she considers Monica Malpass as a role model tells you everything you need to know.

  • brian

    according to mendte he only has a coulple of people who say negative things about him….is he delusional? there is a whole page right here

  • Johnny

    Morgan,

    Don’t let all of these negative posts get you down because at the end of the day you can look in the mirror and see a hottie! :-)

  • Jake

    I think you are a hypocritical fake journalist that doesn’t have a clue about what you’re writing on. Get your facts straight first, and look into your own people.

    You’re the only one giving yourself a bad name.

  • Barney

    Wow, the Alycia Lane marketing machine has been mobolized once again! I guess the thought that you can get millions from CBS buys a lot of friends – even if none of your lies jive with reality. She was drunk and hit a cop that is why she got fired – also she has not one major journalistic accomplishment to her name – and she continues to soil her own image in hopes of a big payday – Morgan is dead on.

  • Chelsey

    This piece really irritated me for two reasons. One, because the author just sounds pompous. Two, because the author fails to mention where Alycia Lane is currently working. And three, because having worked in journalism, this reeks of “I want page views” Philadelphia magazine. Come ON. Typical Philly Mag.

  • Mark

    Wow, quite a bit of vicious comments above. It does look like a PR effort, to be perfectly honest.

    There’s no doubt Larry Mendte certainly deserved his conviction and disgrace, and I’m a bit suprised he was able to land another jobe so quickly. But Alycia Lane was no innocent victim. She was fired for attacking a NYPD officer, but was able to get the charges eventually dropped after pleading No Contest. She has now landed on here feet and is working the L.A. morning news, no doubt due to here outstanding journalistic credentials. :?

  • Danielle

    As a young female with aspirations of working in journalism (maybe even at this organization), I understand that this post isn’t so much about the actual details of the events between Lane and Mendte. It’s more about the fact that, as women, we will constantly be under sharper criticism than males in this profession, and when one of us slips up, it brings us all under harsher review. In a profession where a lack of bias is considered to be the highest ideal to which all journalists are held, it’s an uphill battle for women, as we are stereotypically considered to not be able to control our whims and reason the way men do. And I say this as a current student of journalism at a women’s college – I’m not naive about the realities of gender expectations for women in this society. And clearly neither is Ms. Zalot. I appreciate her reminding young women, really in any professional field, that we still face a lot of challenges.

  • Darlene

    Alycia Lanes’s outstanding journaliustic credentials – ha! What are they?

    Let’s take a look at the two – in one year Larry Mendte has worked to get a Health and Ceompensation bill passed for 9/11 First Responders and has traveled to Libya to report exclusively on a peace mission. He won two New York Emmys fo his work last year

    As far as I can tell from the comments and onlin articles, Alycia Lane’s biggest journalistic achievement is that her picture is on buses.

    Look, Mendte made a mistake and paid for it, Lane lucked out after getting drunk and hitting a cop – but let’s not make her a journalist – she is far from it.

  • Carol

    Mark it is a PR effort – this is all about the money that Alycia Lane wants to get from CBS – the truth is she hit a cop and was drunk – in any job in the world you get fired for that. She is trying to make this about her and Mendte – it is actually between her and CBS – her and NY Cops – and she claims they are all lying.