Overlooking Gold Nugget Topics

Sure, we have plenty of local talk at this point, but how many area topics do they actually cover?

Vay Cay Jay, for example, would never lower himself to this level as he’s still hoping to be taken seriously as a pundit on national issues. Sadly for him, it will never happen.

Beyond that, we’ve got New Jersey hip hop promoters, felons, YouTube kooks and local yokels who actually believe Beacon Hill corruption should be defended with at least silence, if not outright support for these crooks.

That leaves Howie Carr, who could do us a favor and really dig into these matters, but seems instead to prefer switching to fluffy topics after quickly glossing over the headlines and making a few wisecracks.

For some time, I’ve pointed to Senate President Therese Murray (D-Perpetually Angry At The World) as an example of how local talk misses the mark.

Here’s a Beacon Hill corruptocrat who begs to be scrutinized and parodied, but instead is largely ignored by area hosts, most likely because it takes actual effort to examine her antics.

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While Boston papers will occasionally highlight her weaknesses, on the South Shore, “Terry” gets a free ride, if not outright glowing coverage.

Running unopposed in her Plymouth/Cape district this November, Murray, is spending much of her time travelling, to Denver for the convention, followed by a trip to Russia and soon after, an “official” holiday in Ireland. Nice work if you can get it.

And all of that holidaymaking can make for wrinkled clothing, as Dave Wedge reports in today’s Herald:

Planes, strains and . . .

Obama’s big night might have gone off without a hitch, but many media members and delegates considered the entire week a logistical nightmare.

Getting around the Mile High City was often a disaster, with a lack of cabs and massive security perimeters around the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field that made getting to and from the venues an all-day chore. And then there was the airport.

Many delegates and journalists missed flights out of Denver on Friday due to ridiculously long check-in lines and understaffed airlines. Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray, Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon and TV reporter Liz Walker were among those affected, as their luggage never made it onto their plane.

Murray was particularly distraught at Logan International Airport on Friday because she’s leaving for Russia this week and needed outfits dry-cleaned.

What a tough life. Until a viable political opposition is formed in Massachusetts, along with media outlets willing to cover the upstarts, expect the Bay State to continue its downward spiral.

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No Longer A ‘Popularity Contest’?


Is the National Radio Hall of Fame
having second thoughts about allowing fans to vote for their favorite hosts and other air personalities?

In 2008, opening up voting to listeners allowed WRKO’s Howie Carr to be inducted into the museum.

An especially alert reader has noted a little-noticed change in their policy, however, which has been posted on their website:

In prior years, voting on the annual nominations was open to the general public only if individuals were members of the Museum of Broadcast Communications (home of the National Radio Hall of Fame), or became new online members by payment of a $15 fee. A change in the voting process for 2008 enabled the general public to vote for nominees online without joining the Museum.

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The very nature of radio often creates large numbers of fans devoted to their favorite personalities, and the number of votes cast in 2008 increased significantly. The change in the voting process was not designed to make membership to the broadcasting shrine a mere popularity contest. The National Radio Hall of Fame will re-evaluate the voting and nominating processes for future elections.


In the reader’s view,
“(it) looks like they regret opening the voting to the public and letting WRKO buy and promote Howie Carr’s election.”

Whatever the reason, it appears Howie got lucky: had he been nominated just a year later, induction would have been much less certain.

Fall River Follies

During a busy week full of national politicking, it’s hard to imagine a story from Fall River, Mass (population 92,000) diverting our attention.

Thanks to a war of words between a recently-departed talk host and her former employer, that’s precisely what has occurred, however.

New England is nearly unique in that even small cities have local talk hosts, mostly because syndicated radio fares poorly here.

At Fall River’s WSAR, Keri Rodrigues served as both host and program director, with a liberal political bent and area following. But she recently left the station, apparently to take a position in the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

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Oddly, she didn’t report for her first day at her new job and that’s when the fireworks began. Telling the news media she’d faced a hostile work environment at WSAR, Rodrigues said she was too upset to begin at the DA’s office.

From there, the Fall River Herald News has been in the middle of a war of words between Rodrigues and WSAR’s locally-based ownership.

The play-by-play is too detailed to get into here, but the paper’s coverage can be found here and here.

Both WSAR’s owners and Rodrigues are controversial in Fall River, so determining who might be at fault, if anyone, is exceedingly difficult.

Ted Vs The Onion


Whenever I see
this:

DENVER – Bay State Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, despite courageously fighting malignant brain cancer, will attend what is sure to be a touching tribute to him tonight at the Democratic National Convention.

“He’s truly humbled by the outpouring of support, and wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world,” Kennedy’s office said in a statement this morning.

I’m immediately reminded of this:

Loved Ones Recall Local Man’s Cowardly Battle With Cancer

Profiles In Fear

On Jan. 26, just four days after visiting the doctor for what he thought was severe indigestion or maybe an ulcer, Russ Kunkel got the dreaded news: A malignant, fist-sized tumor had metastasized between his stomach and liver. It was cancer.

Right then and there, faced with the prospect of a life-threatening disease, the 34-year-old Florissant, MO, husband and father of three drew a deep breath and made a firm resolution to himself: I am not going to fight this. I am a dead man.

On Feb. 20, less than a month after he was first diagnosed, Kunkel died following a brief, cowardly battle with stomach cancer.

Hub Talkers Already Duking It Out Over Obama-Biden


If you think
for a minute that Obama’s veep announcement wasn’t timed to coincide with weekend talk programming, meaning infomercials and reruns, you must have just fallen off of the turnip truck.

By making the announcement on a Saturday morning, he has two days to control the message before Rush, O’Reilly, Hannity and the others return to their respective microphones. There was simply no way Obama would have been making that kind of announcement fifteen minutes before the start of Limbaugh’s show.

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Boston-area hosts, however, aren’t waiting until Monday to take their shots (or lavish praise). Both WTKK’s Margery Eagan and WRKO’s Howie Carr have jumped into the fray via Herald columns.

While Carr has fun taking us for a spin down Biden memory lane, Eagan wastes column space on tired isn’t-it-amazing-a-black-man-is-the-nominee drivel. In a humorous way, Howie even manages to tie Joe to Charles Manson.

While there’s no doubt we’ll be analyzing why Obama picked Biden for days to come, overall, Barack couldn’t have done talk radio a bigger favor with this decision.

That’s because Biden’s abundant baggage provides a nearly-endless supply of ammo to use between now and November. Limbaugh himself said he hoped Obama would choose the Delaware senator for just that reason.