Archive for the 'Talk Radio' Category

U.S. Senate candidate wants to axe Department of Education

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Just as Colorado’s GOP State Chair Steve House is telling his fellow Republicans to talk more about education, GOP Senate candidate Peggy Littleton is saying that one of her top priorities if elected would be to abolish the Department of Education.

Asked by KCOL morning host Jimmy Lakey what she’d do if she were the “queen for a day” in the U.S. Senate, Littleton said:

Littleton: I would love to see the Department of Education go away. I don’t want those bureaucrats in Washington to deermine what our kids are going to learn and be able to do and have taken education away from the parents, which is where it originally belongs.” Listen to Littleton on KCOL’s Jimmy Lakey Show 1.26.16

“Education belongs in the hands of the parents, teachers and local school boards, not with unelected bureaucrats in DC,” Littleton tweeted in response to this post.

Littleton is following in the footsteps of a list of (mostly) failed Republicans who’ve called for the elimination of the Department of Education. (Usually they don’t talk about the the Department’s job training, grant making, and research functions.)

Rick Perry remembered it during his Ooops Mooment, when he forgot one of the three federal departments he’d shutter.

During his failed U.S. Senate run, Ken Buck called for its closure. So did loser U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton. Failed Scott McInnis suggested axing it in 2010.

Does Littleton want to be part of that group?

UPDATE: I updated this post with Littleton’s tweet at 3 p.m. Feb. 2.


Newsworthy and praiseworthy advice from Colorado’s Republican leader

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

In a wide-ranging radio interview last week, Colorado GOP Chair Steve House had some newsworthy (and praiseworthy) advice for Colorado Republicans who seek to actually win elections:

  • Don’t just hate Obamacare but focus on solutions.
  • Don’t talk so much about gun rights and the 2nd Amendment.
  • Talk about education more–but no so much about charder schools.

House’s advice came during a discussion with KFKA 1310 AM’s Stacy Petty show about how Colorado Republicans have “got to start thinking a little bit differently on how we talk to people, especially the 490,000 or so unaffiliated or ‘leans right’ voters that we have got to make sure vote Republican, on top of our base in this coming election.”

First, “stop talking at every one of our discussions about the 2nd Amendment,” said House, adding that “we own that issue” and Democrats want Republicans fixating on it.

“You know, no matter what happens in the world, we’re not going to give up on our 2nd Amendment,” said House on air. ” We have defenders in RMGO and NRA and our sheriffs and other people.”

“So, what should we be talking about?” asked House, before answering his own question.  “And I suggested we should be talking about education, because I think it’s the number one issue for us as a state, for us as a Party.”

To do this, House suggests that Republican discussions go “beyond charter schools” in addressing education issues and put more emphasis on graduation rates and third-grade reading levels, which he cites as a reliable predictor of future individual success, a bedrock GOP value.

Similarly, House told Petty he’d like to see Republicans explain how to have the “right processes, regulatory structure, and incentives in place to see us solve some [health] problems.”

House says, for Republicans, “it’s not about hating Obamacare.”

This actually leaves the door open to improving it! How great would that be.

So at a time when the trending news analysis is obsessed with the “outsiders,” you can make a case that the real “outsider” thinking, at least among the die-hard Republican base voters, is reflected in a guy like House.

Or his predecessor Ryan Call, who calls out the “arrogance” of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and argues that Republicans need “to grow the coalition, even if people don’t agree with us 100 percent of the time.”

Those are the kinds of Republican messages that need to be elevated by reporters, in this dark moment of extremism and carpet-bombing outsiderism, to give Republicans themselves a wider window of the possibilities for escape and redemption.

Listen to Steve House on KFKA’s Stacy Petty Show 1.28.16

Former CO GOP chair thinks “in some ways” Tancredo wants him back

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Informed that radio host Peter Boyles wishes Ryan Call were back in charge of the Colorado Republican Party, former state GOP chair Ryan Call said on KNUS 710-AM Saturday:

Call: “To the extent I’ve ever heard Tom Tancredo acknowledge he’s wrong about something, I think in some ways, he’s done the same,” said Call.

Under fire from Tancredo and others, Ryan Call was not re-elected to lead Colorado Republicans last year. Tancredo was later part of a failed coup-like effort, led by State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, to remove Call’s replacement, Steve House.

