The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 July 2007

Fairness Doctrine Debate, Canadian Radio, CHRI-FM


Station Protests Forced Non-Christian Programming

While Americans continue to debate the possible reinstatement of the FCC's former Fairness Doctrine, where radio programming must be "balanced" with opposing views, our northern neighbor's own law provides an instructive lesson into this policy's grave dangers.

In Ottawa, Ontario, Christian music station CHRI-FM has been forced by the government to turn over a portion of its broadcast day for "alternative" religious views, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are some of the other faiths that must be represented on-air in order to appease the CRTC, Canada's version of the FCC.

To avoid triggering the requirement beyond a minimal weekly amount, CHRI actually downplays Christian teaching between songs. But now, CHRI-FM's owner wants to establish a spoken word religious station, which could create a potential programming nightmare: how could one satisfy the CRTC's thought police?

Amazingly, the policy was established with the stated desire to quash religious programming from the airwaves. Is Canada really a free country?

From the Ottawa Citizen's Jennifer Green:

But now Mr. Du Broy wants to start a new Christian station, WORD FM, aimed at the growing radio audience older than 45, many of whom want Christian programming, but not the racket of rock music.

It would offer more than two-thirds spoken-word broadcasting with programs such as Billy Graham's Hour of Decision and James Dobson's Focus Weekend.

Religious music needn't be offset with other faiths, but the broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio- television and Telecommunications Commission, does require that spoken-word programming offer differing views. However, it is up to the applicant to propose just how this would be done.

Denis Carmel, the CRTC's director of public relations, said "It's unlikely that a single-faith station could be balanced (without some programming on other faiths)." Is it possible to get a licence without outside faith programming? "I'm not going to respond to that." Mr. Du Broy figures the CRTC will want at least one hour and 11 minutes a day devoted to other faiths. To get that figure, he multiplied 67 per cent (the amount of talking on air) by 7.35 per cent (number of non-Christians in the Ottawa area) to come up with 4.9 per cent of the 24-hour broadcast day, or 71 minutes.

The problem is, Christian radio listeners don't always care for the outside programming.

Many have enjoyed CHRI's Reflections on the Torah but Their Days, five-minute segments on Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, have been less of a hit.

Mr. Du Broy says in his submission to the CRTC, "... on a regular basis we receive complaints from core listeners that a non-Christian message does not belong on a Christian radio station. Many listeners have told us that it is too good and may seduce young people into following other religions." Counterbalancing religious points of view may sound like taking political correctness to extremes, but it comes out of a tumultuous history of religious broadcasting, stretching back the 1920s, when fiery radio preachers thought nothing of insulting other faiths over the airwaves.

A royal commission banned religious broadcasting, formed the forerunner of the CBC, and established strong federal control over the airwaves until the 1980s when the broadcast universe exploded with new channels and radio frequencies.

What isn't working in Canada certainly has no place in America, does it? Look at the impact of governmental intrusion into broadcasting. If this doesn't hammer the point home, your Radio Equalizer doesn't know what could.

While reinstating America's version isn't on the table for now, it's highly likely to return under a Democrat president and Congress, especially at the point when the terms of Bush's FCC appointees have expired.

Is this really constructive for the US or any other country? Just ask a Christian in Canada.

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30 July 2007

Talk Radio Ratings, Cape Cod And The Islands


In Ted Kennedy's Backyard, Talk Radio Dominates

In the land of Kennedys, ultra- liberal Hollywood celebs and lobster huts, would anyone expect conservative talk to dominate local radio broadcasting?

Sure enough, it does.

Bucking the outside world's perception of the area, newly- released ratings for the Cape Cod market have once again solidified conservative talker WXTK- FM's position as the number one station of any kind, with a huge 10.8 share of the 12 and older audience. No music station even comes close to matching its numbers.

Featuring Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Howie Carr and Neal Boortz (seen in photo below), WXTK also benefits from carrying Red Sox baseball and remains in first place almost every time new ratings are released.

A fairly small market of just over 200,000 year- round adult residents (rank is #189), the area swells in the summertime as seasonal tourists arrive.

In fact, if distant stations from Boston are added to talk's overall market share, the total is a staggering 15.9% share of the audience.

Does Ted Kennedy know about this?

