The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 June 2006

Jim McDermott, Seattle Times, David Postman


To Get Talk Hosting Gig, McDermott Resorted To Deceit

From a guy
who has supported Saddam Hussein, what more could we possibly expect?

According to David Postman of the Seattle Times, Congressman- For- Life "Baghdad" Jim McDermott claimed he wasn't a candidate for re-election this fall.

By using this excuse, KIRO-AM was "cleared" to utilize McDermott's services as a talk show host this week. In addition, the station will likely feel free to tell his equal- time seeking Republican opponent to take a hike.

From Postman On Politics:

Jim McDermott is filling in for Dave Ross on 710 KIRO this week. His performance is being listened to carefully from Blatherwatch on the left and The Radio Equalizer from the right.

In 2004 Ross had to step down from his KIRO show when he became a candidate for Congress in the 8th Congressional District. McDermott hasn't filed for re-election and gave KIRO a letter indicating that "at this time he is NOT a candidate for re-election," KIRO Program Director Tom Clendening says via e-mail. Because of that, he says, "our legal dept. believes there are no equal time considerations." (CONFLICT ALERT: I have been a fill-in host on KIRO.)

McDermott continues to be news elsewhere. The Pittsburgh paper has a story on the congressman's legal fight which "has the elements and plot twists of the most intriguing kinds of Capitol Hill dramas, and it still has no final episode."

Who are we kidding here? Does this mean the infamous Congressman- For- Life (a term coined by Seattle Post- Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly, by the way) is ready to retire?

If you believe that one, I've got a crumbling viaduct to sell to you.

How will McDermott get away with this deceit? By making clear it's technically true: he hasn't yet filed his papers, hence the carefully- placed "at this time" in his letter to the station.

But that doesn't make it any less sleazy, as this commenter on Postman's blog indicates:

KIRO takes the stand that no one is actually a candidate until they file the last week of July- which is ludicrous if the same candidate has declared to the Federal Elections Commission (or the state Public Disclosure Commission) when they begin fundraising that he or she is a candidate. It is having it both ways, which is the typical entitlement attitude of members of Congress and congressional wannabes, regardless of party.

Posted by Jim King

If he really wasn't going to run for another term, the local Democrat Party machine would already have a replacement annointed, right? Beyond that, his congressional departure would be quite a news story.

As for the station, even lefties are reporting McDermott was a bore. During the crucial spring ratings period, that's not a good sign.

ALSO: Seattle Arbitron ratings data emerged today. Taking a dump was Air America's Seattle outlet, KPTK. Reader Will Hansen best tells the story:

Hey, the new ratings for Seattle are in. KIRO went from a 4.3 to a 4.2, KVI from a 3.1 to a 2.9, KTTH held steady at 2.9, and KPTK (Air America) dropped from 2.8 to 2.0. Maybe KIRO going more liberal isn't the answer.

Will, what really isn't the answer is to go left of Air America, which seems to be the station's most recent approach.

ELSEWHERE: Michelle Malkin exposes a big mess at the Times of London.

--- Al Franken, or a cardboard cutout? Hat tip: Cap'n Ed.

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McD with Iraqi official: AFP


  • BM wrote:

    "ALSO: Seattle Arbitron ratings data emerged today. Taking a dump was Air America's Seattle outlet, KPTK. Reader Will Hansen best tells the story:

    Hey, the new ratings for Seattle are in. KIRO went from a 4.3 to a 4.2, KVI from a 3.1 to a 2.9, KTTH held steady at 2.9, and KPTK (Air America) dropped from 2.8 to 2.0. Maybe KIRO going more liberal isn't the answer."

    Why don't we look at year over year ratings? SPring'05 to Spring'06p1

    KIRO 3.4 to 4.2 up 24%
    KTTH 2.6 to 2.9 up 12%
    KVI 3.1 to 2.9 down 6.6%
    KPTK 1.4 to 2.0 up 43%

    Looks like AirAmerica Radio is doing pretty well when you compare it to a year ago. Better than the others on a percentage gain basis.
    A much different story than the one told by Will Hansen, and Brian Maloney.

    By Blogger Ezsuds81, at 03 June, 2006 13:10  

  • And of course all advertising sales, which indicate fiscal viability, are based on comparisons to a year ago. Not.
    The reason that they do quarterly ratings is to set ad rates. The ad agencies look at quarterly ratings and any declines or increases compared to the last ratings period.
    The new ratings show the value of the radio station today; i.e. how many people are listening today.
    The latest ratings for KPTK show that, after an increase in listeners over the last three quarters, the listeners have sought other stations.
    "Commander in Chief" was a hit last fall on TV. It is now cancelled. Only the latest ratings matter.
    One last point. Over the last three months President Bush's approvval ratings have fallen to record levels. Logically the ratings for stations that attack President Bush should be increasing, as they should be appealing to the popular sentiment. Instead KPTK lost almost a full point.
    If you want to do historical comparisons in ratings, the first radio station, KDKA, went on the air in 1920, giving it 100% of the audience. It's been all down hill since then.
    Interesting, but useless information for measuring current listenership.

    By Blogger Will Hansen, at 03 June, 2006 15:38  

  • And political talk radio ratings might not be somewhat seasonal??

    Perhaps based on the increases in political activity around election cycles?

    Lets see how the ratings change over the next few ratings periods, before announcing a trend.

    By Blogger Ezsuds81, at 03 June, 2006 16:43  

  • Latest Arbitron ratings released yesterday for Ground Zero in the 2004 Presidential Election:

    In Columbus, OH, Air America affiliate WTPG had best ratings in the past year--1.4--up 0.1 from last month's number and 0.5 from a year ago.

    Biggest ratings drop--sister station WTVN, home of Limbaugh live and Hannity on tape delay--down from 8.2 to 7.3.

    Clear Channel owns both stations, as well as the flagship station for Stephanie Miller, KTLK in Los Angeles.

    And Randy Michaels used to work for Clear Channel.

    And I have a feeling both Michaels and Clear Channel will make sure Air America will be around for awhile--as long as Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller can get to New York and give guys like Maloney as ass-whooping.

    By Blogger QEd, at 03 June, 2006 17:05  

  • Ah, AAR, where coming in 18th of 20 stations is a triumph!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 June, 2006 21:10  

  • Funny how anybody would be happy that KIRO has a four share! When it had the Mariners games, it reached an 11 share!

    Even in the off-season, it was almost always number one. And when the team was lost to KOMO, it still hovered in the six share range.

    Now, 5th place 12+ and a 4 share is "good" news!

    As for KPTK, I'll agree with the liberals on one thing, it would do a lot better if it had local programming. But CBS is too cheap. A two share is nothing to brag about.

    On the conservative side, both KVI and KTTH need a tune up. Bryan Suits in afternoon drive is a terrible mistake. He's not a conservative, never was.

    Spreading John Carlson across both KOMO and KVI is another blunder. Pick a station for him, one or the other. KTTH has got Rush and nothing more.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 03 June, 2006 22:33  

  • McDermott has not filed with the PDC, but that is because the filing period does not even occur until July. Meanwhile, however, as a Federal candidate, he (and I, and a third party candidate) have already filed with the FEC. Go to and and in each case do a "find on this page" search for the word "2006" and you will see the numerous contributions he has received and reported to the FEC for the 2006 election cycle. He has raised $488,000 for his re-election effort.

    Steve Beren

    By Blogger Steve Beren, at 04 June, 2006 14:27  

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