Sunday, February 08, 2009

(Updated)Dem Sen.: Talk Radio Informs “Incorrectly;” Supports Hearings

Update: Thanks to an informed commenter I've learned Stabenow's husband is liberal radio exec Tom Athans. I wish Radio Ink Magazine had disclosed her conflict of interest in its story I posted about here.

Radio Ink Magazine reports - - -

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told nationally syndicated talk host Bill Press this morning that the recent flips of liberal Talk stations in several markets were a "disservice to the public."

Stabenow said that, in the day of the Fairness Doctrine, "you had to have balance," and continued, "I think something that requires that in a market with owners that have multiple stations that they have got to have balance -- there has to be some community interest -- balance, you know, standard that says both sides have to be heard."

Stabenow told Press that the airwaves are "dominated by one view" that "overwhelms people's opinions -- and, unfortunately, incorrectly," and said that "right-wing conservative talk hosts" are "trying to make people angry and saying all kinds of things that aren't true and so on."

When Press asked if it is time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, Stabenow responded, "I think it's absolutely time to pass a standard."

To Press' inquiry as to whether she will push for hearings in the Seante (sic) "to bring these owners in and hold them accountable," Stabenow replied, "I have already had some discussions with colleagues, and, you know, I feel like that's going to happen. Yep."


My comments:

Are you asking yourself, “Debbie Stabenow? Debbie Stabenow? Hasn’t she been a long-time supporter of Detroit’s recently jailed former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick?”

If you are, you’re got that right.

Are you also asking yourself: “Why is a liberal like Stabenow worried about talk radio? The largest talk radio network – NPR – is so liberal it makes Al Franken seem like a statesman instead of a comedian. Surely Stabenow remembers that during the recent presidential campaign NPR programming presented Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white, anti-American ravings as just “snippets?”

Now Sen. Stabenow wants her Dem colleagues and President Obama to set a “standard” for talk radio programming.

That’s troubling.


drew said...

If I correctly remember what my parents told me so very long ago, fairness is a two-way street. Perhaps if Ms. Stabenow were willing to have the television and print media subject to the same burden(s), there might be some ground for compromise.

Alternatively, perhaps we should let the market determine which "side" gets to use the radio spectrum. Recent attempts to bring "centrist" or "liberal" viewpoints to the airwaves have been massive failures (see, for example, Air America [notwithstanding the $$$ they were stealing from the Boys & Girls Club in order to stay on the air]).

If the public really wanted to hear liberal bias on the radio, the ratings would be sufficient to insist that at least one network (or show) provide that content. Unfortunately, only the power of the federal pocketbook (c.f. NPR) can underwrite the excessive costs of having left-leaning hosts on the air. Recall that "he who would be Senator" Franken managed to remove over a few million bucks from Air America, and than cut and run when the spam started to hit the fan on the financial dealings of the network. He was probably as unaware of the network problems as he was of the need to pay his own taxes in a number of jurisdictions. No....I forgot - he actually signed some of the AA documents, implying at least some complicity in diverting the funds. The funds were diverted to himself, however, so that probably makes it all okey-dokey.

Anonymous said...

In 2003, Stabenow married Tom Athans, now the executive vice president of Air America.

Anonymous just north of Detroit

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a recently retired(very powerful member) of the Mich legislator.He had two things to say about DS.
1)She was part of an increasing portion of the group that made more in politics than they could in the private sector.
2)That she was stupid.
I realize these are anon comments,and not sourced,so take them as you would

JWM said...


Thanks for your comment, parts of which I'll use in a main page post in a few days.

Anon @ 12:32,

Thanks for the heads up about Athans.

When I fact checked I learned he was with Air America but has moved on to another lib radio org.

He's been a lib radio exec for many years.

I'll post shortly alerting readers to that.

It's a clear conflict of interest for Stabenow.