Though the Hyannisport compound has helped to give the area a liberal reputation, the truth is that only a few Cape Cod towns could be considered liberal, while a number of others provide rare pockets of GOP support in the Bay State. Overall, it provides one of the nation's best markets for conservative talk radio.

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29 July 2007

WBAL Radio, Baltimore, Rush Limbaugh


Rush-Dumping Proves Disastrous For Baltimore Talker

If a listener research project's results recommended jumping off a cliff, would you do it?

In a way, that's the mistake made by Baltimore's WBAL- AM, which foolishly purged Rush Limbaugh from its schedule just over a year ago. Outright handing the talk titan to 'BAL's competitor, the longtime market leader immediately began a ratings slide that shows no signs of easing up.

Instead of first place, where it previously resided, the station has fallen to sixth in new ratings released on Friday. From a 6.9 market share for listeners 12 and older a year ago, it has dropped to a 4.5. WCBM- AM, which happily accepted Rush's show, has climbed from 2.7 to 3.3 during the same period.

Did we call this one, or what?

When WBAL lost its rights to air Baltimore Orioles games, Rush's show could have cushioned the blow, but management instead made this ill-fated decision:

As experienced broadcasters, with over 50-years of collective experience, our instincts have been moving us to change. But, rather than just make such an important decision on “a gut feeling,” we recently commissioned a major research project. Considerable time and effort went into researching what radio listeners in our area want.

Ouch! Where were the research subjects found, inside Nancy Pelosi's congressional office?

Along with the ratings decline, two of the station's major local personalities have called it quits and are leaving the area for San Diego and Colorado.

In WBAL's current disarray, there's an important lesson: never, ever make programming decisions based on research alone. While it can be an important tool, it's also a great way to end up right over the cliff.

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28 July 2007

Buddy Cianci Released From Prison, Providence Talk Radio


Will Another Criminal Pollute Talk Radio?

In New England, all eyes are on convicted felon and former Providence Mayor- For- Life Buddy Cianci (shown left in photo with Boston Mayor Tom Menino), who has just been released from prison. After disgraced former Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran, will Buddy be the next criminal to pollute local talk radio?

During Cianci's corrupt regime, bribery was just about the only way to get permits approved and the mob became closely tied to city business.

Since then, Providence has tried to move forward, with new development and a fresh look, but will one area talk station send the city right back to its darkest days?

At our other site, see the full story on how this sorry situation came to be.

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Cianci / Menino photo:, campaign poster: Providence Journal

27 July 2007

San Diego, Los Angeles Radio Ratings Breakdowns


Rush, Hannity, Others Surge, Libtalk Mixed

With detailed radio ratings breakdowns now available for Los Angeles and San Diego, here's how key programs fared (all numbers represent adults 25-54 in the spring 2007 report):

Rush Limbaugh surged in both markets, up 25% in Los Angeles and 64% in San Diego. Heard there on KOGO-AM, El Rushbo has the highest average quarter- hour audience of any host in the region.

Sean Hannity saw a 125% gain in Los Angeles, which helped KABC begin to pull out of a long slump, while his audience grew by 10% in San Diego.

Dr Laura's recent time slot move at KOGO led to a 13% gain there, while she maintained her recent strong ratings at KFI in Los Angeles. There, she has the highest average quarter- hour audience of any AM news- talk host, a key measurement.

Mark Levin was up 38% in San Diego, where he's heard on KFMB-AM and 144% in Los Angeles, where he was another factor in KABC's climb.

Bill O'Reilly gained 57% in Los Angeles (KABC) and realized a 14% increase in San Diego (KFMB).

Michael Savage's show was up 39% in San Diego, he's no longer heard on a major Los Angeles station.

Local hosts were mixed, with KABC's Larry Elder up 92%, Doug McIntyre gaining 138%, Al Rantel increasing by 45%, KFI's Bill Handel down 21%, John & Ken down 9% and John Ziegler dropping 24%.

In San Diego, Rick Roberts moved up 67% at KFMB and Roger Hedgecock was flat in a market with far too little local programming.

Libtalk was mixed: in Los Angeles, Stephanie Miller was up 150% on KTLK, Thom Hartmann gained 20%, Randi Rhodes +117%, Marc Germain (Mr KABC) up 43% and Ed Schultz up 33%.

