Archive for the 'KHOW' Category

In Trump era, what to do about Muslim haters on Colorado talk radio?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Bigotry toward Muslims is part of the hot air on some Colorado talk-radio shows, so much so that you get inured to it and kind of accept it.

But now that Trump is about to be president, the air seems a lot hotter, and it’s impossible to ignore right-wing bigotry as fringe craziness.

How can you not worry about the safety of Muslims in our community when you listen to, for example, KNUS radio’s Peter Boyles, who’s a notorious birther and bigot?

At this moment, with Trump on the White House doorstep, can we/ should we/ pretend not to hear Boyles’ hatred? And what to do about it?

In an on-air discussion yesterday morning with a fellow bigot named Tim Furnish, Boyles denounced Islam and said Muslims are incapable of respecting the U.S. Consitution and the fundamental values of the United States, due to their religious beliefs, essentially saying there is no place for Muslims in our country.

FURNISH: There’s a real incompatibility between Islam and Western-style government democracy. There just is.

BOYLES: It doesn’t work! They don’t work!

FURNISH: They don’t work together. This incompatibility is not extremist. It is intrinsic to Islam.

BOYLES: Agreed.

FURNISH: … Islam has never come to terms with, as they say, modernity. Islam has never come to terms with the idea of a secular state that has not imposed a religion –even the majority religion–on people. Because at the heart of Islam–going back to Mohammed himself, the Quran, the Hadith, so-called sayings of Mohammed, and 1400 years of Islamic practice– is that where there is a majority of Muslims, Islamic Law must be instituted. And where there is a minority of Muslims, they should fight – at first, maybe peacefully and then later through jihad – for the imposition of Islamic Law. This tension will not go away.

BOYLES: Yeah, it’s, “First – first—“.

FURNISH: And you cannot make Western democracy work with Islamic ideals. They are incompatible.

BOYLES: “First we crawl, then we walk, then we run.”


BOYLES: That’s why — I mean, it’s happening before your very eyes. Hillary Clinton got all twisted up about all of the stuff, and went after Trump. Trump is telling the truth.

If you’re saying Islam “doesn’t work” with “Western-style government democracy,” and you’re agreeing that even a minority of Muslims in a country will eventually wage jihad, then you’re basically saying Muslims have no place in the United States. Worse, you are saying all Muslims are a constant threat. How else to interpret this?

Elsewhere in this interview, Boyles said Muslims aren’t the ones who are the victims of a McCarthy-like attack. It’s Peter Boyles who’s actually under attack, according to Boyles!

“Progressives,” Boyles said on air, “They hunt for victims.”

In this case, in Boyles view, progressives are hunting for people who promote “Islamophobia,” decried by Boyles as a “created term” designed by progressives to stifle criticism of Muslims.

“This is a new McCarthy-ism,” Boyles said.

But today’s attacks on Muslim haters are worse than what happened in the McCarthy era, Boyles went on to say, because the press is on the side of the Muslims, instead of supporting people like Boyles—whereas before Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly were there to “stand up to the McCarthyists,” said Boyles.

“We don’t have Big Journalism standing up as Edward R Murrow did, as Fred Friendly did,” said Boyles, who was once a respected, even beloved, media figure in Denver, if you can believe it. “We have a bunch of fill-in-the-blanks who are just desperate to lay down in front of this train. And you know what? As they say, they will come for you. They may eat you last, but they will still eat you.”

Boyles is mad at journalists for defending the basic civil rights of Muslims and exposing bigots like him.

Again, Boyles’ ugliness would be bad enough if our country didn’t have a Muslim-hating bigot as president-elect. But since we do, we have to fight back now or at least be ready to help our Muslim neighbors if people like Boyles begin organizing attacks against them—with or without the backing of Trump and our own government. We’ve reached that point.

ProgressNow Colorado has set up a “rapid response” network to, among other things, mobilize people in support of Muslims and others if Boyles, Trump, or anyone goes after them. We have to be ready. Sign up here.


