Talk Radio: More Relevant Than Ever

Nearly three weeks after Scott Brown’s earth-shattering political triumph over the entrenched political establishment, it’s clear those on the losing end have barely begun to lick their wounds. They never saw this coming and were done in by extreme complacency.

Postmortems from the left have begun to focus on the role of talk radio in Brown’s victory, the importance of which can’t be understated. But in The Phoenix, Adam Reilly manages to omit entirely the key player- Howie Carr:

Talk radio was huge for Brown. Yes, the dearth of exit polling in the Brown-Martha Coakley contest makes it hard to quantify its exact impact. But if you listened to Boston talk radio during the race — commercial talk, as opposed to the sedate stylings of NPR affiliates WBUR and WGBH — you know that this segment of the airwaves was, overwhelmingly, Brown country: a source of hope and good cheer when things looked grim, and a high-volume ally as the Brown juggernaut headed down the home stretch.

Consider, for example, the love lavished on Brown by WEEI, the sports-radio powerhouse that doubles as a source of conservative commentary. On primary day, Gerry Callahan, half of the duo behind its morning drive-time Dennis & Callahan, tossed Brown this softball: “Does it make any sense to you that people follow this far-left agenda, and want another far-left loon like [Senator John] Kerry, like [Congressman Barney] Frank, like [Congressman Edward] Markey, like the rest of them?” And shortly before the election, Glenn Ordway, host of the afternoon drive-time Big Show, and three Big Show associates (Pete Sheppard and former New England Patriots Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie) appeared in a video in which they gushingly endorsed the Republican. (Brown “believes in a country that’s sovereign,” Smerlas explained, sort of.)

Yes, WEEI, WTKK-FM, WBZ, WXTK-FM on the Cape, WBSM in New Bedford, WCRN in Worcester and other stations all played a role, but I don’t think Scott would be where he is today without Carr, who is heard statewide on several of those stations.

Carr’s presence alone didn’t put Brown over the top, it was the longtime afternoon host’s change in strategy that made the difference. Until the primary election, Howie’s focus was on saving Scott from the embarrassment of likely defeat by insisting he was merely warming up for a later statewide campaign.

Something clicked, however, once the general election campaign was underway. Howie shed the defeatist attitude and learned to exercise some muscle for a change. The audience was more than receptive and got to work immediately. Once it became clear he truly believed Scott could win, it became a campaign worth an investment of time and money.

New England has always had the benefit of a great deal of local talk versus a national landscape cluttered with (largely unsuccessful) syndicated fare, but the US Senate campaign represented the first time in years hosts really stepped up to the plate and led the way.

From here, anything is possible. Let’s hope defeatism has been abolished for good.


Was It Something Howie Wrote?



Since the election, the situation has become increasingly inexplicable: with no uncertainty regarding the outcome of January 19’s vote, why is appointed Kennedy family crony Paul Kirk still in the US Senate? And for what reason must Scott Brown wait weeks for his victory to be certified?

Beyond partisan politics, there’s no logical purpose served whatsoever.

For the first few days, it seemed appropriate for Brown to visit Washington and get the lay of the land. If legally dubious, Kirk’s continued presence there could be argued by some as legitimate.

As of two weeks later, however, with more than a week of stall tactics ahead of us, there’s simply no excuse.

But what surprises me most is the extraordinary patience of Brown and so many others as this process drags along for no apparent reason. That patience wore out suddenly today as Brown and supporters wondered why Kirk won’t leave the chamber.

So what changed? Blame WRKO’s Howie Carr- his column in today’s Herald takes it straight to Kirk & Company:

Hey Sen. Paul Kirk – screw!

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here, here being the U.S. Senate.

It’s been 15 days now since a Republican won the special election in Massachusetts, and Kirk is still squatting in Ted Kennedy’s office.

Hey Paul Kirk – how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

What’s it going to take to pry this guy out of office, the Jaws of Life?

From there, something seemed to click and Brown suddenly demanded to be seated immediately. But that led to a instant backlash from the state-run media, which seems to be adopting partisan talking points in accusing him of “breaking the deal” to wait until February 11.

Show me a similar “deal” that has a Republican appointee keeping a seat warm while a Democratic Party victor happily waits patiently for weeks after a special election- good luck in your search.

If Cockroach of the Year Paul Kirk had any decency, he would step down immediately, but clearly has no interest in giving up the seat.

By the way, Howie’s right about something else: the left really is spreading conspiracy theories about the Massachusetts vote being rigged by Diebold machines. It began around the time it became apparent Brown was ahead in the polls.