In San Diego, "progressive" talk collapsed on KLSD, which had been a very strong station for the format: Hartmann fell 72%, Schultz down 54%, Rhodes, -86% and Mike Malloy dropped 77%.

Overall, these numbers are incredible, perhaps Senator Lott was correct: talk radio is running the country!

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26 July 2007

John Edwards Campaign, Air America, Politico


Silly Edwards Rhetoric Inspires Libtalk Kool-Aid Consumption

Above and beyond that of other Dem presidential candidates, what is it about John Edwards and his empty rhetoric that inspires so much libtalk Kool- Aid drinking?

For whatever reason, Obama, Hillary and the others just don't seem to command the same level of respect. Mention Edwards, however, and our "progressive" talk friends can't stop gushing, even to the point of embarrassing themselves.

To the Air America crowd, The Breck Girl's bogus "poverty tour" was out of real concern for poor people, rather than a cheap campaign gimmick. Nor will Elizabeth's weird boycott of tangerines generate on-air scrutiny.

From Rachel Maddow's Tuesday program, here's but one recent example:

RACHEL MADDOW: “I felt like the really good thing about Edwards last night was the fact that he did seem really genuinely outraged when he was talking about injustices and the plight of powerless people in America against interests like insurance companies and big business. He seemed like a real fighter, he seemed like really genuinely outraged and mad. I thought that made him seem more heavyweight than usual. I know you’ve been traveling with the Edwards campaign, how would you describe the level of optimism and how they feel about last night?

BEN SMITH, THE POLITICO.COM: Well I think you’re right, and I think you know what they think is that you know he wasn’t talking to the pundit class, he wasn’t trying to score through abstract points about foreign policy, that he was trying to present himself as an outsider, really.


MADDOW: And interestingly, it wasn’t that he was expressing so much anger or outrage with the Republicans so much and he did show a little bit of that, he said you have to keep the heat on Bush, certainly he said that with a lot of fire in his voice when he said it, but most of his people you have to stand up for in the Edwards worldview that was presented last night, the people you have to stand up to are business interests and lobbyists and big business, big corporations. And I think that’s a populist and although we brand that as “lefty”, it’s a populist message that could be bipartisan, could actually reach a lot of independents too.

SMITH: Yeah I think that’s right, and it’s also really (unclear) of who he’s been in his career and the way he’s cast his work as a trial lawyer suing big corporations and that has really become part of his message.

Yes, the only thing missing from that segment was "my name is John Edwards and I approved this message" added to the end. How much sucking- up can be crammed into one broadcast?

Note how Smith extends the Edwards campaign spin, recreating him as a heroic crusader against evil corporations, rather than a sleazy and greedy trial lawyer.

For the real truth about Edwards, take a look at this recent piece by Charles Hurt in the New York Post:


July 20, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - Trailing in the polls, John Edwards spent the past week telling the poor and downtrodden how much he cares about them.

He even insisted that his Kennedy-esque "poverty tour" was not part of his campaign to capture the White House.

Yeah, just like all those years he spent latched to the back bumper of an ambulance were all out of the goodness of his heart.

That and the $38 million fortune he amassed as the most successful personal-injury lawyer in North Carolina history.

What made Edwards such a brilliant attorney - and a pretty good politician - is his ability to look you in the eye while picking your pocket and convince you that's really not his hand on your wallet.

And so he stopped in the hinterlands of Wise, Va., to commiserate with the poor there who can't afford health care. Even if they could, they'd have to drive a hundred miles to find a doctor.

"We're here to help," Edwards assured them.

There are plenty of causes for this sad heath-care situation. But Edwards wasn't talking about one of the biggest causes - the cause he is among the most responsible for.

"The primary factor is liability insurance," said Dr. Stuart Weinstein, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa. "It's either too expensive in areas like that or simply not available anymore."

Virginia's medical-liability insurance rates - driven largely by the very types of lawsuits that made Edwards a multimillionaire many times over - have more than doubled in three years, according to the nonpartisan Medical Liability Monitor.

In Edwards' home state, those premiums quadrupled. As a result, doctors have fled rural areas or quit practicing altogether.

After years of accusing conservative talk radio hosts of merely parroting partisan talking points, why haven't "progressives" provided a better example?

