Archive for the 'Talk Radio' Category

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.”

State Sen. Crowder sides with Hickenlooper on Syrian refugee policy

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

State Sen. Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) has sided with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in arguing that Colorado should still welcome Syrian refugees to the state, despite calls by some state lawmakers to ban them from coming here.

Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland reports:

Republican State Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa says Colorado and the country should not change the refugee resettlement program in the wake of the Paris attacks.

He was one of 10 Republicans not to sign the letter [asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to block Syrian refugees from coming to the state]. He says politicians are reacting with fear.

“When you talk about people who drop everything that they had and run for their lives, what we need to do is start realizing what our responsibility as a world citizen is,” [said Crowder].

Listen here. 

Birkeland mentioned that Hickenlooper supports the existing two-year vetting process for Syrian refugees.

Why do Colorado Senate Republicans think it’s a good idea to attack Jeffco voters?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Control of the Colorado Senate swings in the balance next year, with the Democrats hoping to pick up one itsy bitsy state Senate seat and the Republicans clinging to a majority of one itsy bitsy Senate seat. And that seat is most likely in Jefferson County.

With this in mind, after last night’s uprising against conservatives in said Jefferson Country, you’d think the Republicans’ official Senate Facebook page would speak in a humble tone, with an eye on the not-so-far-away-longer-term.

Instead, the Colorado Senate GOP lashed out at the Jeffco electorate, which, did I mention, will be voting again in just 12 months (or, about 364 days).

Here’s what the Colorado Senate GOP Facebook page had to say, in a statement that deserved wide coverage:

Parents not willing to support school reform get what they vote for — reform-resistant status quo schools run according to union shop rules. If that’s good enough for their kids, so be it. It’s the students, not the parents, who will live with the consequences.

Do Colorado Senate Republicans hope to hold their Jeffco swing districts with this attack line? Do they think attacking the Jeffco parents is a winning strategy for 2016?  It’s a legitimate question for reporters to put to Senate Republicans, given what they said this morning on Facebook.

If he were in charge, radio host says he might execute Obama

Monday, October 26th, 2015

I asked a few of my progressive friends, who think conservative talk radio spreads the plague through the airwaves, whether they think the hosts fill air time by discussing whether they’d execute Obama.

Most said, yes, they could see talk radio hosts saying this.

But actually, I’d never heard a radio yapper say it, and I listen to a lot of talk radio.

That is, until it came from the mouth of KLZ 560-AM’s morning-show host Steve Curtis, a former chair of the Colorado Republican Party and death penalty advocate.

During a show earlier this year, he asked his co-hosts what they’d do with Obama, if they could “take over the government today.”

Curtis: I’d imprison him. I might execute him, if I were to take over the nation today. This is just, you know, one of the things I think about. What does this man deserve for the hatred, the bitterness, the division, the lack of strength with which he has led this country, the way that he has weakened our defenses, the way that he has excused the bad behavior of our enemies — and I mean the enemies of the country from both within and without?

I emailed Curtis, told him I was writing a blog post, and asked if he wanted “to explain or clarify your recent comment that you might execute Obama if you were in charge of the government?”

I was hoping he would say he was joking, but, instead I got:

“I think the statement and the question that follows stand on their own within the context in which they were made,” replied Curtis, and he invited me to talk about it on his show. I accepted this offer.

I can’t figure out what context Curtis is referring to, except the context that he actually thinks Obama might deserve execution.

You can read a transcript of the conversation for yourself below, and listen here:

HOST STEVE CURTIS:   If you are able to take over the government today, what would you do with Obama?  What would you– I mean, what would you do with him? Would you do anything?  I’d imprison him. I might execute him, if I were to take over the nation today. This is just, you know, one of the things I think about. What does this man deserve for the hatred, the bitterness, the division, the lack of strength with which he has led this country, the way that he has weakened our defenses, the way that he has excused the bad behavior of our enemies — and I mean the enemies of the country from both within and without?  What would you do with this guy?  And then, what would you do with his administration?  And what would you do with the Congress of the United States? I mean, if you if you could just wave your wand today, any ideas?

CO-HOST DAN MUERER:  Well, I don’t know if I’d go as far as execution, but I’d sure – I’d like to throw them all in prison.   I mean, or send him back to Kenya, or Indonesia. He’s not a traditional American. Not at all. He doesn’t have the point of view of a traditional American.

CURTIS:  Well, I’m not sure that he’s an American.

MUERER:  He’s – he’s –. [laughs] Well, –.

CURTIS:  No, I’m serious.

MUERER:  It’s true!

CO-HOST ANDY PETH:  There’s only one reason I question him being an American citizen. Okay?

CURTIS:  What’s that?

PETH:  And I’m not a birther or any of this. Because he claims to be. I mean, this guy–he lies!  Everything he says is a lie!  And the simple fact that he claims to be an American citizen, that’s the only thing that actually makes me question if he is. Who seals their birth records?  Who even does that?  I mean,  what, did he –

CURTIS:  And college records and everything else. Yeah!

MUERER:  They’re all sealed.

PETH:  Yeah!  Is he trying to cover up for a crime?  Did he knock over a 7-Eleven on the day of his birth?  I mean, what is he trying to cover up here? This is ridiculous. And do I know he wasn’t born [inaudible] I have no clue!  I don’t care!

MUERER:  Nobody knows.

PETH:  But, I’m just like, the biggest liar I have ever seen in my life claims to be a U.S. citizen?  That’s the only thing to make me question it.

MUERER:  Well, I like to call him the Keynesian from Kenya!

PETH:  Yeah!  There you go!