Margery The Moderate, Globie Snob’s Vay-Cay, Seat That Senator!

— WTKK’s Margery Eagan has suddenly re-branded herself as a moderate. Hey, at least somebody got the message last Tuesday, too bad her Washington / state-run media counterparts didn’t.

Of course, Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck are hard to defend as the media’s spotlight on Scott Brown takes attention away from their own childish antics. Olberbeck is driven primarily by an insatiable appetite for public attention.

As for Margery, where were those supportive words for Brown when he was running for office? That’s right, she went down with the SS Martha.

— Also, Globie Frank Phillips is under fire for his nothing-to-see-here attitude toward the Senate race, to the point of taking a Coakley-esque Vay-Cay just as the race had become a national obsession. His defense? He didn’t think there’d be anything worth covering.

— Scott Brown won’t be seated until February 11? And cockroach Paul Kirk remains a voting senator?

Media Morons See 1984 Music Video As Scandalous

Watching the national media and Internet smear sites try to turn Gail Huff’s 1984 music video performance into a political scandal is truly laughable. Forced to play catch-up after Scott Brown’s senatorial victory caught them by surprise, these clowns would have you believe their “investigative work” and “digging” uncovered Huff’s New Wave time capsule.

From the Huffington Post:

On Tuesday night, Scott Brown’s wife pleaded with her husband to stop advertising his “available” daughters, but a video we’ve dug up reveals that Gail Huff wasn’t always so prim and proper.

The Massachusetts senator-elect’s wife, who now works as a reporter for Boston station WCVB-TV, starred in singer Digney Fingus’ 1984 video for a song called “The Girl With The Curious Hand.”

Here, the legendary investigative team at the Washington Post is also on the case today:

After he got a Boston College law degree, he married Gail Huff, an actress who was known in Boston as the bikini-clad woman in an early-’80s Digney Fignus music video, “The Girl With the Curious Hand.” In the video, Huff’s curious hand poisons a drink and squirts suntan lotion in the air. (“It means different things to different people,” Fignus said in an interview.) Huff is now a well-known newscaster on the Boston ABC affiliate.

If anyone should get credit for the “scoop”, if there’s one to be had, it’s the Track Gals at the Boston Herald, who wrote about this in October!

At today’s Politico, we see this:

I suspect this video of the 1984 Digney Fignus song “The Girl with the Curious Hand,” starring the woman who is now Scott Brown’s wife, would have probably done his campaign more good than harm had it circulated last week rather than this one.

It had. Did it help? Who knows? It’s a music video from 1984!

It’s just another element of the ongoing Palinization of Scott Brown and his family. Hope they are prepared for the spotlight.

Air America Became Irrelevant Long Ago

Catching up:

— The Air America Radio network shutdown actually isn’t the big story it would have been a few years ago: the biggest libtalkers work for other networks.

— Entercom happens, that’s not news either, is it?

— I was wondering how Margery was going to handle this

— The left’s most pressing task: turn Scott Brown into Sarah Palin. Wouldn’t that have been more effective BEFORE election day?

— David Rodham Gergen is a WINNER in the Senate election battle? His boneheaded “Kennedy seat” loaded question gave birth to Scott’s brilliant reply: “it’s the people’s seat.” Only a Globie could come up with crap like this.

— HuffPo morons think they have a scoop in “digging up” Gail Huff’s 1984 music video. That one’s old news in the Bay State, the Herald wrote about it in October.

December 8 To January 19

On December 8 2009, I wrote this and the reaction was laughter. Almost no one thought Scott could win.

So what has changed between the time that was written and today? How important was Brown’s campaign structure? Howie Carr’s on-air support? Blogs and talk radio?

Let’s hear from you below.

First, the flashback:

Memo To Scott Brown: Don’t Make Capuano’s Mistakes

by Brian Maloney, December 8th, 2009 at 11:30pm

With the results in, it’s already clear that Michael Capuano blew an enormous opportunity to win the Democratic nomination by failing to go negative against Martha Coakley (for fear of a backlash) and draw a clear distinction on the issues.

Now, Republican nominee Scott Brown has just six weeks to learn from Capuano’s mistakes and take a wildly different approach.

Think Brown can’t win? Here’s why he can:

— With local media outlets already declaring Coakley our next senator, Martha’s infamous coasting will become even more pronounced. She will put next to nothing into her effort from here, saving campaign funds for future purposes.

— Since Coakley’s supporters now assume the race is over, they will do little campaigning over the holidays.

— Given that backdrop, turnout on January 19 will be even lower than today’s. We could be well into single digits across the Commonwealth. Motivating your base, even one as small as the GOP’s, makes it possible to overcome that.

