The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 December 2007

Bernie Ward Indictment Now Available For Public Review


Judge Allows Access, Defenders Use 'Saint Bernie' Approach

*** 08 May 2008 Update Here ***
*** Previous Coverage Of This Story: Click Here And Here ***

Earlier this evening, we learned that a federal judge has unsealed the Bernie Ward indictment. From KGO-7:

We've also learned new details about how the case began. On December 23rd, 2004 at 5:52pm, a complaint came to police in the Central Valley town of Oakdale.

It’s about ten miles outside Modesto. Officers quickly determined that the evidence was strong enough to turn over to the FBI for investigation of a federal crime – an unusual move.

Oakdale Police Lt. Lester Jenkins tells the I-Team, his department passes less than one percent of their cases to the FBI. He declined to provide more details about the complaint, citing the federal case.

This isn't going to bode well for the blame- Bush crowd, unless he's in cahoots with police in Oakdale, a distant cowboy town- turned- suburb (known for its annual rodeo) that has far more in common with Fort Worth than San Francisco.

Could it be a Central Valley plot to undermine liberal San Francisco? No doubt they will quickly cook up a new conspiracy to fit the circumstances.

The indictment is rather brief (only three pages) but does reveal a third count against Ward, one more than was disclosed yesterday. ABC has made it available here in the memory- hogging .pdf format.

All of the charges relate to either receiving or distributing child porn.

Meanwhile, Ward's liberal defenders are using the Imus Defense, which is to have the accused hide behind his charity work. In both cases, friendly mainstream media fellow- travellers have been more than pleased to assist this effort.

Here are examples from the I-Man's flap earlier this year.

Taking the campaign a step further, today's San Francisco Chronicle barely stopped short of declaring him a saint. Using loaded language such as "social justice", this piece reads more like an editorial than news coverage:

He joined KGO in 1985, initially as a fill-in talk show host, then as a general assignment reporter, then as political reporter. He has won numerous national awards for his reporting, including an Associated Press award for his coverage of riots in Los Angeles.

In the mid-1990s, he partnered with reporters from the San Francisco Examiner on a series of investigative stories exposing financial and sexual improprieties within the San Francisco Archdiocese. He won a national award for those stories.

Billed by his station as "the lion of the left," he has appeared regularly on national television in recent years, railing against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

"His listeners adore him; he has a very devoted audience," said Margo Magowan, who for six years was producer of Ward's nightly broadcast. "He's always been a wonderful person to work with. And he is such a wonderful father. During commercial breaks, his kids would call him. Bernie would drop everything to solve whatever crisis came up, whether it was a homework problem or somebody locking themselves in the bathroom. Then he went back on air without missing a beat."

For 22 years, he spent his Sunday mornings behind the microphone on the show that he created and has said was closest to his heart - "God Talk." Ward discussed a wide range of topics, from spirituality to the Christian message of helping the poor. He also focused on misdeeds within organized religion, especially his own faith, making him a controversial and provocative figure. He created the irreverent "Church of the Holy Donut," which now has 7,000 members.

Every Thanksgiving, he led a charity drive that has raised about $5 million. Several years ago, as part of the station's fund-raising drive for leukemia, he sat on a billboard for 24 hours to raise $75,000.

On Thursday, members of his "flock" called Ward a tireless champion for social justice.

"Our heart goes out to Bernie and his family," said Poncho Guevara, executive director of Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose. "Bernie has been an incredible leader. His approach is not only to talk about what is broken in society, but to inspire people to fix it."

Susan Prather, founder and executive director of Fresh Start, a Walnut Creek organization that helps the poor and homeless, credited Ward with saving her program seven years ago when funds had run out.

"There would be no Fresh Start without Bernie Ward," she said. "He raised $35,000 for us in 10 days. It kept our doors open.

"I think Bernie is one of a kind. He has a huge heart. He has never been cautious. Like many people he was ignorant of the law, he made a mistake and it is tragic. People who know him know that in no way is this Bernie Ward."

