With Coffman avoiding his show in wake of birther comments, talk-radio host says Congressman not welcome on his show to pump himself up
Last month, after Rep. Mike Coffman said he didn’t know whether President Obama was an American “in his heart,” KNUS morning show host Steve Kelley wanted to talk to Coffman.
He told his listeners May 25 that, maybe, Coffman’s comments weren’t “worthy of a major apology,” and he wanted to talk to the Congressman about it.
But Coffman, who’d been on Kelley’s show “many, many times,” wasn’t returning phone calls, and Kelley was getting increasingly pissed.
So Kelley, a conservative talk-radio host who’s been amping up his attacks on Obama in recent months, took a stand that you wouldn’t expect to hear on rightie radio.
Kelley said on air that he’d give Coffman four more days to call back. After that, since Coffman was refusing to return calls during a tough time, Kelley wouldn’t accept Coffman’s requests, as he had in the past, to come on the radio show and promote himself and his agenda.
Kelley: When Mr. Coffman’s people call and say look, he’s got an initiative, he’s got this, he’d like to come on the air–
Kelley’s Co-host: A ribbon cutting ceremony.
Kelley: Yes. The answer is no. Tank you very much. You weren’t willing to come in during a heated time. You’re not coming on to tout and pump yourself up. I don’t care what party you are. I don’t care if I happen to agree with your politics. You’re not going to – you know, that’s not how you manipulate and use the media, at least, you’re not going to here.
It’s been over three weeks now, and Kelley still hasn’t heard from Coffman’s office, Kelley said in a phone interview Monday.
“Unless he can make a reasonable case, he’s not welcome on the show now,” Kelley said. “Fair is fair. I understand it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not like I was going to crucify him or anything.”
“The great thing about radio is you can say what you want, and it’s not edited,” Kelley said. “You’ve got an opportunity to make your case, particularly on our ‘friendly station.’”
Other than an appearance on KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman, Coffman apparently hasn’t talked to reporters since he delivered the same soundbite to 9News about his birther moment five times in a row.
In reporting that incident, 9News reporter Kyle Clark echoed Kelley’s comments about Coffman, stating on air that Coffman was normally eager to talk to the press, but things changed after 9News reported the birther comments Coffman had made at a Republican fundraiser in Elbert County.
Clark: The Congressman is usually willing to talk about anything. He’s been on 9News 16 times in the past year, weighing in on everything from wildfires to Memorial Day celebrations. Seems the only thing he didn’t want to talk about was what he said at a fundraiser in Elbert County May 12.
Clark told viewers that he didn’t think Coffman would be able to avoid questions about his birther-moment comments “till election day.”
“At some point, you have to think, there’s going to be a full discussion of this,” Clark said on the air.