The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 September 2006

Talk Radio, MA Gov Race


In First Debate, Mass Gov Hopefuls Throw Punches

After a moderately testy Massachusetts gubernatorial debate Monday evening that produced no clear winner, Bay State talk radio hosts will have a lot to chew on this week.

Former Clinton Administration extremist Deval Patrick and independent Christy Mihos took turns pounding GOP Lt Governor Kerry Healey, but she handled the attacks adequately, without losing her cool.

Mihos, a convenience store owner based on Cape Cod, made it clear why he was in the race: to help Democrat Deval Patrick get elected by siphoning votes away from Healey. Slipping in and out of a strange, Kennedy-esque accent, Mihos emphasized the (truly unimportant) fact that he is apparently the only native- born Bay Stater in the race.

But overall, he came across as angry and disgruntled, rather than as a cool- headed and effective potential leader. Former Acting Governor Jane Swift, a Republican, removed Mihos from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority at a time when he was correctly asking questions about the corrupt agency's shoddy business practices. Mihos seems to have projected that anger onto Healey in a way that seemed irrational.

Mihos performance grade: B- Minus (the anger was frankly overdone)

Green Party / Rainbow Coalition candidate Grace Ross came across surprisingly well, once the viewer could get past her socialist, neo- hippie "community activist" look. She correctly pointed out that all three of her opponents were essentially multi-millionaire elitists who are grossly out of touch with a state that has become too expensive for many of its residents.

Even if her views may be on the fringe (though she really didn't venture into that kind of territory), Ross wasn't afraid to join the fight and likely has sincere reasons for jumping into the race.

Ross Performance grade: B (because expectations were zero)

As for Healey, she remained calm and appealing under fire. Well- versed on the issues, she didn't trip up on any of the questions, maintaining a smooth delivery throughout.

But she would likely benefit from a few more debates (even if that seems counterintuitive), in order to show more passion, warmth and energy.

Why is she running? Tell us!

In addition, Healey needs to learn how to project her voice more, it's still a bit on the soft side, which made it easy for opponents to shout over her answers. Overall, a strong candidate, but a work in progress, with no time to spare.

Step it up now, Kerry.

Healey's grade: B (she didn't screw it up and that may be all that was necessary)

Patrick, a Howard Dean- like extremist with a knack for generating enthusiasm amongst the blogosphere's biggest moonbats, gave the most disappointing performance, primarily because it's thought that he can do better.

Clearly, more is expected of Patrick, yet he didn't deliver anything beyond Healey's level.

Since he didn't connect with the voters any better than Healey, he isn't likely to have increased his support level tonight. In fact, the Democrat stumbled on a couple of the answers, not something that would have been expected of Patrick before this debate.

What's especially sinister about Deval is his new move to the middle, after spending the primary season on the far left, where he truly resides. I'm not sure that voters are going to buy it.

Patrick's grade: C (because he's usually better in these settings)

As for the media, FOX News anchor Chris Wallace was brilliant as moderator, providing a first- class touch to the debate. He had clearly looked into the issues ahead of time and seemed well- prepared as a result. Wallace has had quite a week in the spotlight and he deserves our full support.

The post- debate wrap-up, however, overseen by the dim bulbs at FOX 25 / Boston, was all that could be expected from these notorious "news" buffoons.

For talk radio, the benefits of this race are many: topping the list is the fact that a busy and highly entertaining political year is now assured.

In addition, talkers have a particular target in Patrick, who in the past has blamed the medium for inciting violence, according to WRKO's Scott Allen Miller:

Deval: Talk radio led to church arsons

“Deval Patrick … said that conservative talk radio was an important factor in creating an atmosphere conducive to abhorrent behavior such as arson and bombing.”

Waves of Rancor: Tuning in the Radical Right,
by Robert Hilliard

"I feel like we're reaping what we've sown. If you listen to talk radio, if you listen to some of the rhetoric in Congress . . . you can begin to see ways in which civic leadership in this country is not encouraging people to see their stake in each other's struggle." Deval Patrick on the possible cause of arsons of black churches, Washington Post (June 12, 1996)

According to the National Church Arson Task Force that Patrick co-chaired at the US Department of Justice: "Of the 670 incidents that we have investigated, 225 have involved African American churches, 163 of which are located in the southern United States.

Of the 308 persons arrested, 254 are white, 46 are African American, and eight are Hispanic. One hundred and nineteen people arrested were juveniles. Of the 106 suspects arrested for arsons at African American churches, 68 are white, 37 are African American and one is Hispanic. Of the 197 suspects arrested for arsons at non-African American houses of worship, 181 are white, nine are African American, and seven are Hispanic. Five of the white suspects were arrested for arsons at both African American and non-African American churches.

Bottom line: racial hatred of blacks by whites cannot be a primary cause of the church arsons because most of the attacked churches had white congregations, whites were far more likely to attack white churches than black churches, and blacks also attacked black churches in significant numbers.

For talk radio, the issue of church arsons is likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Patrick's questionable past.

ELSEWHERE: Trip wonders why the Clinton- Wallace clips have apparently been removed from YouTube.

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Images of candidates: Boston Herald


  • Hopefully Mihos won't siphon votes away from Healey, which would mean a Patrick win (and near 100 per cent control of Mass. by Dems). If so, I hope Deval can bring us more jobs. We're going to need them to pay the higher taxes.
    If you liked Dukakis you'll love Patrick.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 26 September, 2006 05:27  

  • Is it any wonder why conservatives (rightfully so) call the state Taxachusetts?

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 26 September, 2006 07:06  

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