Local Weathermen Jeff Baskin of Fox 16 and Keith Monahan of KARK were arrested along with several members of their news stations late last night after a fight broke out between the two outside of their studio on Capitol Ave.
Witnesses say the disagreement began during show prep for Baskin’s weather segment on the 9 o’clock newscast for Fox16. Monahan entered the weather center the two stations share while Baskin was reviewing his forecast and having mascara applied.
Monahan reportedly asked Baskin what he was going to show for the rain chances on Saturday. Baskin replied that he thought the rain would hold off and move in on Sunday. The two exchanged a few further remarks and walked away.
During Baskin’s forecast later in the Fox16 newscast he explained the rain chances for the weekend by saying “Saturday should be an absolutely beautiful day for those of you participating in the Big Dam Bridge 100 bike race. Unlike what other community college educated meteorologist will tell you, the rain should hold off until midday Sunday where we will have a 40% chance at showers and isolated thunderstorms.”
Monahan took a jab back at Baskin’s comments during his KARK forecast saying “Pay no attention to what some cajun who has married all 5 of his cousins at some point says, pack your ponchos this Saturday because we are going to see a 50% chance of rain starting in the afternoon Saturday and ending well before Sunday.”
After the KARK broadcast Monahan returned to his desk to find a note from Baskin that said “Meet me by the flag pole out front.”
The two were seen fighting in front of the building around 11:15 p.m. and were quickly joined by other members of their broadcast teams. Capitol police quickly responded to the incident and began arresting many fight participants.
Baskin and Monahan were charged with inciting a riot and will be held for the minimum 24 hours before being released. Nexstar, which owns both KARK and Fox16 has requested they be in adjacent cells so that they can position the cameras between the two in order to do tonight’s weather reports live from the Pulaski County Detention Facility.
Update: We received a photo of Baskin and Monahan shortly before the fight: