The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

26 August 2009

Boston Talk Stations Practice Self-Censorship Upon Ted-K's Passing


Stations Respond To Death By Yanking Conservative Talk


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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  • I believe Michael Graham is out of the country on the way to Ireland.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 13:29  

  • The real question will be answered in about 90 minutes, when Howie is scheduled to start...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 13:38  

  • For Sale: Kennedy Senate Seat Send bids to

    By Blogger winni, at 26 August, 2009 13:41  

  • For all the Liberal whining about Mary Jo Kopechne jokes, where is their condemnations of these acts?

    By Blogger PCD, at 26 August, 2009 14:40  

  • Did they refund the advertisers?

    The worst for talk radio is right around the corner.

    How about the Mary Jo Kopechne memorial government run healthcare bill?

    By Blogger 10ksnooker, at 26 August, 2009 15:01  

  • The Coward of Chappauquiddick will never be forgotten by decent Americans.

    good riddance!

    By Blogger texasgoat, at 26 August, 2009 15:13  

  • Ted Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate

    And we taxpayers were hie prey

    Heard on Rush via NH's FM 96.7 today

    By Anonymous philw1776, at 26 August, 2009 15:47  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 15:55  

  • Loving these ignorant fools who have no idea what "free speech" and "censorship" is. Private enterprise can set its own rules. Try reading the documents that shaped your country! For crissake!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 16:08  

  • "Cowardly" Lion of the senate is more accurate.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 26 August, 2009 16:09  

  • Bad News: Ted Kennedy has died.
    Good News: He can vote in Chicago.

    ...Oh, wait...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 16:18  

  • God, indeed does work in mysterious ways. Just as this Obamanation is being pushed through Congress by the ranting liberals, He collects the follow most closely associated with socialized medical care. Is there some sort of message here?

    By Anonymous Hope N. Change, at 26 August, 2009 16:22  

  • Hey, anyone remember how Teddy tried to undermine America by doing secret deals with Russia?
    Teddy offered Soviet dictator Andropov to help with a PR campaign to neutralize Reagan.
    Yea, that is why Libs /Dems love this guy so much. What a great Anti American Ass hole!

    By Blogger monique, at 26 August, 2009 17:25  

  • ".....Veee Haff Vays.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 17:35  

  • I really do not know much about you Bostonians, I admit that. However, the first thing that came to my mind when reading about the readio censorship there was this. About 200 years ago, the revolution for freedom started there. It obviously will have to start somewhere else this time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2009 23:45  

  • Monique,

    Teddy tried undermining CARTER with his KGB friends. Teddy should have been tried for treasion THEN, but neither was Jane Fonda.

    By Blogger PCD, at 27 August, 2009 11:31  

  • WTKKK aka WTKK ~ The conservative Scourge of Boston.
    Michael Graham Cracker do Boston a favor don't come back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous One, at 29 August, 2009 23:04  

  • Piss on Teddy and all his ilk. There are some really stupid people in MA. Elmer FUddd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 30 August, 2009 11:18  

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