Media omission: “Be careful what you wish for,” Buck chides fellow House conservatives

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck snapped at his fellow House conservatives, telling a Denver radio host Oct. 9 that any new Republican House speaker is “immediately going to be cast as someone who is compromising.”

On the radio, Buck likes to present himself as a hard-core Tea Partier, all about principles all the time, but in reality, Buck likes to have it both ways.

Buck previously voted for House Speaker John Boehner, who resigned under pressure by uncompromising Republican warriors. And Buck was set to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was under pressure by the same uncompromising Republican warriors when he withdrew from the race to replace Boehner as House speaker.

Buck told KHOW 710-AM’s Mandy Connell that the current situation is so difficult with Boehner and McCarthy out that some House Republicans are considering “forming a coalition government” that would keep conservatives “out of the mix in terms of choosing a speaker.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” Buck condescendingly told Tea Party Republicans who might have been listening:

Buck: “I have to tell you though, be careful what you wish for, because we’ve gotten rid of John Boehner, and Kevin McCarthy has decided not to do it. There are Republicans now, because they are so frustrated with conservatives holding this up, talking about forming a coalition government, talking about working with Democrats to create a majority and keep the conservatives out of the mix in terms of choosing a speaker… It would be horrible. It may very well form a 3rd party. And I strongly believe, if you split the Republican Party into two parties, and the Democrats win for the next  [inaudible] years. Listen to Buck on KHOW 10.9.15.

Interestingly, Buck apparently doesn’t consider conservatives like himself among those who’d be iced out, since he voted for Boehner. Neither did Buck say on air how many Republicans were considering a move against the uncompromisers.

But he indavertantly made the case for such a move, which he said he was against, when he told Connell how difficult the coming weeks will be for the next Republican speaker, if he or she is elected by the Republican caucus.

Buck (@11:25) : “The next month or month and a half will be a very difficult time for whoever is in that position. I say that because we’ve got a debt-ceiling vote that President Obama has moved up specifically because, not because we are running out of money, but specifically because John Boenher has stepped down. And he knows that the Republican House is in dissaray at this point and he wants to take advantage of that. And we have other votes. We have an omnibus vote on Appropriations that’s coming up. So we’ve got some very difficult decisions to make, and whoever steps into this is immediately going to be cast as someone who is compromising and it’s going to be tough.” Listen to Buck on KHOW 10.9.15.


Brauchler misrepresents jury decision to loving talk-radio hosts

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Journalists have been careful to report, as The Denver Post’s John Ingold and Jordan Steffen did today, that nine jurors apparently voted for the death penalty in the Aurora shooter’s trial, two were undecided, and one voted for life in prison. So the prosecutors were three votes short of the unanimous decision needed to put the murderer to death.

George Brauchler appears to present different versions of the decision, depending on the audience. If he’s talking to talk-radio hosts, who apparently aren’t concerned about the basic facts, Brauchler whines that he was only one juror away from winning the case.

“We were one vote away from getting what I thought was the just sentence on this,” Brauchler told KHOW’s Mandy Connell shortly after the trial ended. (Listen here at the one-minute mark.)

Talking to KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman, Brauchler delivered similar misinformation at 36 minutes, uncorrected by Silverman.

Brauchler: It was one juror. You and I both know [former State Rep. Jovan Melton]. You know him better than I do. But it is such an outrageous blanket statement on an entire law based on the decision of one juror, who by the way found this guy sane, found the he committed this crime with aggravators, found that the aggravators outweighed any mental health issues or any other mitigators, and then hung up on that very last phase. And from that one decision, not only do you have Jovan calling the application of the death penalty racist, but you got The Denver Post backing him up and going crazy with their comments as well. And it’s an indictment of a system you can’t prove is racist….

Later in the same interview, at 53:55, Brauchler puffed:

Brauchler: But for this one juror, I think folks would have said roundly, ‘Men, you did this case perfectly.”

Yet, in talking about the decision to The Denver Post, where reporters are actually factually concerned about reality, Brauchler tells a different story.

The Post reported: “To Brauchler, [the 9-2-1 decision) is evidence that he was right to go to trial and seek the death penalty. After all, he said, he convinced at least nine jurors of his position.”

