The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 March 2005

Should Liberals Really Embrace Ward Churchill?

One complaint I've been hearing about liberal talk shows is that they feel a need to be knee-jerk reactionaries on every issue. If the GOP, Rush, or Bush are for something, they must be against it.

I don't think that's good for credibility. Wouldn't it be better to save your ammo for the big battles? Otherwise you look like you're protesting too much. I've admitted that I think we were guilty of this at times during the Clinton Administration.

How far are liberal talk hosts willing to take this? How about to the point of defending Ward Churchill, the disgraced University of Colorado professor, who sees 9-11 victims as guilty imperialists who got what they deserved.

Jay Marvin, who was recently fired in Chicago and has returned to his former home in Denver to host a new local show on the Air America affiliate, is comfortable embracing Churchill.

Does this help liberalism? Or is it a thinly disguised publicity stunt for a new station and morning show?

Marvin, who has an excellent reputation in talk radio as a very nice guy, wants to project a rebellious image on-air. Is this the way to do it?

He says it's about getting Churchill's side of the story. But haven't we already seen and heard a lot of this guy over the last month? How is Churchill misunderstood, when he gives the same hate-filled speeches all over the country? What more does the public need to hear of his viewpoints?

Does this help Marvin's ratings? He did get this write-up in the Rocky Mountain News, so that can't hurt. But Churchill's rants are so extreme, it's hard to believe there's an audience out there screaming to hear more of them. Perhaps I underestimate liberals.

(Dusty Saunders- Rocky Mountain News)

Ward Churchill
has finally found a broadcasting ally on Denver talk radio: Jay Marvin, who returned to the local chatter wars at 6 a.m. Monday on KKZN-AM (760).

Saying repeatedly he will not toe the line of "right-wing talk radio," Marvin quickly opened the broadcasting door to the embattled University of Colorado professor, while discussing freedom-of-speech issues and reports the university has offered Churchill a buyout. "He can come on this show and tell his side of the story," said Marvin.

And whether you agree or not with his bombastic barrages, Marvin represents a welcome change from the day-after-day pounding Churchill has been taking from Marvin's Clear Channel brethren on KHOW and KOA-AM (850). How listeners and advertisers respond to Marvin's return will be an intriguing story.

"I'm not quite as argumentative and caustic as I once was," Marvin said after signing on with Clear Channel, which has affiliated with the Boulder-based KKZN with the liberal Air America network.

Need I ask why a "welcome change" is needed from people who have been questioning Churchill's insistence that 9-11 victims were not innocent victims? That they somehow deserved to die? Does this really need to be balanced from the left, or should they be smart enough to pick a winning issue to go after?


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