take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« Rushbaugh and Shannity's ratings take a dive | Main | Sparky speaks: week 5 of testing... and they cut my pay. »

May 25, 2011


It appears to many that when a KUOW host has control of a public radio show for decades, he comes to feel that the program is his to do with what he likes, rather than the public's. It is his show, not theirs.

Well, no, actually, Scher answers to a program director. And it doesn't take decades - from day one of any show, the content is controlled by the station and the PD, not by the public.

Even if there were any evidence that the public wants to hear Mass's off-topic rants (and there's not), the final say, always, is with the station.

There's plenty to criticize KUOW for; I find most of their programming unlistenably stodgy. But it obviously works for them and their many listeners. That's their decision - not his. If he's so enamored with all that new-fangled social media stuff, he should use it, and leave KUOW alone.


So every Friday as Mass drove to the KUOW studios, he ruminated on how unresponsive to the public this radio station had become, that he was about to be heard on? Those remarks are in poor taste any way you look at it. When you take benefit from an activity, you lose the right to denounce it later.

And he's just plain wrong. KUOW gets funding from listeners, and if they played heavy metal music all day, surely all the old ladies who donate their SS checks would be driven away. The misnomer is in calling it "public" radio, because it must cater to pledgers, not the public at large. Sure, the pledgers are members of the public, but not all of the public are pledgers.

That's why I'm upset that NPR is one the road to losing govt. funding, because I want them to answer to the broad public, not the demographic that's most likely to pledge. Shortsighted people like Luke Burbank who say "NPR doesn't need govt. money anyway" so see the big picture. Money in the pot isn't just money in the pot; it came from someone, and that someone expects to get something in return.


I agree that KUOW's daytime offerings are boring and not worth listening to. It would be nice if they did more, interesting local stuff, but I would take more national stuff over what they do put on.

That being said, KUOW programs what, I assume gets them pledges. I might not like it, but the ratings would say that many people do. More than Rush or most anyone else around. Personally, if I want something in the background, I'll go with KPLU and jazz, but I assume KUOW puts on what gets them ears and dollars.

Still, Mass has no right to complaint. He was brought on to do one thing, he wanted to do another, and the editor/program director/host didn't like it. That's called life. I'm pretty sure any one I've written for would be pissed if I just went off on my own and didn't do what I was asked. Stop complaining. You didn't fit, you are out. Ask Christopher Walken how he liked playing Hans Solo.

The sad thing is just a decade ago, KVI or KTTH would have picked up for something. Hell, in the 90's, he probably have the old Bryan Suits slot. And be more interesting. If Conservatives want to complain about a lack of voices, start with your own house, which has almost entirely killed off local talk.


Cliff has no intention of going away quietly, Bla'M. On his blog he says:

"PS: My next blog will include some observations about the nature of local public radio and its relationship with its listeners. I will suggest that there are serious issues well beyond my situation and that the large response reflects some deep-seated concerns of KUOW listeners.

PSS: Some station management of KUOW have started a misinformation campaign, putting information on Facebook and other web sites that are demonstrably false. I will describe this in my next blog. Coverups and misinformation campaigns frequently get people and organizations into worse trouble than the initial mistake. I find it extraordinary that a professional communications organization is doing such a bad job in handling this situation. "

When you see "PSS" you know it is SERIOUS.


And this kids is why we don't make a public spectacle out of firing on air talent.

I agree that KUOW seems sloppy in their PR efforts despite being in the business of public communications. Commercial stations have made a high art of controversial changes such as firing on air personalities, reformatting a station and down playing on air gaffes.

KIRO can replace Frank Shiers with John Curley, who has a show named for himself, and then only show up maybe two or three nights a week, and everyone acts like everything is happy and wonderful to the benefit of all.

Then you have KUOW tripping over itself, letting this guy rant for three years before deciding to let him go, and making a public spectacle out of the whole thing, seemingly embarrassing Cliff Mass and causing him to go this nutball rampage.

I've always felt that NPR stations are amature compared to commercial stations because they aren't under the same kind of pressure to perform and improve, and as a result they're all around much less sophisticated, and I think this is a perfect example of that. On the one hand you have Dori driving people too see a cat play a keyboard on his MyNorthwest blog, and then you have KUOW with a stale website that serves as little more than a door stop.


Now he's a public radio programmer.
Quincy started sloughing-off on autopsies to go on crusades. Maybe he has a Dr Astin who will yell at him to get back to work.

