Protests Planned For Imus Return

According to today’s Herald, activists are planning to protest the Imus relaunch, targeting WTKK’s Morrissey Blvd studios, which puts them in view of the Globies:

With Don Imus set to return to the airwaves Monday, some of Boston’s black leaders are planning to protest outside WTKK-FM (96.9) beginning today and say they’ll closely monitor the shock jock’s show.

“Boston already has its own challenges around race relations, and we don’t need to have an additional flare-up with him bringing that kind of spewed hate and racism and sexism to the fray,” said Darnell Williams, president and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.

Williams plans to attend today’s 10:30 a.m. protest outside WTKK’s Morrissey Boulevard studios. The protest is being organized by local activist Sadiki Kambon, who said he intends to meet with WTKK management at 11 a.m.

While this won’t stop the I-Man’s Boston debut, it could stop already nervous advertisers dead in their tracks.

Not Afraid Of Imus

It was funny reading yesterday about how Imus is planning revenge against his enemies. Because my previous posts on Imus rank very close to the top in a variety of Google searches (example here), his goon squad should be here any minute.

But that hasn’t stopped me from giving an honest opinion about the I-Man, which I’ve done once again in today’s edition of AM New York:

Imus’ new bosses at WABC promise that drive-time listeners will get the I-Man of old.

“I don’t think he will change his personality,” said Phil Boyce, vice-president of programming for the station. “He’s smarter than that. I told him to get in there and do great radio and don’t be afraid to do the kind of radio you feel like doing.”

But Brian Maloney, who runs the industry blog, “The Radio Equalizer,” doesn’t see that happening.

“He won’t be within 10 miles of controversy,” he said. “He’s going to turn it into dullsville public affairs programming and have him stick with fluffy interviews. I’m sorry, but younger audiences just aren’t into boring radio.”

Most industry types said Imus had to figure out the right way to address his extended time away from the mic and the controversy that lead up to it.

I feel bad for Boyce: he’s being forced to speak positively about Imus after a corporate edict that took away his far more popular WABC morning show, Curtis & Kuby. Even worse is that Citadel’s severe financial troubles will soon lead to even more damage at the popular New York City talker.

Carr Benefits From Mass Ridicule

With Massachusetts reaffirming its position as America’s true pariah state, Howie Carr is capturing a bit of publicity from the proposed spanking ban. From ABC News:

Child psychologist Theresa Whitehurst said, “When a husband does it to a wife, the very same act is considered domestic violence. And when you hit a child, what’s the difference?”

Today, Boston talk radio took the idea to the woodshed.

“The listeners are pretty much appalled,” WRKO Radio host Howie Carr said. “Once again, Massachusetts cements its reputation as the craziest state in the union! What are you going to do? Are you going to have cameras in houses? Are you going to have 5-year-old kids testifying against their parents? It’s absurd.”

It’s one thing for a parent to decide not to spank their children. Plenty of parents have. But it may be quite another for the government to outright ban the practice. Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to do it. But it wouldn’t be the first place in the world.

What’s especially annoying about the proposal is that it gives the “progressive” blue-state crowd an opportunity to claim Massachusetts is “ahead” of the other 49 states. That’s the same position Californians take whenever they propose a boneheaded law.

The Elephant In The Room

Joining the bashing brigade against Judge Tuttman is easy enough, especially when it gives the local media- politics regime another chance to bash Mitt Romney over the Tavares fiasco.

Even WTKK’s Michael Graham is getting into the act, according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly:

A reasoned Boston Herald editorial, for example, avoided the temptation to skewer Tuttman and instead pointed out that “[s]tate correction officials didn’t seek a criminal complaint until June, when the case could have been handled long before he was released.”

The Boston Globe’s editorial board spoke a day later, calling for answers but acknowledging that “after 17 years as a prosecutor in Essex County, Tuttman was well qualified to be a judge.”

But these pieces came several days after the story broke. In the meantime, the deafening silence of our court officials had done its damage.

The only explanation of the matter from the court came in a canned statement from Superior Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse, who did little more than defend Tuttman in a few paragraphs.

Why didn’t the court aggressively distribute the transcript from the bail hearing? Why were there no representatives of the court explaining all of the procedural nuances that were bound to be lost on the public?