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Tangerine spoof: Rush

25 July 2007

Al Franken Campaign Contributors, Minnesota US Senate Race


Frankenspin Can't Mask Truth About Contributions

Does Al Franken believe Minnesota's voters are stupid?

What else explains his spinmeistering after news that the overwhelming majority of his campaign dollars are coming from outside the North Star State?

Why does this issue matter? Because Stuart's been working overtime to convince voters his US Senate effort has popular local support, despite a whopping 82% of his monetary contributions coming from other parts of the country.

By contrast, only 32% of DFL Party primary opponent Mike Ciresi's dough came from out of state, while that was the case for 50% of incumbent Norm Coleman's re- election funds.

Previously, we mistakenly thought that only 25% of his contributions came from elsewhere, so it turns out your Radio Equalizer badly underestimated the severity of Franken's situation.

The bottom line is this: Franken's candidacy represents a blatant attempt by Hollywood elitists to install one of their own into the US Senate.

And Minnesota is being used for this purpose simply because Al thinks he can sucker the locals. Once it was clear his talk radio career was going nowhere, Stuart suddenly embraced a state he'd left behind long ago.

To Franken, however, this unpleasant detail merely represents another opportunity for spin and deceit, as correctly noted by the Minnesota GOP's spokesperson in this Boston Examiner story:

In the Federal Election Commission reports, Coleman listed 470 donors from Minnesota compared to 366 for Franken. But because the FEC reports list only contributions of $200 or more, that isn't a complete picture.

Franken's campaign said that overall, more than 4,000 people gave to Franken from Minnesota; Coleman's campaign reported 3,500 donors from in state.

The Republican Party had complained about Franken raising money from "far-left friends outside our state."

"I wonder what the Republican Party's talking points will be now that they've found out that more Minnesotans supported Al Franken than Norm Coleman," said Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh.

"Al Franken may not like it, but the fact is that overwhelming majority of his donors come from outside Minnesota," said Mark Drake, a spokesman for the Minnesota Republican Party.

As the campaigns continue to heat up, the big question is whether Franken can successfully sucker not only his political party, but the entire state as well.

Watch for the suckerfish, that's when you'll know Stuart's tired political routine is headed your way.


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Radio Ratings Released In Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago


In New Ratings, News - Talk Surging Nationwide

Day two of radio ratings releases for major cities brought more good news for big news- talk stations. With data now available for Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego and Milwaukee, it's celebration time for the format.

Will this performance again stir up the Fairness Doctrine supporters on Capitol Hill?

Again, these quarterly figures are critical for stations because they are used to set advertising rates, as well as industry bragging rights. The numbers listed below represent all listeners 12 and older, we will update later with the even more important 25-54 data.

In Los Angeles, KFI turned in a flat performance but moved up to third place overall in the region with a 4.2 share of the audience. Long- suffering KABC posted its biggest gain in some time, rising to 16th place with a half- share increase. And making up for yesterday's libtalk's losses in New York City, "progressive" talker KTLK rose to a 1.1 share, up from a 0.6 in the previous report.

In Chicago, WGN-AM realized its customary baseball bump- up to take first place, while conservative news- talker WLS increased from 3.3 to 3.6, good for a seventh place tie.

San Diego's KOGO, the home of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives, rose from 3.7 to 4.3, giving it a fourth place tie. Rival KFMB-AM was up slightly and took ninth. Libtalker KLSD tanked, falling from 2.2 to 0.9.

Milwaukee's WTMJ-AM surged, up almost two full shares, for a first place rocket- ride. Competitor WISN turned in a rare loss for the format, down almost a share and locking in seventh overall.

We'll have more data as it becomes available.

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24 July 2007

WABC. New York City, Spring Ratings 2007


New York's WABC Sees Ratings Surge

*** More Updates Below ***

In New York City, talk radio's crucial semi- annual report card has just been released, with good news to send home to parents. Could it mean a growing interest in next year's political contests?

Where it really counts, Limbaugh / Hannity affiliate WABC scored big gains, moving from a 3.5 overall share of the audience to 3.9. That was good for fifth place among listeners 12 and older, higher than we've recently seen for the format in the Big Apple.

