Bisig Impact Group co-owner Larry Bisig invited me to his advertising/marketing company for a chat on camera. Cool.
We talked about my radio history, growing up with discipline, the last days of Ron Clay, my evolving tolerance, how to interview big ego people, dealing with violent students, and drunk college buddies trying to ruin my job.
Good talk, L Man. Thanks for having me.
When I asked Courier Journal management about scrubbing a 2014 parody of John Calipari from its website, I was told that the image didn’t meet the newspaper’s “standards.”
This piece ran last week in the standards conscious Courier.
This week the Cussin’ Courier throws feces at its readers – wiping it from the headline – but dropping it into the report on UK Coach John Calipari’s scatalogical jab.
Read the thread below for background on the Courier Journal defense of apologizing to Coach Calipari and removing an image from its web site. Salty Joe Gerth, a UK fan, says the September 2014 image is still available.
The subject of MY tweet was in response to Tim Sullivan’s CJ column shining light on Tom Jurich’s sometimes contentious relationship with various media members. I simply pointed out that it is not uncommon for athletics departments across America to contest media musings.
Courier Journal management printed an apology to Coach Cal and said the image would be removed from its site. According to Gerth, the image remains on its site more than 3 years later.
Then Joe called me a liar. He’s probably miffed that I didn’t put his name in the headline of this blog post. No wait. It’s there. 😂
Great column by @TimSullivan714 examining Tom Jurich's legacy and some run-ins with the media. https://t.co/QisykJePzo Would be nice to hear why Tim's bosses @courierjournal scrubbed that 2014 crybaby caricature of @UKCoachCalipari – bullying from @UKAthletics? Hmm. 😂 pic.twitter.com/nQv2sFbeLW
— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) November 27, 2017
UPDATE: Courier Journal is SUPER edgy now, comparing local air quality with fellatio. So witty!
Standards. You know, old gas stations, right?
Stumble. Bumble. Fumble. It’s what we do.
PHOTO OF THE YEAR: women’s march, January 2017 — Me too? Im guessing that’s a NO.
ALL-TIME CLASSIC BLOOPER
FOR MY PILOT BUDDIES:
🎙️ Friday launches my 33rd year on WHAS Radio and television. We ran a contest on my 1st radio show where hundreds of people guessed when I would be fired or leave. The winner gets $500.
Only two entries are still valid. Jim McClellan needs me gone within three years or else Robert Rudolph is the winner. #loumedia #radiopersonality #Louisville
My radio career began in September 1976 at WKQQ in Lexington, although I did not go on the air until late 1977. Therefore my total broadcast career has surpassed the 40 year mark.
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
NBC News abruptly terminated Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Lauer, the primary anchor of the network’s signature show TODAY, moved from the news desk in 1997 to replace anchor Bryant Gumbel.
As the day played out, more women told their own stories of abuse and discomfort in dealing with Lauer.
Rival ABC News challenged statements by NBC execs claiming they didn’t know anything about Lauer’s workplace misdeeds. Some former NBC employees say that the TODAY show was a “boy’s club” that centered around Lauer and that anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb feigned shock in announcing Lauer’s firing on air.
Accounts of a 2008 NYC Friar’s Roast of Matt Lauer clearly indicate that NBC execs were fully aware of their morning star’s sexcapades. A Village Voice columnist crudely recapped the night as “three hours of dick jokes.”
Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
During Lauer’s tenure there had been personal controversies, tension with female co-hosts, including the awkward removal of beloved anchor Ann Curry, and a rumored affair with former news anchor Natalie Morales. Both Morales and Lauer have denied the allegations. Media couldn’t stop reporting on the alleged affair as Morales was shipped out west to host the fluff-filled NBC show Access Hollywood.
In spite of multiple reports by the New York Times, Variety, and the New York Post detailing abuse stories by many women, NBC News has yet to offer more details about Lauer’s firing or the identity of the original accuser. NBC received a thorough complaint from that co-worker on Monday and investigated all day Tuesday before deciding late that night to fire the network’s longest serving primary news anchor.
Lauer allegedly sent lewd texts and propositioned an intern who accompanied the network crew to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
The New York Times shared more graphic details of another Lauer co-worker’s account of her assault in his office, which is equipped with a button on his desk that automatically locks the door.
