Boston Talk Stations Practice Self-Censorship Upon Ted-K's Passing
Stations Respond To Death By Yanking Conservative Talk
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
*** UPDATED BELOW ***
Boston's two largest talk radio stations have responded to Ted Kennedy's passing by dumping their usual conservative programming and replacing it with local liberal supporters of the late senator.
WRKO-AM withheld its standard midmorning and early afternoon lineup of Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, replacing it with a special show hosted by convicted felon / former House Speaker Tom Finneran, a Democrat best known for circumventing a voter-approved cut in the state income tax.
Known as "Tommy Taxes" for that legislative maneuver, Finneran is normally heard in morning drive.
A choked-up Finneran told listeners that Kennedy's passing was much more difficult to experience than he'd believed and discussed "the positive economic impact" of Ted K's reign. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh fans tuning in at noon were denied their opportunity to hear his take on the day's events.
According to an inside source within Entercom / Boston's cluster of stations, WRKO has been "inundated" with angry callers objecting to the censorship of Limbaugh.
Meanwhile, at WTKK-FM, the timeslot normally occupied by conservative Michael Graham was given to local liberal advice talker Mel Robbins, who used the time to deliver syrupy tributes to Kennedy. She also asked callers for their "positive experiences" dealing with the senator. Criticism of his tenure was not heard.
It's possible that Graham was already off for the day (though that isn't indicated at WTKK's site), but the slot could have been filled by a like-minded host and wasn't.
Given the unexpected actions by WRKO and WTKK's respective corporate owners, it's hard to consider this anything other than a form of self-censorship that could make a number of foreign tyrants proud.
UPDATE: yes, Graham is apparently out of town, but his liberal fill-in choice was the issue, as indicated above in our original post. His conservative audience expected a conservative sub but didn't get one. Listeners were looking for an alternative to the onslaught of Saint Ted state-run media coverage, but were instead sent away by WTKK.
FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.
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