On Craig Silverman’s KNUS 710-AM’s morning radio show Saturday, Ryan Call, who lost his bid to fill a House vacancy seat over the weekend, also endorsed Jeb! Bush. (Listen to a compilation of highlights from Call’s radio interview by clicking here.)

Call: “I understand the attraction that some voters have toward [Trump]…unapologetic in his arrogance and pettiness…but, Craig, anger is not a political platform,” Call told Silverman, who’s said he’s leaning toward Trump himself. “…If it were up to me, I’d vote for someone who has a tested true conservative record, someone you can really kick the tires on, who has demonstrated the kind of thoughtfullness and character that America needs. My vote would be for Jeb Bush.”

Ryan Call compared his own approach to politics to that of former GOP governor Bill Owens and former Sen. Hank Brown, saying those two and himself are “cut from the same cloth:”

Call: “Our orientation toward politics is to grow the coalition, even if people don’t agree with us 100 percent of the time,” said Call.



Coffman declares immigration reform dead for this year

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Appearing on KOA 850-AM’s Morning News Jan. 13, Rep. Mike Coffman first said he doesn’t “see anything happening on immigration reform” in Congress this year.

Then he told radio host April Zesbaugh, “Certainly, I’ve worked hard in my congressional district to break that narrative” that “Republicans are anti-immigrant.”

So he declares immigration reform dead and says he’s not anti-immigrant.

The irony is, if Coffman and his fellow House Republicans weren’t anti-immigrant, immigration reform wouldn’t be dead right now. It would be moving forward, as laid out in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that Coffman opposed and was killed by House Republicans in 2013.

Millions of law-abiding immigrants would be starting to come out of the shadows and living like my own immigrant grandparents did. They’d be paying more taxes, working their asses off, and no longer living in fear of deportation. We’d be spending tens of billions more on border security and have 20,000 agents on the border, too, fwiw. The Chamber of Commerce would be happy. I would feel proud of our country, not guilty, when I see my daughter’s friend holding hands with her immigrant father.

Coffman would no doubt be standing up his his district and saying he actually accomplished something on immigration. As it is, he’s defined by what he’s not done and what he still opposes: birthright citizenship, bilingual ballotscomprehensive immigration reform, a path to citizenship.

With his Spanish lessons and criss-crossing votes for modest reforms, maybe Coffman has worked hard, in terms of rhetoric and smoke screens and cover up, to create a perception of hard work on  immigration, but he was a roadblock to actually accomplishing anything when it really mattered most.



Ross Kaminsky discusses his new job as morning-show host on KHOW radio

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In case you weren’t listening, you need to know that there have been big shakeups in the conservative talk-radio world recently, as KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell replaced KOA 850-AM’s Mike Rosen, who retired, and Ross Kaminsky took over Connell’s morning show slot (which has about 60,000 weekly listeners).

It’s a major jump for Kaminsky, who’s been on the B Team in Denver radio for about 10 years, subbing here and there for the starting lineup of hosts on different stations but remaining on the sidelines with his own shows. He started in radio in 2006 as a guest and then fill-in host for former KFKA host Amy Oliver, who works at the conservative Independence Institute. Kaminsky’s KHOW job realizes his “dream of creating a second career in radio.” (He’s been a professional financial markets trader, and he writes weekly for the American Spectator.)

Politically, Kaminsky usually backs the establishment Republican position and candidate. So he’s not a Tea-Party-warrior radio host like, for example, his afternoon colleague on KHOW, Michael “Heck of a job” Brownie, or KNUS 710-AM’s Peter Boyles, who will be Kaminsky’s main morning talk-show competitor along with KLZ 560-AM’s Steve Curtis, who sits in another morning-show orbit even farther out there.

I asked Kaminsky via email how he’ll differentiate himself from other radio hosts (whether on other stations or on the same station).

Kaminsky: I don’t really spend much time thinking about that. I just do my show, my way, focusing on things that I think make a good blend of interesting, important and fun. I also think that my professional background in financial markets as well as my personal background (such as that I’ve visited more than 60 countries and all but 2 of the United States) gives me an unusual perspective. I’m not about a political “team”; I’m a registered independent, not Republican. I’m about ideas more than about parties, about outcomes more than who gets credit for them. I’m about freedom — basically an Objectivist, neither a conservative nor a liberal — though I generally have much more in common with conservatives on the issues that I care most about.

Although I’m fundamentally non-partisan I have strong opinions about which politicians and which parties are likely to be better than others.

Do you want progressives to call in?