Sources at NBC told various media outlets that the door-locking mechanisms are security measures for high profile employees.
Matt Lauer grilled former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly on TODAY in September, asking many questions that other media people would love to ask of him.
Will NBC’s signature comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live skewer Matt Lauer on this weekend’s new episode? The show has been brutal to conservatives like O’Reily who, like Lauer, was fired for sexual harassment in the workplace.
SNL famously avoided torching Harvey Weinstein for weeks before eventually acknowledging his sexual abuse charges. Weinstein, a wealthy Hollywood Liberal who donated millions to Democrats over the years, avoided the instant vilification reserved for conservatives.
Democrat Al Franken, a former SNL cast member, was given one passing shot on the show.
Hillary Clinton gave a hazy reply when asked if she would return millions her family campaigns have accepted from Weinstein.
One archived video the network is sure to scrub from its site is a 2012 parody of various NBC male employees sexually harassing each other. A panel of NBC men and women then join in to laugh about the sketch. Actor Dustin Hoffman, another prominent sexual harasser, ends the segment by making a joke about a news anchor “showing his willie.”
Throwback to 2012 when Matt Lauer was the “real victim” of sexual harassment on the Today show 🤔 pic.twitter.com/mYdnhEV2wv
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) November 29, 2017
Can we begin by reminding everyone that “the media” is a vast universe of unconnected voices who report, commentate, and disseminate news items? It’s true that major media pretends to deliver impartial, objective news but whenever humans are involved, so are their personal views. There is clearly some sort of slant with all human communication.
That’s why it’s so easy to find a comfortable housecoat of your views reflected back onto you from any one of a zillion media outlets.
CJ writer Andy Wolfson notes that “social scientists say (party registration) is a lens that affects how a person perceives the world.” In my case, it is because that’s how my parents were registered and I followed suit. Nonetheless, I am the only person who knows how I vote.
“The Media” is not one voice. I’ve been a media member for 40 years and have worked with extreme personalities on both sides but I’m 100% certain of a liberal media majority. And that certainty grew from my 4 decades of media work in predominately conservative Kentucky.
“The Media” is a horn of plenty but a cacophony of twisted partisanship and idealism. Picture “The Media” as Pamplona’s running bulls with mobile devices. Either get on board or get out of the way. Each media product plays to its own echo chamber.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a regular guest on my radio show until recently, is using the Donald Trump plan of demonizing “the media” for stories that he feels are at odds with his vision. He is now calling WDRB President and GM Bill Lamb a liar. Ouch.
Governor Bevin recently singled out Lamb and WHAS-11 news anchor Doug Proffitt for their “lies” in editorial responses to the governor’s suggested prayer patrols to help reduce gun violence.
A few hours after the governor’s original video was released, I invited Lamb to respond on my WHAS Radio show. We spoke via telephone and then Lamb came to the studio the next day to continue the rebuttal.
Governor Bevin was not pleased with Lamb’s assertion that he is a “coward” for sidestepping traditional media for direct social media contact with the public.
GOVERNOR REPLIES VIA TEXT
48 hours later, Gov. Bevin texted me and took issue with several points in the Lamb interviews. I cannot share private texts but will give the gist of the governor’s message with limited quotations:
Governor Bevin texted that I should have corrected Lamb’s inaccurate claim that he “wanders in (the radio station) and pontificates on any topic that pleases him.”
The governor continued: “In all the years you have known me and the many many times I have been on your show, have I ever once asked to you (sic) to discuss a certain topic or said that I didn’t want to discuss a certain topic? Ever?” Bevin also noted that I picked “the topics of conversation 100% of the time.”
The governor took offense at my characterization of him opting for social media platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube videos as “speak(ing) from the balcony like a dictator.”
In my text reply to Governor Bevin, I affirmed his point that he never tried to steer the questioning in our radio interviews but that calling editorialists “liars” and projecting eternal damnation for preachers who offer differing opinions on the value of prayer patrols led to my “shouting from the balcony” reference.
Citing God’s creation of a diverse Kentucky population, I projected that God directs all humans to “teach, love, understand, and listen to each other.”