E-mail the writers at and

Clearly, the argument is the same: removing Ward (or Imus) from the airwaves means that charities go unfunded and kids will suffer. Isn't hiding behind charity work pathetic?

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  • No one claimed Imus committed a crime. Ward is accused of a crime. Big difference -- Nothing to do with free speech.

    By Blogger 10ksnooker, at 07 December, 2007 22:23  

  • I urge you to think twice before suggesting that Bernie Ward is "hiding" behind his charity work. It may well be that some well-intentioned Bay Area media people who know and love Bernie are trying to defend him in this way, but Bernie would never use his charities to cloak himself in a mantle of virtue. He would sooner fade into oblivion if it meant his charities lived on healthfully and unsullied.

    You simply do not know Bernie Ward. To his fans and those who know and love him, indeed these charges are impossible, unthinkable, and wrong. If you knew Bernie--all politics aside--you would know how wrong it is too. Bernie is a kind, caring, self-searching, humble person who is incapable of any such criminality. Of course, he is no saint, and he would be the first to reject any claims to sainthood made on his behalf, but I entreat you to hear me: he is no sicko nor any kind of kook.

    You may disagree with Bernie Ward's politics, but I beg you, please do not prejudge him. If nothing else, think of his family, his four children. Even if you believe we on the left have been inconsiderate of your people and their families when they were caught up in their own scandals--accept my apology on behalf of the left and be bigger people than we perhaps managed to be!

    I know that's asking a lot from you, but I also know how Bernie's heart must be hurting for the life of his charity work right now, as it is truly the heart and soul the man. If you must go negative, gosh, please don't go there. You're totally barking up the wrong tree.

    Also, be aware that Bernie Ward was against Imus being fired from his radio show from the moment the story broke. He said it was unfair that Imus, like other talk-jocks, should be hired with the express purpose of being controversial, and then fired when they deliver. He was firm on that point from the outset, and since then, he has also come to Michael Savage's defense as a talk show host just doing his job when, on occasion, callers have suggested that Savage should be yanked from the air as well. If you look into his life as a radio personality, you will find that in everything he says and does, Bernie Ward has always made a special point of being consistent, and of avoiding double standards.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 December, 2007 00:42  

  • Hey Brian, it will be interesting to see if the mainstream press nationwide even touches this story - or if they do, if the volume of coverage will approach that of Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction.

    I doubt it will, and it doesn't make sense. Which offense is more visceral - addiction to painkillers, or soliciting kiddie porn?

    And we will see if Bernie gets voted "worst the worrrld!" I doubt that will happen, too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 December, 2007 01:25  

  • That's how pedophiles work, they make sure they con enough people, or more accurately the "right people" in an attempt to get enough people behind them if they get caught. What better group to con then far left wing sheeple? Throw a few bucks their way and you'll get nothing but good press. It's sick and disgusting but I wonder how many people like anonymous are out there?

    By Blogger Capitalist Infidel, at 08 December, 2007 13:41  

  • Ward got a bad rap. I might be in the minority here. :(

    By Blogger Short Sale Real Estate, at 09 December, 2007 18:20  

  • "I might be in the minority here. :("

    No, you are not, shortsale.

    It is the prejudging, crafty, manipulative neocons that are godless here.

    Why do you think this maneuver was pulled during Advent?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 09 December, 2007 23:06  

  • To Capitalist Infidel: Who are you talking about when you say "throw a couple of bucks at them and you'll get nothing but good press." Who this "them" to which you refer? I stand by Bernie Ward with all my heart and soul, and I will do so until my dying day--and I can assure you I'm getting nothing (but abuse) for it. That's fine. I can take it. I won't be scared off by mean spirited people who have apparently forgotten that in this country one is innocent until proven guilty. Bernie has been charged with a crime but not convicted. The trial has not yet begun.