Kaminsky: I enjoy talking to callers, especially those who disagree with me. Some of my absolute favorite conversations are with liberals/progressives, and some of my favorite moments on radio are when I can get them to open their minds to reconsidering their views, particularly on issues of economics and fundamental liberty. (I’m not a social issues conservative and find most talk radio about social issues to be tedious and unproductive unless it’s really at the top of the news such as gay marriage was for some time.)

 Will you conduct investigations and latch on to stories (e.g., Boyles on the birther issue, Caplis on Tim Tebow)? If so, what kind of stories might you chase?

Kaminsky: I don’t think you’ll see me doing investigative work, nor will I generally “bulldog” a topic for days or weeks on end unless it were something truly massive such as 9/11 — and I hope I never face a topic that horrendous. Instead, I’ll focus more on trying to make the most interesting possible discussions surrounding news and public policy along with talking about all sorts of aspects of daily life, family life, etc. My show is definitely not going to be all politics all the time. I will also endeavor to bring listeners very interesting interviews — not just interesting guests but posing questions to them that other hosts might not think of.
Any other comments?

Kaminsky: I view my new job as a tremendous opportunity but I also realize that the people who have given me this opportunity had — and will in the future have — other choices, and that I can’t take anything for granted. My goal is to bring such good content to the show that the ratings and revenue numbers leave management no reason to think about needing anyone else for the KHOW morning drive, which I believe is one of the premier talk show jobs in the state of Colorado. There couldn’t have been a better way for me to start the new year.

Rosen will be missed

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

In honor of Denver talk-radio host Mike Rosen’s last regular show (today at noon), I thought I’d offer you some jokes Rosen told in April on air. He said he wanted to give “equal time” to women.

Rosen: “There are the old clichéd blond jokes and other techniques at taking pot shots at women. This falls into the heading of equal time. Here’s a woman fighting back with some personal experiences.

He said to me, ‘I don’t know why you wear a bra. You’ve got nothing to put in it.’

I said to him, ‘You wear pants, don’t you?’ [pause]

He said to me, ‘Shall we try swapping positions tonight?’

I said to him, ‘That’s a good idea. You stand by the stove and sink, while I sit on the sofa and do nothing but fart.’ [pause]

He said to me, ‘What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?’

I said to him, ‘Why don’t you look sideways and look in the mirror?”  [pause]

He said to me, ‘Why don’t women blink during foreplay?”

I said to him, ‘They don’t have time.’  [pause]

He said to me, ‘How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?’

I said to him, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s never happened.’  [pause]

He said to me, ‘Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring, and good looking.’

I said to him, ‘They already have boyfriends’  [pause]

He said to me, ‘What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?’

I said to him, “A widow.”  [pause]

He said to me, ‘Why are married women heavier than single women?’

I said to him, ‘Single women come home, see what’s in the fridge and go to bed. Married women come home, see what’s in bed, and go to the fridge.”  [pause]

Equal time for women.

Obviously, most of these jokes are sexist against women, so presenting them as “equal time for women” makes no sense.

But that’s how Rosen was for about 30 years on KOA. You could disagree with him, or think he was rude or crazy or manipulative, but his facts were usually right. He was prepared and obviously worked hard on his show, which addressed serious policy issues day after day. He was provocative and smart, even if he was a partisan Republican.

And he was able to tone it done and be respectful during his monthly interviews over decades with Democratic and Republican governors and Denver mayors, who took questions from everyday listeners. This was a public service that everyone benefited from.

I’ll miss Rosen, and it will be good to hear him subbing every now and then when the regular hosts are gone.

Elbert County clerk still getting praise for poster opposing same-sex marriage

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Generations Radio host Kevin Swanson, whose right-wing show originates in Colorado’s Elbert County, is praising Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder for hanging a poster in his government office with a quote from the Bible, “Each man should have his own wife and each woman should have her own husband” — even though Schroeder has apparently removed the poster from his office, after local residents complained.

“If you come anywhere close to a heathen sacrifice, a heathen temple, or a heathen ceremony, much of which is represented by the modern pagan state,  and that is homosexual weddings, you ought to at least make it clear that you are not implicitly or explicitly approving of the idolatrous practice,” Swanson told his listeners during a podcasted show Thursday (at about 15 minutes). “And using a Bible verse would be a good way to do that.”