Unfortunately, this sort of inaction emboldens people like the odious Michael Graham, a WTKK talk-show host who submitted a lazy rant to the Boston Herald that was bereft of any sort of research whatsoever. The piece arrived at a caveman-level conclusion: that Tuttman had been appointed only because Romney wanted to add some “chicks” to the bench. “The real ‘scandal,’” he wrote, “is how an unimpressive prosecutor became a superior court judge in the first place.”

Herald columnist Margery Eagan, meanwhile, lamented that reporters got “no answers” from the judiciary. Without those answers, she was left to conclude that “[t]he effect, after a decision like Tuttman’s, is to further undermine public trust in a judiciary which … makes nutty decisions and refuses to explain them.”

Is this the new price of admission at Hub talk stations? Bash Romney, keep quiet about Deval Patrick’s own long history of love for criminals and keep your talk radio gig. Just be prepared to part with your soul.

Too bad the big picture is a pattern of pro-thug sentiment that has been stinking up our state’s corrupt judicial system for decades. Even if Romney didn’t do as much as he should have, focusing blame on him misses the elephant in the room.

Howie’s Close Call

Howie Carr seems to have narrowly avoided being named in a suit filed by Ted Kennedy’s alleged “love child” and the young man’s mother, according to our Globie friends.

Carr’s lucky this Sandwich pair isn’t after his lunch:

A Cape Cod woman is suing the National Enquirer, claiming that two stories it published about a supposed “love child” with Senator Ted Kennedy were untrue. In the suit, filed Tuesday in US District Court, Caroline Bilodeau-Allen of East Sandwich says that “virtually every critical fact which [the Enquirer] reported is false and defamatory.”

The Enquirer published two stories early last year – on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 – alleging that Kennedy and Bilodeau-Allen began dating in 1983, before Kennedy’s divorce from his wife, Joan, was finalized, and that Bilodeau became pregnant in 1984. (Bilodeau-Allen was unmarried at the time and is referred to as Bilodeau in the stories.)

The tabloid further alleged that the senator, then in his early 50s, begged Bilodeau, who was in her early 20s, to have an abortion. The Enquirer also claimed that he gave her expensive gifts, including a black Mustang convertible, a purebred Shar-Pei, and $15,000 cash in exchange for her silence.

[…]

As a result of the stories, the suit claims, both Bilodeau-Allen and her son have had their reputations “ruined.” Though he’s not named as a defendant, the suit singles out radio host Howie Carr for “mocking Christopher for his ‘love child’ status” on his talk show. Both Bilodeau-Allen and Christopher are now on antidepressants and under the care of psychologists, according to the claim.

Finne-Felon’s Funny Money

Taking a rare break from their usual pro- felon slant, the Globies have come down hard on our favorite Finne-felon, calling into question a secret bonus he received just before departing from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

Once again underscoring the corrupt nature of our state’s political clique, the amount of the bonus remains secret and Tommy Tune Out isn’t talking:

Former Massachusetts Biotechnology Council president Thomas M. Finneran, who was forced to give up the job after pleading guilty to a felony early this year, said he received a performance bonus shortly before he stepped down.

According to the industry group’s latest annual tax return, the council paid Finneran $475,904 last year, up from $416,000 in 2005. That made Finneran, former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, one of the best paid trade association executives in the state last year. Finneran said he believed his 2006 salary was $430,000, with the bonus awarded last December accounting for the rest.

“The MBC board felt that we had shown superlative performance as an organization,” said Finneran, who now hosts a morning radio talk show on WRKO-AM. “It was, in their opinion, the best year that the council had ever had.”

Despite Finneran’s legal problems, he is widely credited with raising the group’s profile and boosting membership to about 500 companies. Finneran cited two other council executives, Eustacia Reidy and Mark Robinson, with helping the group meet or surpass all its goals. Reidy and Robinson recently resigned. Finneran left the council in January after pleading guilty to a charge of obstruction of his justice for giving false testimony in a 2001 court case over voter redistricting, when he was still speaker.

The documents do not indicate precisely how much severance pay Finneran received when he stepped down, because the tax forms only cover the 2006 calendar year. Finneran called the amount “fairly modest,” but he would not specify an amount. In January, the Globe reported he was slated to receive $100,000 to $150,000 in severance.

Isn’t it interesting how Finneran manages to remain such a well- paid charity case?

Other than defending other corrupt and ineffective politicians, what has he accomplished? And with rock bottom ratings after almost a year at WRKO, he certainly hasn’t built a radio audience.