Conservative talk-radio hosts respond to recent criticism

Some say I’m beating my head against the church wall by critiquing conservative talk radio, no matter how reasonable my criticism is. But KOA’s Mike Rosen and KLZ’s Jim Pfaff, both righty radio hosts, recently responded on their air to issues raised in this blog.

With respect to Rosen, you may recall that I asked him and other talk-show hosts if they thought Scott McInnis should withdraw from the gubernatorial race as a result of his plagiarism, given that Rosen advocated firing Ward Churchill.

Rosen responded via email that Ward Churchill’s plagiarism was completely different than that of Scott McInnis. I asked him why he thought this, and he refused to answer.

But he addressed my question later on the air.

On his KOA show July 14, he said, first, that he didn’t want “to give a leftist fuel to quote me and make a bigger issue out of this.”

But, to Rosen’s credit, he went on to answer my question directly:

Ward Churchill was by profession a supposed scholar. And plagiarism coming from somebody who’s sole profession is based on much more honorable treatment of other people’s work is much more serious than the situation Scott McInnis found himself in, especially since Scott has said he hired someone, he hired a researcher, to provide the expertise in this area…. If I had had my druthers, I would have had the University of Colorado go after Ward Churchill and fire him not just for the plagiarism but for his abuse of academic freedom, for casting the University in a bad light based on his behavior and his comments not only in his classroom but at various speaking engagements. The University decided to play it safe and go after Churchill where they thought they could nail him for plagiarism and didn’t want to open that can of worms regarding the abuse of academic freedom. I would have been delighted to see them open up that can of worms regarding academic freedom- I would have fired Churchill for his general proslyletizing in his classroom and the outrageous statements he made while being connected to the University of Colorado and various other places around the country. So I don’t compare Scott McInnis to Ward Churchill.

So, there you have Rosen’s view on the matter, for which I thank him.

This month, I also asked Jim Pfaff, a conservative activist and talk-radio host on 560 KLZ, if he would please ask McInnis why he claimed to have a “zero rating” from NARAL during his years in Congress.

McInnis told Pfaff:

“My record is pro-life. When I was in Congress, I had zero rating by NARAL. And that’s very easy for people to look at.”

McInnis actually had an above-zero rating more often than not.

To his credit, Pfaff sort of asked McInnis about this, as I requested he do, Aug. 5.

Jim Pfaff: You mentioned that last time we were on the broadcast that you had a zero percent rating with NARAL- [Jason Salzman] pulled out NARAL’s numbers…. A little earlier, 1995 through 1999 you did not have a zero percent rating but, quite frankly, it went from 45 percent to 7 percent and zero from 2000 to 2004. I mean, you and I had talked about the fact that on the issue of protecting life that you had moved from a pro-choice position way back to a very solidly pro-life one. I mean it’s honest of Jason to point out that you did not have a zero rating those early years, but man you had four straight years when that changed. I’d love it if you could remember what you shared with me privately, because we did not talk about it on the broadcast, how important this is.

Scott McInnis: I’d be happy to do that. Well, it’s important. I struggled with the issue. When I was younger, I was never pro-choice, but I was inclined to go that way. I would sit down with pro-life people and I could never answer that question they had, Jim. And the question was, Scott, when does life begin? I thought how can life begin at any point other than conception? And finally I reached the conclusion, as a lot of people have, a lot of people struggle with this issue. Look, life begins at conception. If life begins at conception, how could you be pro-choice? I couldn’t. So, I changed my position.

Thanks to Pfaff, any of his show’s regular listeners who thought McInnis had a zero rating by NARAL during all his years in Congress now know that he did not.

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