— At the national level, Democrats are busy alienating almost every group, from the far-left to moderates, which further depresses turnout as supporters become disillusioned.

— Oddly enough, the one media outlet seeing a potential victory path for Brown, if remote, is the New York Times:

About 37 percent of the state’s 4.1 million registered voters are Democrats, and about 11 percent are Republicans, giving Ms. Coakley an advantage over Mr. Brown in the general election. Although Massachusetts has elected three Republican governors since 1990, it has not sent a Republican to the Senate in 37 years.

Mr. Brown, 50, is a lawyer and a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard who has served in the state Legislature since 1996. He opposes same-sex marriage and the health care legislation being debated in Congress, and supports President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Winning unaffiliated voter, who make up half of the state’s electorate, will be crucial for Mr. Brown. He has touted his ability to work across party lines, while casting himself as the only candidate with conservative values.

Since almost no one believes Brown can win, what does he have to lose? Why not put the pedal to the floor and see what happens?

Here’s what he must do next:

— Make it clear: this is about the economy, jobs, and taxes. These are winnable positions for Republicans. Set the agenda, it’s not difficult, as Martha’s sole “issue” is her gender.

— Muzzle Howie Carr’s defeatist attitude. Hey Howie, why not help, rather than hinder Brown’s efforts? I cringe every time I hear Howie say that Scott’s only in the race to get his name out there so he can run for AG or another statewide office. Even if true, why say that on the air?

— ABSOLUTELY go after Coakley EVERY SINGLE DAY. Make her life miserable for the next six weeks, that’s what campaigning is all about. And she most certainly deserves it! There’s no reason she should have a free ride simply because that pleases Margery Eagan and the others who failed to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2008.

There’s plenty of ammo out there on Coakley, use it. When Eagan and the Globies are writing angry columns in response, you’ll know you’ve done your job correctly.

— INSIST on a series of debates and scream bloody murder if she refuses. Local media outlets have held debates without Republicans to this point, why should that continue?

— IMMEDIATELY begin a major push for out-of-state contributions. Coakley’s been doing this all along, why shouldn’t the opposition?

— Put together some money and hammer her with ads! Utilize talk radio and finally, let’s see some mailers.

There is no reason whatsoever for Scott Brown to play it safe for the next six weeks. Playing nice or accepting a token opposition candidate role is unacceptable and will only make the margin wider. Worse, a weak result from that kind of misguided strategy will make running for other positions down the road more difficult than ever.

But even a fairly close race would show that Republicans are once again viable in Massachusetts. The New York Times is right: those unaffiliated voters (who stayed home today) are up for grabs. Rile them up.

Bottom line: nice = big loss, while aggressive campaigning is a game-changer.

Senate Race Gets Hotter, Weather Gets Colder

The latest (please leave comments below):

— RTE covers the race here and it is no surprise the focus is on Ted Kennedy and Obama’s “ambitious reform agenda”

— Another London paper, the Torygraph, weighs in as well

— New Globie narrative: Brown’s supporters are “bullies”. Didn’t Mass Dems write the book on political bullying?

— Brown leads home page coverage at Times of London

— Coakley hasn’t been ahead in any of the last eight polls

— Scott Brown’s Open Letter to the People of Massachusetts

— “Do it for Teddy

— Scott Brownbranded cookies?

— My EQ clip featuring MSNBC’s Ed Schultz promoting voter fraud in Massachusetts has been linked at Drudge, Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics and dozens of other sites today.

— WSJ: Coakley’s soft on political corruption cases involving Dems

— Fellow libtalker Stephanie Miller couldn’t find anything substantive to say about Martha Coakley, so she resorted to crude sexual remarks about Scott Brown

— Martha still claims she’ll win tomorrow

— AP puffery: Martha’s win would be “historic” for Bay State

— CBS dreams of delaying Brown’s swearing-in

— How many robocalls are you receiving? My phone’s been ringing every 15 minutes or so all day, to the point where I’ve shut off the ringer.

— Polling shows wide Brown lead in key swing areas

— Much ado about nothing – one stray Facebook comment

— Brown crushing Coakley at Intrade

— CNN: Brown’s made effective use of Internet– future template for GOP candidates?

— John F’n Kerry: Brown supporters are bullies

— Charting the polls: a clear trend emerges

— Marsha’s in freefall!

— Obama in Martha’s TV spot- doesn’t that merely remind voters what they’re fighting against?

— MSNBC hatemonger Chris Matthews can’t contain his disappointment, he knows it’s over for Marsha

— Another MSNBC talker believes we’ve lost our minds