With his poster, Schroeder apparently wanted to wipe his conscience clean of any responsibility for the same same-sex marriage license issued by his office, according to a report by KMGH-TV in Denver, Denver’s ABC affiliate.

“My thought process is that they have to see the poster,” writes Schroeder in the email obtained by the TV station.  “And if they choose to violate God’s written Word, then that is on their head.”

That’s in line with the beliefs of radio host Swanson, who I’ve called a shock pastor in the past, due to his string of extreme statements, based on his take on the scripture.

“This guy is kind of following through on the principle that I have brought out a number of times on this radio broadcast concerning the question, ‘Should a Christian attend a homosexual wedding?'” Swanson said on air last week. “And I have said ‘yes’ as long as you hold up a Bible verse [opposing same-sex marriage].”

I won’t be holding up a Bible quote at the heathen solstice party I’m attending tonight, fyi. But if Swanson comes, and he wants to peacefully carry around a quotation on a poster or something, that’s fine with me. In fact, he’d fit right in, because people bring strange things to the party. But, please, keep such signs out our government buildings.



Boyles, Calhoun, Tancredo, and Bartels plan “world domination over lunch”

Friday, December 18th, 2015

On KNUS-710 AM’s website today, you’ll find, from left to right, radio host Peter Boyles, Westword’s Patricia Calhoun, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, and fomer Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels (seated). The photo is titled the “Takeover Crew,” with the subtitle, “Planning world domination over lunch.”

Another strange instance where Coffman passes on criticizing Trump

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Last week, in response to Roll Call reporter Simone Pathe’s question of whether he’d vote for Donald Trump, Rep. Mike Coffman replied, “I’m not going to go there. Thanks.”

Coffman’s dodge came after he didn’t denounce Trump, as other Republicans did, when Trump called for temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the United States.

Something about Trump seems to be holding Coffman back from being too mean to him, and you can actually see it in the following exchange on Radio Luz, a Denver Spanish-language radio station, back in August (translated from Spanish):

Host Gil Guerra [beginning at 16:50 here]: We have arrived at the end of this segment. But I don’t want you to go without my thanks for being here with us. But, Congressman, let’s talk about this item: What possibility is there that you come visit us again, because I want to us to chat about a very controversial figure, that has gone viral in all of this, — the famous Donald Trump.

Coffman, speaking in Spanish: El Donald

Guerra: Yes I was going to say “Donald Duck”

Coffman: The Donald! [laughing] The duck, no! The Donald!

Guerra: Donald Duck.

Coffman: [laughing] Oh, no, duck. No, no, no!!! El Senor Donald.

Guerra: Donald Trump! It’s okay, that’s fine. You’re going to respect him. But what do you think if we talk about this because I want to differentiate the politics with respect to what is actually that of the Republicans.

Coffman: Donald Trump!


[commerical break]

Guerra: Alright, then. Now we’re back in our third segment. And we thanked the Congressman. He had to leave. He had a very tight schedule.

Guerra told me today that he subsequently asked Coffman to appear on the show, but his schedule didn’t permit it. Maybe in 2016, he said.

I’ve pointed out a couple times (e.g., here and here and here) that Coffman’s actual factual positions are quite similar to Trump’s, so his hesitancy to denounce Senor Donald isn’t completely surprising, but it’s one of the strangest political blips that’s surfaced of late in Colorado politics, ripe for a reporter to figure out.

Talk-radio host Mike Rosen to (mostly) retire

Friday, December 11th, 2015

The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow reported yesterday that Mike Rosen, who’s hosted a talk-radio show in Denver for almost 30 years, will sign off from his own show Dec. 24.

You’ll recognize Rosen’s voice, as quoted by Ostrow, explaining why he’s :

“Doing my brand of radio, with 24/7 research and show prep, takes a work week of more than 60 hours. After 35 years on-air, I’ve decided to give myself a little more well-earned leisure time as I pass my 71st birthday,” Rosen said in a release.

Rosen will be succeeded in the timeslot by KHOW’s Mandy Connell(who took over Peter Boyles’ long-held slot in 2013).

“A full-fledged retirement wouldn’t suit a Type-A guy like me. So, I’m delighted to still have a presence with KOA as a part-time on-air contributor. While this may disappoint my long-time loyal listeners, to whom I’m eternally grateful, I hope they will find a little of Mike Rosen at least better than none at all. I’m passing the baton to Mandy Connell in the midday time slot, who’s done a great job on KHOW in the morning. You’ll like her.”