It’s a good example of why reporters are important. Brauchler apparently knew he wouldn’t get away with spinning them like he can loving talk-radio hosts.

Radio host now has an opinion of Dudley Brown

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Before she interviewed Dudley Brown, who spontaneously called her show this morning, KHOW 760-AM’s Mandy Connell told her listeners she had no opinion about Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which Brown directs.

After the interview, Connell, an arch conservative, said she had an opinion–and I’m guessing you will too if you listen below.

In this case, Brown talked as if he has more of a right to interfere in gun legislation at the state Capitol than the Independence Institute has because RMGO bought and paid for the state GOP Senate majority.  And he went on about it, implying he’d organize primaries against five Republicans who voted against a violation of state Senate rules yesterday.

Connell started the conversation, which was first reported by Complete Colorado, with a question about why RMGO was opposed to raising the limit on magazine capacity from 15 to 30 rounds.

Then she asked, “So, why take out Dave Kopel?  Why go after him?”

Brown: Well, look, I don’t want to go into personalities on a public format. Dave Kopel is a wonderful writer. On strategy, he’s horrid! Dave Kopel is actually a Democrat. He has always advocated for compromise at every single turn. Every time we’ve ever had a gun bill in Colorado, he’s always advocated for compromise. And in fact, Dave Kopel is the one who fixed the Democrats mag ban so it did not include shotguns. He showed Senator Mary Hodge how to do it, mechanically. Probably being the one who enabled it to pass. Now, I have no qualms about being honest. But in politics, I don’t want it to be about personality. I want it to be about principle and strategy.

But, in all honesty, we simply don’t agree with Dave Kopel and never have, and for that matter, the Independence Institute, none of whom got these legislators into office.

It’s our organization and our PAC that spent the money to elect the legislature and take the Senate from the Democrats. We were the biggest funders of Republican candidates in the last election. Far bigger than the NRA. And let me be clear, I don’t know if this is – you could ask them, but my understanding is even the NRA opposes this compromise. Now, if the NRA opposes a compromise because it’s too squishy on the gun issue, that pretty much means that it’s as far left as it can be because the NRA usually buys into every compromise. In this case, my understanding is that they opposed it, too. Look there aren’t the votes to pass a 31 round ban –the repeal of the 30 ban, to make it 31. But there aren’t the votes for repeal, unless the Republicans take the House and the Governor’s mansion, neither of which are assured…

Now, to those people who say, “Wait a minute!  I want to be able to buy my 30 round magazine!”  I say, “Shut your pie hole and go buy one!”  There are many retailers who sell them right now.  They ignore the law, and God Bless them for doing so. And in many cases, your District Attorney and your sheriff won’t be involved in any cases against you, anyway…

Connell said, “You’re saying, ‘Go break the law.’”

Brown: I’m saying, “Do what you want.” But, the fact is, the ban, really — it’s like jaywalking. There really is no ban, right now. It’s largely a ban on some of the businesses who manufacture and didn’t want to be here, anyway.

“Now, wait a minute, Dudley, here’s the thing,” replied Connell.  “You just said earlier you don’t want to make this about personalities, but the Facebook post by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners says, “Does Bloomberg have a sleeper cell in Colorado?  All of a sudden, Dave Kopel is fighting as hard as he can to save the magazine ban.  Maybe it’s because he’s a lifelong registered Democrat and a Ralph Nader voter.”   So, that hardly sounds like you’re arguing the issue.  It sounds like a personal attack.”

Brown: Well, that actually, we didn’t start this.

Connell: “We didn’t start it” is not a mature response.

Brown: We didn’t start the battle, Mandy!  But I can guarantee you, we’re ending it….

Connell: You know, Dudley,  I’ve got to take a break.  But, one thing I will say about Jon Caldara is he is no man’s puppet…So, you are saying you don’t want to make this personal, and yet you keep making personal attacks.  I just want to point that out.

