Monday, August 05, 2002

Talk Radio Roundup

While listening to WDIA's Bobby O'Jay Fun Morning Show I heard a tidbit that I was unaware of. It turns out that if you are a Memphis cop or firefighter and call in sick that someone will come around to your home, ostensibly to pay you a "courtesy call." But the "real" reason is to make sure that you really are sick! Can anyone back this up?

Speaking of WDIA and Bobby O'Jay, although I missed the actual call on Friday I heard the uproar later, and today. O'Jay noted, as did many others, that City Mayor Dr. Herenton was hard to spot at County Mayor-to-be Wharton's victory rally. O'Jay, spotting Mayor Dr. Herenton way in the back, joked that he looked like a "stalker." Herenton called the station and, on the air, twice called the joke "bullshit." He wasn't the only angry one. I heard one caller use the "m--f--" word, on air. O'Jay did his best with the situation, but didn't want to go to delay or screening calls. It spoke poorly of his callers and audience, as he himself observed. O'Jay observed today, Monday, that he and the Mayor Dr. were cool about it, though he, O'Jay, regretted the Mayor's on-air cursing.

Finally, over on WREC, I'll go out on a short limb and predict that Topic One on today's Mike Fleming show will be this letter to the Editor in Sunday's Commercial Appeal. Seems the truly execrable Mike Fleming opened his Wednesday show with an "It's all over! You don't need to vote." harangue because pollster Steven Ethridge noted that AC Wharton was a sure win. Here are the first and last paragraphs.

Polls my company did for The Commercial Appeal and my interpretation
that George Flinn's campaign for Shelby County mayor was over (July
26 article, ''Wharton's lead widens as Flinn ads boomerang") did not
affect the outcome of the election, as radio talk show host Mike Fleming
and some of his call-in guests vehemently accused me and this
newspaper of trying to do...

Responsible journalism reports the truth of what is happening at any
given time, based on reliable evidence. That is arguably nobler than a
radio talk show host who incites small groups of people - who do not
represent the population as a whole - to increase his listening audience
for the purpose of selling more advertising.

Well, I do think the newspaper does try to influence the election. Daily and vigorously. But he nails Fleming dead to rights.

Now watch, or rather listen, to Fleming work himself up into a lather over this non-event.

At least WREC carries Phil Valentine starting at 6PM. That means good talk radio and one less hour of Fleming!

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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