I suggested to the governor that he continue a “furiously curious exchange of ideas between the power structure and the trained, experienced, secular press (not Facebook Live fanboy comment bubbles)…good counterpoints for your frame of reference.”
The next scheduled radio interview for Governor Bevin and me is Tuesday, July 11 at 5:35 on 840WHAS. Stream it at whas.com
His last appearance on my show was May 3rd where we talked about Louisville’s murder rate and the governor’s controversial home purchase, something Gov. Bevin noted in his texts.
“You and I have spoken about my home multiple times…I believe each of the last three times…see how ‘skittish’ (your exact word) about that topic or any topic I have ever been with you.”
The governor and I have indeed discussed his home on the previous two interviews, although the Lexington Herald-Leader denounced it as a “softball session.” Jelly much, Herald?
My chats with guests are not intended to be combative. They are to extract information and let the listener react according to their own biases. That’s the beauty of long form radio content. It offers unedited insight into the minds of the guests and the host.
“The Media” is not, as Trump said, “the enemy of the American people.” We, the media, offer a universe of content to fit into a very localized mind. The listener/viewer/reader then processes that content to affirm, enlighten, or change their preconceived views.
It’s all good. Mind expansion is life’s greatest gift.
SHOW OR NO SHOW?
Scheduled WHAS Radio interviews with Governor Bevin in mid-May and mid-June, both prior to my interviews with Bill Lamb, were suddenly cancelled because of unforeseen “scheduling” issues even though the governor appeared on other radio shows earlier on those same days.
I look forward to July 11th to see if Governor Bevin and I can move past playground talk of lying liars and their lying lies and get back to talking about Kentucky’s executive and legislative agendas to improve the commonwealth.
When asked for comment on Matt Bevin’s latest YouTube video smackdown labeling Lamb a liar, WDRB’s leader replied: “Your tax dollars at work.” 🙂
There are lots of great things happening in Kentucky. Let’s laugh at silly sideshows but remain focused on much work ahead to move Kentucky forward, and whether Matt Bevin’s media wrangling is really a warmup for an even bigger job.
UPDATE ON JULY 11, 2017
Governor Matt Bevin did indeed show up on my radio show. In fact, he called at 5:05 and I told him that John Yarmuth was actually scheduled at that time so he could check back in 30 minutes later. He happily agreed and called back at the appointed time.
We did not discuss the dustup over media coverage in our private off-the-air exchanges or during the interview. Here is the complete radio audio.
The chasm widened between media and those in power + their supporters.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin responded to derision from certain media outlets that are routinely ignored by the executive branch. Louisville’s Courier-Journal and Lexington’s Herald Leader are both named in Bevin’s new Facebook video (below).
Bevin says “a handful” of (what he considers) negative media people “are like cicadas…not serious journalists.” He claims their out-of-state owners engage in tabloid journalism so he wants to communicate directly with constituents via social media, radio shows, and smaller newspapers.
Bevin expects newspapers to tout “extraordinary business developments…but you wouldn’t know it” by reading their news stories.
The Herald Leader slammed my interview work in a recent editorial. Individual media people who consider themselves impartial watchdogs, although their social media pages illustrate their fierce loyalty to liberal politics, have referenced me as a lap dog for conducting civil conversation interviews.
It’s what I’ve always done with Democrats, Republicans, and the apolitical. We just talk. That’s what a talk show host does best, gets out of the way and lets the subject tell her/his story unedited and without grandstanding spin by the presenter.
A talk show host is not running a congressional investigation or debate. The talk show host presents a showcase for both sides of an issue with ongoing dialogue. Not one of the traditional “journalists” who scoff at my interviews with Matt Bevin have raised a complaint about my regular interviews with Democrats John Yarmuth, Andy Beshear, or former Governor Steve Beshear (who is on tomorrow’s show).
Media teams are made up of individuals with personal biases. Publications, web news sites, broadcast news departments and even Facebook take on a centralized personality built on history, management, and the most dominant voices on the team.
Most American media teams have a decidedly liberal slant. Consumers feel the temperature of media product almost instantly, and titles matter. Note how many self-described “objective” news organizations quickly label a news subject as “conservative” but rarely refer to a person as liberal. They’re just regular people.