Cliff Mass

Mr. Blather,
Please! Lets keep to the facts. First, I was invited by the Stranger to write that piece..didn't shop it around as you suggest. And your comment "And they sure as shit don't have to put up with a contributor who won't talk about the subject he's there for." is just wrong. I reached an agreement with Steve not to talk about education issues three years ago and NEVER did. I mean never. These segments were all ONLY weather. Don't believe it? The archive segments are there. Calling names like egomaniac, etc, is really pretty rude. But I am glad you agree with my conclusions about KUOW--that station needs some freshening. Perhaps that is one good thing that will come out of this completely silly and unnecessary situation, one in which the listeners are the victims...please, no name calling in your response!...cliff


You want to rant about non weather, Mr. Mass? Then get a blog. Otherwise by next week no one who listens to KUOW will give a shit anymore. You'll be forgotten.


Education issues can also be regarded as support for more out of state tuition students. C'mon Massy, it's their station, not yours. I like your weather analysis but your ego doesn't know when to stop. Dori and you can have a field day on UW's time.


Oh yeah. Get a decent haircut. You look like a hornets nest.

jovita knows who won American Idol!

Hey Sparky, I watched Ed apologize over and over and over and I thought maybe he had run over someone with his car like Laura Bush did. And it turned out to be nothing as exciting as that!

And SoundMan, you show as much class as that Ingraham woman. Thats what ya get hanging out with the Fox types.


OK I found a podcast of Cliff going waaaay off topic, apparently without prior approval, and Steve Scher even mentioning that it's not a welcome interjection on his part:


Fireable offense? Most certainly. Did KUOW have to make it an open letter firing? Fuck no.


He speaks the truth - a rare commodity these days with the emotionally charged media. For those who are interested in a different perspective - see Sound Politics.


Is this "Sound Politics" the blog run by that guy with a lawyer wife who allegedly tips poorly?


Why don't you stay at Sound Politics, KS? You fit in over there. You're outclassed here.

Taking Mass at his word . . . I don't know. I never heard him. But I don't like his activism in the area of math and education. He wants old math back and old math doesn't work for a lot of kids.

Jovita! What did Ed apologize for? I really, really want to know. Por favor . . .

KUOW - best thing on it is syndicated: Tavis Smiley. Love that guy's show. Bet none of you have even heard it.


Tavis Smiley, yes, count me as a listener.


Where have have you been, Zim? We've needed some good lefties on this blog.




Joanie, I’ve noticed many likeminded humans at this blog lately. Many, smarter than the average lefty. Very fine indeed.


Yes, reading the blog lately has been a pleasure. Finally.

BTW, Zim, you ever listen to Sirota?


haYes, poding. I started by your suggestion here.

To bed, rising early…


Tavis is a fairly desperate attempt to darken up the lineup. I love that KUOW bumps their beloved BBC on Fridays for Smiley. But objectively, he's unlistenable. Which reminds me Michael :"further entrenchment of the old white guys."
! Really! Who do you THINK listens to NPR? The US Census just reconfirmed what we all know: Seattle is one of the whitest towns in America. Why deny it? KUOW's management and lineup reflects it's community.
And all this kvetching about the weather guy? Seriously, anything about Ed Schulz and his civility?


Seattle is definately not the whitest city in the US. In fact, if you want to find any "white cities" anywhere in the US, you'll have to look out in the sticks. Places like Sammamish.

Tavis sounds pretty black as black programming goes, but I don't for a second believe that actual black people go out of their way to tune into his show which is completely surrounded by very not-black programming.

What I don't like about his show is what I don't like about BET, that it's more about blackness than it is "content of character". Sure, his guests have content to their characters, but it just so happens that 95% of his guests, give or take, are black, or half black, or somehow black. Are we to believe they're there strictly based on their content value?

It is reverse racism. What such a mostly-black show implies is that black people need dedicated venues because traditional venues aren't giving black people equal time. I see no evidence that this is true, and it's most likely a perceived disparity. Tavis has apparently set up a medium in which whites don't get equal time. It's an unproven assertion of unfairness.

What I think is funny is that NPR's white listenership probably puts up with the whole hour of Tavis' black interest programming due to "white guilt", and think they're eating their metaphorical vegetables by hearing him out.


KUOW's not the one who made it an "open firing". Mr. Mass broke the news on his blog.

And what's up with him above saying he NEVER talked about education on his weather feature? His own statements contradict that, as does the sound clip Andrew provided. Does he need a medical checkup?


Nahhh, he's a weather guy...


KS: By different perspective, you mean lies and propaganda? Heck, people over there still claim that their was election tampering by Democrats in King County, even though that was disproved in court over six years ago.


KS: By different perspective, you mean lies and propaganda? Heck, people over there still claim that their was election tampering by Democrats in King County, even though that was disproved in court over six years ago.