Though ratings are tracked monthly, the four quarterly "books" are what actually count. From those, the spring and fall surveys are most critical for setting future advertising rates, as well as sheer bragging rights.

Because Arbitron's sample size in New York is so large, a move from 3.5 to 3.9 means more than it would in a small city, where the ratings ride can be bumpier.

Meanwhile, rivals WOR 710-AM and WWRL-AM (Air America) fell slightly, dropping to 2.0 and 0.6, respectively.

With the wildest presidential contest ever already underway, get ready for what could mean talk radio's biggest- ever surge.

UPDATE: With show- by- show breakdowns now available, we can see what brought about WABC's gains. In the all- important 25-54 demographic, Sean Hannity was up 24%, Mark Levin gained 57% and Rush Limbaugh's numbers rose 7%. Morning show figures (everything between 5am and noon) were flat and remain the station's primary weak point.

Meanwhile, the long- struggling WOR continues to suffer, with some gains in the station's morning show but continued weakness in afternoon drive. The addition of conservative talker Steve Malzberg to evenings provided a bright spot: up 27% over libtalker Lionel's previous ratings in that slot.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: Judge Maria Lopez gets her due.

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23 July 2007

Cheney Briefly Assumes Presidency, Talk Radio, The Nation


Unsurprisingly, Left's Crackpot Predictions Didn't Come True

Just as nearly every rational American had expected, Dick Cheney's brief assumption of the presidency on Saturday was uneventful. The world didn't come to an end, nor did the Veep make any sudden, significant moves.

In fact, those who don't follow the news probably weren't even aware he had temporarily been handed power while Bush underwent a colon exam.

But to a small minority, those dwelling in the left- wing kookdom of libtalk and "nutroots" blogs, Cheney's power grab was a reason to hide in the hills.

And nowhere was that more evident than on "progressive" talk radio, where Air America Host Rachel Maddow and guest John Nichols of The Nation went off the deep end during Friday evening's show.

First, Maddow's opening monologue provided this Kerry- style "botched joke":

MADDOW: (noting a busy political week) “...ending with us learning that Dick Cheney is gonna be president, officially. Tomorrow, the president going in for a routine colonoscopy tomorrow and while he will be out, Dick will be in, umm, I know that’s a horrible thing to say. Dick Cheney will be president, at least for a couple of hours.”

Then, during the Nichols interview, things went from bad to worse when Maddow asked whether Cheney might try to pull a fast one:

NICHOLS: (initially joking) “If I was the Iranians I’d be a little scared.”


“He (Cheney) does like to work with his puppet (Bush), and so I don’t think you have to assume Dick Cheney is gonna do anything particularly in those areas tomorrow; he may pull the wings off of a couple of birds or something like that (Maddow laughs), but you know, shoot some frogs, or a hunting partner in the face... He might choose to pardon someone, this is an interesting concept. With three hours, he could really start going on some pardons.”

Given how quick the left is to pounce on what it sees as extreme comments from the right, why should this stand unchallenged? Had a conservative said that a Democrat would pull wings off of birds, there's little doubt he would end up as Keith Olbermann's Worst Person In The World.

In addition, since nothing happened during Cheney's brief reign, why should these people have any more credibility than the Y2K fanatics who thought we should build log cabins in the woods?

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. Another felon on the way?

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Talk Radio, Jose Alonso Compean, Ignacio Ramos, Senator Dianne Feinstein


Slanted Coverage Meant To Alarm 'Progressives'

In the angry and emotional world of San Francisco politics, even the slightest hint of an association with conservatives could send any politician's career into a nosedive.

So when the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday published a piece highlighting Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) recent praise from the right on the sad plight of jailed border patrol agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, its intent was instantly clear.

Because they were law enforcement agents doing their jobs, San Francisco's "social justice" hypocrites have been nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, these guys are unfairly stuck behind bars. We previously covered the story here.

Feinstein has right singing her praises

Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Washington -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, normally a target for criticism from outspoken conservatives, is being hailed as an unlikely hero by the political right for joining them in calling for President Bush to free two U.S. border agents convicted of shooting a suspected drug smuggler.