When a politician is in trouble, note the placement of their party affiliation in a story. If it’s a Democrat, it won’t happen before the 10th paragraph. If it’s a Republican, that’s the first word of the story.
People think they know my politics. Some reading this blog post are CONVINCED that I am a conservative. Others hear my radio show and come to the exact opposite conclusion.
The truth is that I am a media fan. Politics bore me. I want our media business to thrive and not become a cheer squad for the Democrat party. All ideas matter. Diversity of thought bears a healthier republic.
Here is my most recent chat with Republican Gov. Bevin on Louisville’s outrageous murder rate, and multiple questions about his controversial home purchase.
Here is my most recent chat with Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear on Bevin’s claims of corruption by the earlier Beshear administration and on the controversial Bevin home purchase.
After the death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, a writer from Rolling Stone (a bastion of credibility) wrote the most scathing obituary ever penned. Of course, it’s rooted in hatred of conservatives by a liberal writer.
Taibbi: Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever – Rolling Stone https://t.co/Y1bX3jPXKu
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) May 18, 2017
This is indicative of the attack dog nature of today’s political discourse. If a show host or writer refuses to snarl and denigrate an interview subject, then attack dog people demean the questioner as a lap dog.
Bevin is correct about the failing business model of traditional media. As the Herald Leader points out, a politician’s video with, say, 25,000 views is scant reach for a statewide population of 4 million. However, newspaper and traditional TV/radio use is still in steep decline as much of its customer base dies. Social media is the primary information stream of millennials and generations to follow. Bevin’s move matches reality.
Newspapers and most TV networks do not hide their political persuasion any longer. Here’s the way The Courier-Journal was delivered on Election Day 2014. The CJ’s management had no problem selling the front page wraparound ad to the candidate they had endorsed to defeat longtime incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell.
Objective watchdogs? Yeah, sure. If a Democrat is running, it’s prominently placed above-the-fold.
Universally loathed Republican David Williams gambles on his own dime during private time? Front page, baby!
Former Courier-Journal political reporter turned columnist Joe Gerth can now use his opinion in public. Gerth fired back at Bevin’s beatdown of the CJ, noting that Bevin is a transplant and Louisville’s largest employers are not locally owned. Gerth’s response fails to mention the Courier’s rapidly dwindling employee count, and its management’s tendency to give paltry or zero pay to contributing freelance writers.
Are the Courier Journal and Lexington Herald Leader biased in favor of Democrats and liberals on an ongoing basis? Of course they are.
Research it for yourself. Call up the front pages from the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. What is the general nature of each story? Does the headline match the tenor of the story or is it tabloid overstatement? Is the story negative or positive?
You already know the results.
Now do the same 100 day search from 2009 during the first few months of the presidency of Barack Obama. See any difference?
People will shout “But Trump’s crazy actions brought all of this on his administration!”
So then go back and review the front pages of the first 100 days of George W. Bush’s first term in 2001 and see if it more closely matches the flavor of the Obama stories or today’s Trump stories.
There’s your answer.
To fully verify the pattern, scan Bill Clinton’s first one hundred days coverage from 1993. Amazing how that works!
An obviously biased traditional media, overwhelmingly favorable to liberal causes, must FIRST work at not losing even more credibility by being hoaxed. It is the gullible sheep that is first in line for slaughter.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is not shy in his radio appearances. I’ve had conversations with Mr. Bevin since his 2013 senate primary challenge to incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Gov. Bevin and I usually go long form on a variety of issues. This time we talked about Saturday Night Live’s skewering of Kentuckians, expected tax overhaul plans, alleged political corruption by both parties, and secrecy surrounding the governor’s new Anchorage home.
A few members of the media took offense to a comment Bevin made about Courier-Journal Frankfort bureau chief Tom Loftus. I spoke with Loftus about it the next morning and he simply laughed off the governor’s dig.
— Mike Trautmann (@Trautguy) April 12, 2017
— Al Cross (@ruralj) April 12, 2017
— Joe Gerth (@Joe_Gerth) April 12, 2017
— Ronnie Ellis (@cnhifrankfort) April 13, 2017