    What do mean by suggesting that those of us who assert Bernie Ward's innocence have somehow been "conned?" What con? I am nonplused by this comment. After twelve some-odd years of listening to Bernie on the radio I think it's safe to say I have some idea of the man's character. My judgments are my own. I am responsible for my own views. Don't call me a "sheeple;" no one is leading me around telling me what to think. If I am mistaken about this (or anything else, for that matter), the fault is mine.

    How many people are there "out there" like me, standing firm in defense of this good man? It's a difficult to say but from the looks of things on intertubes right now, precious few. For the most part I'm hearing a lot of heartbreaking, sadmaking prejudgment. But I'll tell you what, I'll put my so-called "money" where my mouth is. I really have no need or desire say my piece anonymously. My name is Ms. Harper Willson, and I believe Bernie Ward is an innocent man.

    By Anonymous Harper Willson, at 10 December, 2007 01:13  

  • Anyone familiar with both Bernie Ward and the highly politicized Bush "Justice" Dept. should ask himself which of the following is more likely? (1) that Bernie is a dangerous criminal who must be put behind bars, or (2) that some loyal Bushie lawyer appointed by Alberto Gonzales decided to find a legal technicality with which to take Bernie off the air and prevet him from criticizing the Bushies.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10 December, 2007 05:38  

  • To compare Ward to Limbaugh is insane, Ward is UNKNOWN outside of his listening area, it would never get the same press as the drug addled, viagra loving Limbaugh... Get a grip.... Anon, do you have a brain? Why would an unknown talk show host, who may or may not have comitted a crime, get the same coverage as mega star Limbaugh???? Brian calls it the Townsend defense, interestingly enough, Townsend was not lying when he claimed the kiddie porn was for research, so Maloney if it was the Townsend defense, he is innocent like Townsend, thanks for exonerating him. I will wait to see what the results are.

    By Blogger Kane, at 10 December, 2007 10:30  

  • Wow! I've never seen so much support for a pedophile before.

    Ms Wilson would you let your little children stay overnight at Bernies house? If so I sure hope social services get those kids out of your house immediately!

    By Blogger Capitalist Infidel, at 11 December, 2007 17:48  

  • Bernie Ward is a lot of things. A laundry list of things. But him being a pedophile? I don't believe it!

    By Blogger beatle, at 13 December, 2007 16:22  

  • The moonbat radio listening audience in the bay area needed a few left wingnut extremists at night to fill their anti-bush,anti-military,anti-cristian apatite so kgo picked karel,bernie and ray, what did you expect.

    By Anonymous meteorlima, at 15 December, 2007 22:02  

  • I don't follow anything 'Fox', and the writer of this article is one reason why. Just read this article again. Look how every term is modified by an outrageous adjective, how no facts are stated without some ridiculous commentary.

    I am neither conservative nor liberal. I try and look at each issue for its merits. The agenda of this article's writer is clear. He's a whiner who has been the victim of the left. How boring. Why does the right require people to do their thinking for them, and why do they need people like this moron and Rush to overheat their batteries and tell them what victims they are.

    I never thought I'd see the day when the right would become such cry babies.

    By Anonymous USA Ain't Right (wing), at 25 January, 2008 17:48  

  • In his online chats, Bernie Ward taks about his children and their friends to a stranger (online) in a perverted, sexual way.

    Why is ANYBODY supporting him, or trying to raise money for this creep?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 February, 2008 21:45  

  • If there ever was a right wing conspiracy this is it.No way could he fight this. They silenced him can't you see the forest for the trees. He was the lion of the left. No one else challenged the system the way he did. He was right, some of us don't deserve this country but deserve the one were going to get, if we don't wake up. And i'm a registered Republican, Catholic, who believes in the sanctity of life. So many questions that he asked have just been brushed aside. Keep listening to air heads like Ronn Owens, who only care about ratings and the almighty dollar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 08 October, 2009 00:20  

  • Ever hear "where there is smoke there is fire"?
    I would be willing to bet most of you would easily believe a priest can be guilty of abusing a minor sexually, why not this holier than thow Bernie Ward?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 July, 2010 16:11  

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