Brown: That’s because, frankly, we were ambushed in a dark alley…From our perspective, this is a principled strategy.  Yesterday morning, if you followed what happened in the House, we forced a recorded vote on the entire House floor on the full mag ban repeal, Senate Bill 175.  Kim Ransom and Justin Everett and a number of others forced the recorded vote. And they had the chance. The Democrats had the chance to break ranks and vote with us. And they didn’t, of course. And five Republicans voted wrong.  And all five of those Republicans are suspect, and in danger in the next primary…

Connell: I appreciate the phone call.  [hang up with Brown]  I now have an opinion about Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

Who wouldn’t?

Even talk-radio hosts should question Buck when he says Obama wants to create a “majority vote” of people “receiving benefits from government”

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Even if you’re a just a talk-radio host, you shouldn’t just say “Yap,” as KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.

“He’s a wonderful orator,” Buck told Connell during her morning show yesterday. “And he makes everybody happy. The reality is, that he has no intention of flattening the tax code. He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote, a 51 percent vote, of people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

As I noted, Connell’s reply to this was the utterance of “Yap.” My own thought was more along the lines of WTF.

Where’s Buck’s proof that Obama has a political agenda to create a “51 percent vote” of Americans “receiving benefits from government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Is he reading Obama’s mind? If Buck has evidence for this wild and insulting accusation, we’d all like to see it. But if he doesn’t, it’s more grossness from our new Representative from Colorado.

Buck isn’t a lonely District Attorney anymore–or a candidate making yet another gaffe that reporters don’t have time to dig into. Now he’s a Congressman who should be held accountable–even by radio hosts–for his insults and baseless mud slinging.

Conservative talk-radio host wants to “block the vote”

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Talk-radio hosts like to think of themselves as a voice of the people, because anyone can call in (and get slapped around, if you’re on the wrong show). But there’s some truth to the notion that talk radio can give average people a platform.

So you hate to see a guy like KNUS’ Peter Boyles undermine Democracy by encouraging voter fraud, like he did last year on air.

And then there’s KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell, who wants to “block the vote” instead of “rock the vote.”

“Maybe we could tell the dumb people that the election has been moved to a different day,” she said earlier this year.

Here’s what Connell had to say, contrasted with a vision of voter participation from a different speaker, whom you’ll like much more.




On radio, Beauprez slams RMGO’s Dudley Brown

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Super PAC has launched a radio ad calling GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez “Both Ways Bob” for voting both ways on gun legislation.

On her morning show this morning, KHOW’s Mandy Connell was apparently the first media figure to question Beauprez about the ad’s allegation that he supported Amendment 22, which required background checks at gun shows, Beauprez said:

Beauprez: 12:20: “Mandy, this attack from [RMGO President] Dudley [Brown] is far too familiar. And let me emphasize Dudley… Dudley is in it for Dudley. What’s going on right now is Dudley is sending out an ad attacking me. This is Saul-Alinsky-like. You gotta have an enemy in a political fight. Dudley likes to name me as the enemy. He’ll throw in a little bit of money. And I’ll emphasize a little bit, because this is not a very big ad buy. He’ll throw a little bit of money at me, and then he’ll wave it as a red flag to his members and say, ‘Hey look! I went and got the bad guy, and send me your dough.” Dudley will get a big net profit out of this, as he always does off of the kinds of projects he does. It’s all about Dudley and lining his pocket.”

Beauprez went on to acknowledge his support of Amendment 22, “in the post-Columbine era,” but said his endorsements and subsequent actions show he is  pro-gun through and through.

Connell also asked Beauprez about about RMGO’s allegation that Beauprez “voted for mandatory trigger locks and a ban on traditional ammunition in Congress.”

Beauprez: “That is a brand new call to me. I can’t deny that because I don’t know what piece of legislation something might have been wrapped into that was rotten legislation to begin with.”

Connell’s questions were direct and substantive, covering not only guns but pot, immigration, and other topics.

Post editor says he didn’t block writer’s tweets in response to Harper’s article

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Denver writer and radio-show host David Sirota claimed in a tweet Friday that Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard blocked Sirota from Hubbard’s Twitter feed:

David Sirota@davidsirota

Following my @harpers piece, @DenverPost editor @CurtisHubbard blocked me on Twitter. Dear lord, that’s friggin’ hilarious.