The case of agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos has become a cause celebre for conservative talk radio, bloggers and politicians. The agents were sentenced in October 2006 to 12 and 11 years in prison, respectively, by a federal judge in El Paso, Texas. Supporters say the initial verdict and the sentences were unbelievably harsh, an example of overzealous prosecution and of misplaced government priorities.

The critics of the sentence, many of whom opposed the failed immigration reform bill that Feinstein backed, also say the incident shows the U.S.-Mexico border is out of control because of drug smuggling and illegal immigration.

The two agents admit they shot and wounded unarmed drug smuggling suspect Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks as he fled from them after crashing a van loaded with 743 pounds of marijuana. He fled on foot, they caught him and scuffled. He escaped and refused their order to stop as he ran toward the Mexican border.

Compean and Ramos opened fire. The two veteran agents say they saw him reaching for something, perhaps what they thought might be a gun, when they fired.

Aldrete-Davila made it to Mexico, and in a step that really riled the critics of the federal government, was granted immunity from prosecution to return to Texas to testify against the agents. Aldrete-Davila also is suspected of subsequently trying to smuggle another large pot shipment into the United States, an allegation jurors in the agents' trial weren't allowed to hear.

San Antonio-based U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted the two, said this week at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that he based his case on the theory that "the agents shot at and struck an unarmed, fleeing drug smuggler; that they deliberately failed to report the shooting as they were required to do; that they destroyed evidence to cover up their actions; and that they did these things willfully and in violation of the laws they were sworn to uphold."

As the story continues, it's repeatedly drilled into the reader's skull that Feinstein's support on this issue comes entirely from the evil right. Right, right, right! Attention Bay Area lefties: that's your official protest signal! Fill the streets!

What we don't find, however, is an explanation as to why the left lacks compassion for Ramos and Compean. What makes this an ideological issue? Feinstein hasn't turned conservative, it's simply about common sense.

And here's a tip for the jailed agents: simply add "Mumia" to your names and watch support suddenly come from the "progressive" side as well (it wouldn't hurt to grow dreadlocks either). This should work like a charm.

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21 July 2007

Pete Wilson Dies, KGO Radio, KRON, Talk Radio


Wilson A Bay Area Broadcasting Legend

*** Sunday: Substantially Updated Below ***

From the San Francisco Bay Area tonight, there is shock and sadness over news that local broadcasting legend Pete Wilson has passed away at the age of 62.

Especially known for his work on KRON TV-4 in San Francisco, in more recent years Wilson has hosted an afternoon talk show on KGO 810-AM, in addition to duties at KGO-TV.

With moderate political stances, Wilson maintained substantial ratings on the Bay Area's dominant news- talk outlet. Years ago, he was occasionally confused with former Governor Pete Wilson (R-CA), which must have made for at least a few interesting moments.

Another media mix- up of the two apparently occurred yesterday, when at least one Southern Californian reporter made calls to the former governor's staff seeking confirmation. The San Diego Union- Tribune and CNN both apparently got sucked into the confusion.

Coverage can be found at KGO and the San Francisco Chronicle.

From the AP:

The Vietnam veteran won several Emmys, Associated Press awards and two Peabody awards for his work, including one for his coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

“He was never fully satisfied just reporting the facts of a situation,” KGO Radio President and General Manager Mickey Luckoff said. “He constantly questioned and probed the logic behind the beliefs and views of those in the news.”

Wilson lived in Marin County. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, and a son, Brendan, a college student.

UPDATE: already, some of the news coverage is focused on how Wilson wasn't liberal enough for San Francisco's extremists. From C W Nevius in the Chronicle:

"What you saw is what you got with Pete," said longtime friend and colleague Vic Lee. "He was a very opinionated guy. Forget PC. He was a straight shooter."

Sometimes a little too straight. Wilson also hosted an afternoon talk radio show on KGO, and he got himself in hot water last year when he took off on San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who is in a same-sex partnership, for having a baby with a friend, Rebecca Goldfader, who is a lesbian.

Wilson called the birth, "in my mind a travesty. Or a potential travesty."

The remarks caused an outcry in the Bay Area, with several members of the Board of Supervisors demanding that Wilson be fired. Wilson addressed the issue on his show, insisting that he supported both same-sex marriage and adoption for same-sex couples, but never apologized. He did, however, say his language was "inappropriate."

