Thursday, January 31, 2008

The KIRO clusterfuck

-- by Dave

Seattle's radio market is possibly the best example of why the demise of the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of mass corporate-owned media have combined to create real distortions in the information market.

Located within our market are not one but two stations devoted to nothing but right-wing talk -- KVI-AM and KTTH-AM, both with plenty of "local talent" (including KTTH's Michael Medved) in addition to the nationally syndicated bile from the likes of Limbaugh and Savage. Meanwhile, the only "liberal" talk station, KPTK-AM, is all canned stuff.

One of the only local liberal talk shows of any note was David Goldstein's weekend gig at KIRO-AM, a station which otherwise mostly features the work of the very centrist Dave Ross and the unlistenable right-winger Dori Monson, notorious for being a WATB and a generally vindictive little prick.

The funny thing is, Seattle is a very liberal town. And hardly anyone I know who lives here actually listens to AM radio at all anymore, because the range of offerings has gotten so bad. So the right-wing talkers can justify their existence by pointing to the relatively good showing they make in the market, but no one acknowledges that in reality, talk radio in Seattle is a barren wasteland that most people avoid.

So what did KIRO do this week? Why, they fired Goldy, of course -- along with its only other liberal talkers, Carl Jeffers and Bryan Styble. Ostensibly, it's for "budgetary" reasons -- though everyone knows that's bullshit.

KIRO, you see, is owned by Bonneville International. BI also owns KTTH (which calls itself, incidentally, "the Truth" -- in Russian, that translates as "Pravda"). Its right-wing lineup went utterly untouched. How can they justify taking Seattle's only local liberal talkers off the air while leaving us with a lineup that includes the likes of David Boze (ugh!)?

Blatherwatch has all the details, including an internal report that makes clear this is can largely be laid at the feet of Monson, who's hated Goldy since nearly the day he was hired for having had the audacity to criticize him.

I'm hoping my readers outside of Seattle are outraged by this travesty too. If you are, please feel free to sign the online letter to KIRO telling management how you feel.

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