He followed that tweet up with this one:

David Sirota@davidsirota

Can’t say I blame @curtishubbard – he knows Dean “Citizen Kane” Singleton signs his paycheck and is watching…

You wouldn’t expect Hubbard to block Sirota over one article, even if it comes down hard on The Post. Hubbard gets hit constantly.

So I asked Hubbard if it was true, he wrote:

“No, it’s not true.

I tried to unfollow him several months back. For some reason his tweets kept coming through, so I blocked him. My guess, and I’m not going to waste any time researching it, was that it was in the spring or early summer. It’s nothing personal.”

In the Harper’s piece, Sirota argues that big-city dailies, even in their weak state, wield as much power over civic life or more than they did in their heyday. Hence the article’s title, “The Citizen Kane Era Returns.”

There’s no question The Post is a major force in Colorado politics, and Sirota’s argument has some validity, and it’s fun to read, especially with so many local media observers quoted.

But Sirota gets carried away at times, for sure. He doesn’t prove that the Post is pushing a conservative agenda in its news section.

For example, in trying to prove that The Post’s conservative bias ushered Michael Bennett into the U.S. Senate, Sirota writes:

Considering that a mere 14,200 votes would have changed the outcome of the race, the Post’s omissions and evasions almost surely helped secure the Senate nomination for Bennet. They also serve as a smoking gun in a larger journalistic crime against voters.

In particular, Sirota thinks Bennet’s financial deals, as Denver Public Schools Superintendent, should have gotten more play in The Post, which, Sirota argues, would have sent shock waves throughout other Denver media and to the public.

I think the story was indeed underplayed in The Post, and it should have been reported earlier by the newspaper, but to assert that it was a game changer? No way.

Actually, conservatives can make a stronger argument that the McInnis plagiarism story was overplayed by an inordinately powerful Denver Post and resulted in the election of Hick. This might have better proven Sirota’s point about the staying power of newspapers.

But neither side can prove bias at The Post, which is largely owned by venture capitalists, not Singleton.

No doubt Singleton likes power, but he doesn’t get his way like he wants to, as described in Sirota’s article:

“He fancies himself an oldfashioned power broker–publisher,” says former Rocky Editor John Temple. who is now a managing editor at the Washington Post. “He loves the idea that he can call people into his office and be in the center of everything.”

So overall, with respect to the part of Sirota’s piece that focuses on The Post, Sirota is right that the paper, even in economic decline, has more power than it deserves, and in some ways as much or more influence on politics, due to its influence on elites, as it ever had.

But as for a conservative agenda, beyond cultural norms, I don’t see it, overall, though you can point to anecdotes, just like righties do in alleging liberal bias.

But you should read Sirota’s article yourself.

As for Sirota’s tweets, I, unlike Hubbard, like receiving them, even if Sirota stetches things a bit sometimes.

When Brownie tells us to vote for Romney, what will Sirota say?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

If you listened to progressive talk-radio host David Sirota and conservative Michael Brown on the radio, before they were paired up on KHOW’s new afternoon talk show, you know that Brown was explicitly pro-Romney.

But you might not know whether Sirota would vote for Obama at all.

So you wonder, how will this play out on their new show, called the Rundown.

Will Brown be telling listeners to vote for Romney, while Sirota says both candidates are, as Ralph Nader liked to say, tweedle dee and tweedle dum?

If so, who wants to listen that one-sided conversation?  It sounds too much like some bizarre permutation of the conservative love fest you’d hear on the Caplis and Silverman Show, which used to occupy Sirota and Brown’s afternoon slot on 630-AM KHOW (3 – 7 p.m.)

Asked about this via email, Brown, whom President George Bush thought was doing a “heck’ve a job” during the Katrina disaster, wrote:

Brown: “I do plan to vote for Romney and will actively support him. I probably am more enthusiastic about Romney than Sirota is about BHO. But, having said that, we’re not really discussing that issue much on air. My guess is left-leaning listeners might be upset at both of us — me for supporting Romney and David for criticizing BHO.”