Although the controversy eventually died down, his objectivity was often the subject of discussion. Some wondered how Wilson could be an objective news anchor and an opinionated radio talk-show host at the same time.

The answer, say friends, was simple. He wasn't either one -- he was just Pete. At Channel 7, Wilson was famous for walking into the TV station after doing his radio show and still being so wound up about the topics that he would engage co-workers to continue the debate "whether they wanted to or not," as Keeshan puts it. They called them "Pete's rants."

Wilson's point was that the two lesbians were mere friends and not in a committed relationship. Why bring a child into such a casual setting? But San Francisco's perpetually- angry and emotional hotheads nearly succeeded in yanking him off the air over it.

That's probably why looney Mayor Gavin Nuisance made this qualified remark regarding Wilson's passing (again from the Chronicle column):

In a statement, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said, "While I did not share his views on many issues, I speak for all San Franciscans when I say that our hearts go out to the Wilson family during this difficult time of loss."

Hey Gavin, nobody cares if your views matched his. The world does not revolve around you.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. New: how Romney's former "Badge Boy" should go about landing himself a talk radio gig.

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Al Franken Campaign, Full Page Ad Purchased, Norm Coleman


Big Spender Franken Buys Full Page Ad

Who says Al Franken can't compete with the political world's big boys?

According to the AP, our friend has plunked down a cool $37,000 for a full page newspaper attack ad. No wonder his campaign coffers are so quickly draining.

Though he hasn't yet won his party's primary battle, the former Air America Radio host would like to be seen as Senator Norm Coleman's (R-MN) opponent.

From the story:

WASHINGTON -- Al Franken's DFL Senate campaign plunked down $37,000 for a full-page ad in Friday's Star Tribune of Minneapolis that tries to link Sen. Norm Coleman's voting record in the Senate to President Bush's unpopular Iraq war policy.

The high-profile attack is another sign that the political cycle is accelerating both in the race for Senate and president. Franken's campaign already has $2 million in the bank, and Coleman has nearly twice that.

Above a picture of Bush and Coleman standing arm-in-arm, the ad features a recent comment by Coleman, R-Minn.: "We are going to be in Iraq a long time." Under the photo, the ad says, "Senator Norm Coleman stood with President Bush and voted against bringing our troops home. Again."

That was a reference to a vote this week in which Senate Republicans blocked a final vote on a Democratic bill to force the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

The ad also includes this quote from Coleman: "When my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about redeployment, they are talking about getting out of Iraq. I'm not."

"You're wrong, Senator," the ad says. "Responsible, moderate Republican senators from Maine, Nebraska and Oregon put the interests of our country ahead of partisanship." GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Gordon Smith of Oregon broke party lines this week on the legislation.

Coleman's campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, said in a prepared statement, "It's no surprise that Al Franken's plan for Iraq comes in a full-page, partisan fundraising attack ad in the newspaper to raise money for his campaign."

Yes, with this one move, here's what Stuart has revealed to all:

Instead of demonstrating that his campaign might actually have constructive ideas and substance, Al's kicking it off with attack ads. Too bad he forgot to first define who he is and why he wants to be a US Senator from Minnesota.

Rather than save his money for when he'll really need it, Franken has continued the same big- spending ways we previously observed during his time at Air America. Why blow $37,000 on a single ad this early in the game?

When it comes to ad placement, Stuart's an old- fashioned guy. Newspapers for political advertising? That's a dinosaur- era strategy. For far less money, he could target Minnesota voters on a number of blogs and the ads could run for months. If that doesn't seem suitable, a TV spot that might find its way to YouTube would be far more effective.

Is this about sucking up to a newspaper that is expected to provide fawning coverage from here to election day? It is the Star- Tribune after all, one of the nation's most liberal newspapers.

With Coleman's bank account twice as fat as Franken's, the GOP incumbent is likely thrilled to see Franken blow his wad so early in the game. Keep it up, Stuart!


FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site. The latest: could "Badge Boy" get a tryout?

SAVE Internet radio: stations continue their fight

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20 July 2007

Talk Radio, Second Amendment Groups, Boston Globe Columnist Steve Bailey


From Boston Columnist, Pro-2A Group Wants Accountability

From one end of I-90 to the other, there's a battle of wills underway over gun laws and whether a Boston Globe columnist has admitted to violating one during a local radio program.