Posted by: JDB | May 26, 2011

Yeah, you have been on SP enough to see you've been ridiculed exactly as you project your adversaries to be by Pudge, et.al. A predictable trick of the lib progs - you project well. It's easier to bullshit people over here than at SP.

It is a known fact in the alternative media and even written the Seattle Times that ACORN tampered with the voter registrations in previous elections in King County, even if it wasn't proven by the inept Repuglicans - that info came out later. Why was King County rated one of the 5 most corrupt counties for elections in 2005 ? It wasn't the Diebold machines or the Republicans that elevated them - it was your party, the Dems. So why don't you and the rank and file wear it proud - that you and your union cohorts were successful in swaying the close elections in King County instead of denying it ? The party leaders know it in the bowels of the State DC, but the owness is for the accusers to prove it and it will likely rear its head again. Rules for Radicals by Alinsky can't be wrong.

This is stale stuff, but it won't go away either, even by attempts to rewrite history.


"Why don't you stay at Sound Politics, KS? You fit in over there. You're outclassed here.'

Posted by: joanie

I have the freedom to blog where I want. I happen to find the stuff on this blog interesting and know that I am being a thorn in your side. You are sitting on your class, Joanie.

Why don't you try Sound Politics once in a while instead of making up stuff about being there or just admit you are akin to their views ? Your actions speak louder than your comments.


You still believe the made up story about Acorn? Really? Even after Lil' James admitted to heavy editing?


No made up story - sparkles. Nice try - Keep trotting out that obfuscation about O'Keefe from the propagandists at Media matters - it has nothing to do with what happened here in the past long before the ACORN sting - they have been convicted in local courts for illegal voter registration here, so you are making up stuff.

You really should get your head out of the leftist media comfort zone and read the truth for a change.

Puget Sound Blathers

if the story was made up, why'd the Democratic controlled congress essentially defund Acorn?

Puget Sound Blathers

Why don't you try Sound Politics once in a while instead of making up stuff about being there or just admit you are akin to their views ? Your actions speak louder than your comments.

Posted by: KS | May 26, 2011 at 07:12 PM

hey KS
last time Joanie ventured over to SP, Pudge deconstructed her arguments and she had to pull the Seattle Scamper.
Duff had quite a laugh over it.
better for her to stay in the warm shallow waters of Blather. the current at SP is a little too swift for her.


“King County rated one of the 5 most corrupt counties for elections in 2005 ?”

Posted by: KS | May 26, 2011 at 06:47 PM

KS, where did you come about this salacious information? What publication is it listed? Or is this a lie?


Google it - 2005 either in the Seattle Times or another on-line publication, instead of being an ignorant doofus who doesn't know what they are talking about.


Rated by whom? Juggs Magazine? The Rossi/Eyeman Center for Politics? The Diebold Foundation?


Anyone have the guts to check out google for voter fraud corruption in King County ? zzzzzzzz- thought so...


I clicked on the google link and it showed a 2000 picture of John Roberts and John Bolton yelling at Florida election workers trying to count ballots.


yeah, right - tell us another tall tale.

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    • KIRO 710ESPN Seattle 710 KHz
      Games and sports-blabber
    • KIROFM 97.3
      Multi-format: news and nearly all local talk. This is where classic KIRO AM news talk radio went... hopefully, not to die. The home of Dave Ross & Luke Burbank, Dori Monson, Ron & Don, Frank Shiers, Bill Radke, Linda Thomas, Tony Miner and George Noory.
    • KUOW FM 94.9
      Seattle's foremost public radio news and talk.
    • KVI am 570 KHz
      Visit the burnt-out husk of one of the seminal right-wing talkers in all the land. Here's where once trilled the reactionary tones of Rush Limbaugh, John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, Mike Siegel, Peter Weissbach, Floyd Brown, Dinky Donkey, and Bryan Suits. Now it's Top 40 hits from the '60's & '70's aimed at that diminishing crowd who still remembers them and can still hear.
    • KTTH am 770 KHz
      Right wing home of local, and a whole bunch of syndicated righties such as Glennn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larsony, and for an hour a day: live & local David Boze.
    • KPTK am 1090 KHz
      Syndicated liberal talk. Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Norman Goldman fill in the large hole to the left on Northwest radio dial.
    • KLFE AM 1590 kHz
      Syndicated right-wing 2nd stringers like Mark Levin, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt inhabit this timid-voiced neighbor honker for your radio enjoyment (unless you're behind something large like Costco).
    • KOMOAM
      News, traffic, Ken Schram and John Carlson.
    • Washington State Radio Stations
      Comprehensive list of every danged AM & FM station on the dial.
    • KKOL am 1300 KHz
      Once a rabid right-wing talker, except for Lou Dobbs, it's all business....