Exactlty. Left-leaning listeners like me might get upset and turn off the radio, like I did when Caplis and Silverman piled on Obama. I mean, among other things, it’s boring, even if you don’t love Obama. It’s bad radio.

I asked Sirota how he’d counter Brownie when he starts telling us to vote Romney, or that Romney will do a heck’ve a job as President:

Sirota: “When this show was formulated, one thing that was central was that our show was not going to be agenda radio. It’s not going to be Crossfire. I really take that to heart. It’s not foremost on my mind to convince people to vote for one candidate or another. I’m not enthused about Obama or Romney.”

But, still, I said to Sirota, what if Brownie is sitting next to you telling people to vote for Romney?

“I would ask people to think about how much of a difference there is between Obama and Romney,” Sirota told me. “There are some differences but they are not epic.”

Sirota said that when the issue of Obamacare come up on a recent show, Brownie trashed the legislation but Sirota defended aspects of it, saying he did not like the way it was structured but that “uninsured people will at least be a little better off.”

“I was not a big proponent of Obamacare, but I took general side of the progressive push for universal health care, and he disagreed.”

“One of the things we are trying to do,” Sirota continued, “is to remove the issues from the candidates themselves, and talk about the bigger issues.”

“The only way to reach a broad audience of listeners is to get to the bigger, more universal issues. That’s one of the reasons the presidential race won’t be a big part of our show.”

“The people aren’t interested in the minutia,” Sirota said.

It’s true that issues inspire and motivate people more than the horse race, and usually more than candidates.

But if Brownie is holding forth about how we should vote Obama out, I’m hoping Sirota will tell us who he’s going to vote for and why, even if he thinks the difference is small. It will make for a better radio show.

Who will give you a hand up when you’re down? Brownie?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

If you’ve been listening to President Obama lately, you know he talks a lot about Americans helping each other out, having each other’s backs, and creating opportunity for those who deserve it.

This obviously contrasts with the themes you hear a lot from conservatives, who are all about going it alone, and it’s not clear what happens if you go down, even for a little while. Someone might pick up the lifeline and help you out, if you’re in trouble, but god forbid it’s the governement.

One of many conservative talk show hosts in Colorado who sings this tune is Michael heck’ve-a-job Brownie, whose new radio show (with progressive David Sirota) starts today on KHOW during the slot formerly occupied by Caplis and Silverman.

Here’s an example of Brownie’s right-wing messaging in action, from his Feb. 28 KOA show, and it’s an excellent sample of the conservative message machine in action.

Brownie begins below by reading a reading a quote from an Obama speech:

“America is about all being in it together, about giving people a hand up. When our assembly lines grind to a halt, we work together to get them going again. And when someone else falters, we give them a hand up because we are all in it together.”

[Brownie’s analysis begins:] And we’re not all in it together…. I’d like to be the guy who took down Limbaugh… because if I don’t have that desire to grow and get better and do the very best I can, I’m wasting your time…And in terms of giving people a hand up, what’s the difference between giving people a hand up or a hand down?…

[Another Obama quote:] “The idea that we are all in it togetether and that I’m my brother’s keeper ad my sister’s keeper, that’s a value,” said Obama.

[Brownie’s analysis:] Yes, I would agree Mr. President. But the problem is, when you say the idea that we are all in it together and that I’m my brother’s keeper, you literally mean you, the government, the presidency. ..

I absolutely and unequivically disagree with that value. I, individually, am my other individual’s brother keeper. I am my sister’s keeper. I am my neighbor’s keeper. You, the government, are not my keeper….

Listen here: Why Brownie thinks we’re not all in it together 2-28-12 KOA

On KHOW 630-AM, starting at 3 p.m. today, Sirota will be the counterpoint to Brownie.

He’ll undoubtedly do it better than Craig Silverman ever did, because Silverman leaned right himself.

But whether he wins the hot-air-fest against Brownie or not, to survive in this time slot on KHOW, Sirota will need progressives to listen and call in.