On the Interstate's free side is Alan Gottlieb, the Bellevue- based Second Amendment activist, publisher and owner of several Northwest talk radio stations. Three- thousand miles away, on the toll- taking end still held hostage by MassPike, we find liberal Globe columnist Steve Bailey, who also contributes to WRKO's morning drive talk show.

In a press release distributed yesterday, Gottlieb claims Bailey (seen in right photo) openly admits to having violated at least one gun law by engaging in a so- called "straw purchase":

BELLEVUE, Wash., July 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Second Amendment Foundation today sent a letter to Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, asking that Globe columnist Steve Bailey be fired for his acknowledged participation in the straw purchase of a handgun in New Hampshire about two years ago.

Bailey wrote a column about his trip to the gun show in the Globe's Nov. 30, 2005 edition, but only recently did he disclose important details of the transaction during a live on-air discussion with WRKO radio hosts Tom Finneran and Todd Feinburg. The Globe is owned by the anti-gun New York Times.

During that July 10 radio segment, Bailey explained that he visited the gun show with an unidentified New Hampshire man. He was also with John Rosenthal, head of Stop Handgun Violence in Massachusetts. They wanted to prove how "easy" it would be to purchase a handgun at a gun show.

Here's what Bailey told his hosts on the air: "We finally settled on a .38 Special. To be fair we took a new Hampshire resident with us who was a guard, a prison guard. It would have been much harder; you would have had a waiting time if you were a Massachusetts resident...

"But he (the New Hampshire man) bought it for me. I gave him a couple of hundred bucks. We expensed it to the Globe by the way. One of the first things I learned when I came to the Globe was I never saw a receipt I couldn't expense."

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb (shown left) was astonished by the statement, noting, "Bailey admitted to committing a federal felony on live radio, and he also involved the Boston Globe in his criminal enterprise by having them reimburse him for the illegal purchase. He claims he gave the gun back to the New Hampshire man, and doesn't know where it is now. Bailey's admission is simply outrageous.

"Just because you hate guns, and Bailey made it clear that he thinks 'we have way too many guns in this country,' illegally buying a gun just to write about it is still a federal crime," Gottlieb added. "We've called for an investigation of this incident, and based on what's said in that audio, we think Bailey should be terminated as a Globe employee. We also want Rosenthal's involvement investigated, because it is clear from the broadcast and statements he made to Gun Week that he was a party to this transaction."

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

So far, beyond a well- balanced story on the controversy from the Boston Herald, a rival publication, local response has been typically stuffy and dismissive, in a way only provincial northeastern media types are capable of generating.

While Bailey himself does address the issue in a new Globe column published today, he also chooses to personally attack Gottlieb and other Second Amendment supporters, calling particular attention to Alan's past troubles with the IRS.

The Boston- based Media Nation blog has addressed the issue as well and is firmly supporting Bailey, calling Gottlieb's position that the law was broken "idiotic". Since your Radio Equalizer does not claim to be a legal expert, that task will be left to others.

While at the Globe, this approach may be par for the course, Bailey is known for having a particularly obnoxious style.

And for some time at our other site, we've been questioning why he is even part of WRKO's morning show and have learned it may be based on a personal friendship with the station's general manager. According to the Globe, the segment is meant to discuss business, but Bailey's lefty politics often seem the higher priority.

There, some of our readers have wondered why the Globe employs a business columnist whose support for capitalism seems a bit fuzzy.

Having worked and lived in Washington state for a number of years, your Radio Equalizer is familiar with Gottlieb and his work. Generally rather quiet, he is not known for calling attention to himself or the organization unless he sees a good reason to do so. He is reasonably well- respected in the Seattle area and only occasionally attacked by leftists in the local press.

By contrast, Bailey is often angry and emotional, particularly on the radio.

This site's sense is that Gottlieb wouldn't have picked a fight unless he felt passionately that Bailey's on- air confession represented exceptionally illegal and unethical behavior.

While it's easy for Bailey and his New England media establishment defenders to deride Gottlieb as a "gun nut", the columnist still needs to be held accountable by his employer for potential ethical transgressions conducted in the paper's name.

FOR Boston- area talk radio updates, see our other site.

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