Gov. Rendell takes on a few meaty topics with TV's Dr. Phil tomorrow.
The talk show guru takes his show at Independence National Historical Park and invites Rendell and other prominent Philadelphians to tackle two controversial subjects: the Eagles signing of Michael Vick and the Great South Philly Cheesesteak wars.
Joining Rendell are folks on both sides of the Vick issue: NAACP chief J. Whyatt Mondesire, Tom Hickey, Sr., founder of DogPac, a Pennsylvania animal-rights group; Doris Lin, attorney and member of Animal Protection League; NOW 97.5's Joey Fortman; and Warren Eckstein of the syndicated radio program "The Pet Show." In a promo Dr. Phil tells us we'll learn his opinion on the matter too. (Tune in at 5 on CBS)
Guest Tom Hickey, who also serves on Rendell's Dog Law Advisory Board, hopes to use the occasion to highlight the innocent victims of dog fighting who, if they are not killed in the ring, often end up in shelters as evidence in criminal cases, only to be euthanized when they are deemed too traumatized to be adopted. [See the excellent piece today by my Daily News colleague Dave Davies on Michael Vick's role shedding light on dog fighting in Philadelphia and beyond here]
Hickey said he wants to build - with the Eagles help - a sanctuary for dogs seized in fighting cases, as well as those rescued from the state's puppy mills. He said such a facility would allow adoptable dogs to be cared for and rehabilitated and provide permanent sanctuary for those who can't.
Meanwhile on the cheesesteak front, the Daily News reports dueling cheesesteak purveyors, Joey Vento, of Geno's Steaks, and Frank Olivieri, Jr. of Pat's Steaks are expected to taste each other's steaks on the show as part of Dr. Phil's mediation effort. McGraw did taste tests from each of the South Philly shops last weekend. [In an ironic twist, Dr. Phil also is advertising a Philly fitness campaign segment on the same show with a run up the famed Rocky steps at the Art Museum.]
Rendell - the state's force behind the new dog law governing commercial kennels, PA's Number 1 sports fan and cheesesteak lover-in-chief - will no doubt have plenty to say on both subjects.