It was all tied up after yesterday’s vote to decertify (read bust) the union (AFTRA) from KIRO radio. With a handful of votes in dispute that could throw the NLRB election in either direction, nobody knows what’s next.
Petitioner for decertification was overnight talker Lou Pate, (Mon-Fri, 1-5a) who hasn’t returned blatherWatch’s emails for this piece. He’s one of those fuck-you conservatives, who pulls down some of the highest ratings at KIRO. But he's relatively harmless because he’s on at such weird hours that few hear him--many Entercomers didn’t know he even worked there.
They do now. And management must have loved this little revolution boiling up from the bottom with hopes of totally removing the union from the station.
It’s been a bitter and highly-charged atmosphere at the embattled newstalk station, still stinging after its last record-poor ratings period. Staffers weighed their options in what’s been described as “barking debates,” around the newsroom.
A former Entercomer writes, “It's up to the staff to keep the union strong, they've been lazy and antagonistic toward each other, rather than providing a united front.”
Liberal Dave Ross, (KIRO m-f, 3-6p) wrote an eloquent memo defending a union shop; progressive Erin Hart is said to have favored the union as well.
KTTH’s Mike Siegel, who, if need be, can be conservative in the morning and liberal in the afternoon, flew in from reporting the undo Gregoire trial in Wenatchee just to vote. We’re not sure where his heart was for the day.
This should be a slam dunk issue for a liberal: union shop good, scab shop bad. Right? So most mysterious was the stance of Mike Webb (m-f, 9p-1a) who describes himself as a “liberal with a capital L.”
His off-air behavior often differs from his radical lefty talk show personna.
Webb worked very hard to help Pate’s efforts to bust the union, writing two anti-union memos to fellow employees. Just last week, Webb ranted on-air for hours about how “stakeholders” are more deserved of reward than “stockholders.” That's socialist boilerplate, but we now know that while he was saying all that, he was beating on the fingers of workers trying to hold on to their stakes.
Webb is, should we say, complicated; or might we say, hypocritical? He labels other people yuppies, yet drives a new black Lexus. He rails against corporations, yet makes a very good living from one of the largest media corporations and fights hard against collective bargaining rights for his fellow “stakeholders.”
A staffer says, “It was the most blatant management ass-kissing effort I've ever seen by Webb...he often refused to pay his [union] dues, but was the first to seek protection every time he got himself in trouble.”
Does this sound like a capital L liberal or a capital B bullshitter?
Webb is also gay with a capital G, which makes you wonder about his night after nightly plugs for energy drink RockStar. His repeated mentions can be translated into marketing dollars directly into the pockets of one of the most virulent and well-known homophobes in the country.
An ace blatherWatcher sent us a link to another revealing salon.com piece, America's Laziest Fascist by Dave Gilson (You don't need to subscribe to Salon to see this article, click on "Day Pass", watch a brief ad and read on.) about race baiting, queer-bashing, Michael Savage (KTTH m-f, 3-6p) and his entrepreneurial, homophobic son Russell Goldencloud Weiner’s promotion of their herbal drink RockStar, a liver-cleansing formula supposedly to help imbibers "party like a rock star."
Webb can’t plead ignorance: this article has been on the Net for over a year. It describes a crazy $100-a-head event in Concord, CA billed as “Savage Uncensored,” where, according to Gilson, young Weiner introduced his dad by asking,"’Who's heterosexual and proud?...If you're not, hopefully you will be soon!’ Before handing the stage over to the man he called 'our leader,' he advised the audience how to handle his hot-tempered dad: ‘Let him know you love him!’"
Read the hilarious article to hear how Michael Savage drunkenly deconstructs in front of 5000 paying fans.
Savage’s TV show was kicked off MSNBC after just four months a couple of years ago when he lost his temper and called a gay caller a “sodomite” and wished him death by AIDS. He also advocates nuking the Middle East. Here’s a sample from the salon.com piece: "I don't give a damn if they hide behind their women's skirts, wipe the women out with them! Because it's our women who got killed on 9/11! And it's our women who are gonna get killed tomorrow unless we get rid of the bugs who are destroying us!"
This is the company Webb keeps and enriches by pushing RockStar.
The disparity between Webb’s actions and words is a glaring example of what’s always to be remembered about talk radio--it’s a business first. Ratings are Job One and cynical professionals like Webb can be counted upon to oppose, favor--do whatever it takes--to get the ratings that brings home the smoked pigmeat.