Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Smoke Blowing and Flame Throwing

The MN GOP convention is this weekend and the highly competitive endorsement for Governor promises to be the primary drama of the event.  To provide a preview, who better than long time media personality and conservative Cyndy Brucato?  From her regular perch at the liberal news site Minn Post:

[Dave Thompson’s]  from Republican-rich Lakeville. He appeals to the party’s influential Liberty wing. He’s an attorney and a good speaker who can match Dayton’s intellect. But his days as a radio talk show host offer ample fodder for Democrats who are drooling at the chance to remind voters of Thompson’s flame-throwing past.

Either Dave Thompson did a secret stint as a toy soldier model in the 1970s, or Cyndy Brucato doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.

If Dave Thompson had a problem on talk radio, it was that he was too responsible in his rhetoric and topic choices.  He sublimated entertainment for dense, substantive argument, week after week after methodical, grueling week.  In the history of conservative talk radio in the Twin Cities, which is nearly devoid of anyone you can rightly characterize as a "flame thrower," Dave Thompson is the most responsible and mellow exemplar of the medium.  I doubt that there was a single segment of a show that could be considered “flame throwing” let alone characterizing his entire career that way.  Brucato’s use of this blanket stereotype for anyone associated with talk radio doesn’t speak well for her level of awareness or journalistic judgment.  Unfortunately, this should provide ample fodder for critics who are drooling to remind readers of Brucato’s vapid, TV news anchoring past.

Some Google research indicates Brucato isn’t alone in her resort to this cheap and easy analysis.  No less of a sage observer than "Two Put Tommy" said this in 2012:

Long story, short: for over 7 years, Thompson was a RWNJ Shock-Jock on AM radio in the Twin Cities.

Shock jock, it’s true, before there was Opie and Anthony and Howard Stern, there was Dave Thompson and AM Radio Shock Jock Hugh Hewitt.  It’s like a continuum of hate.  Not based on tone or content, mind you, but they WERE all on the radio.  The medium is the message, guilty as charged!  (Just don't tell that to Garrison Keillor or Al Franken.)

The root cause of this Thompson character assassination appears to stem from way back in 2007, at this deservedly obscure and irresponsible blog:

Things may be improving for the Twins on the field of late, but it looks like there are some disturbing trends in the broadcast booth:
"[Manager Ron Gardenhire] met with team President Dave St. Peter on Saturday, expressing frustration with comments made on KSTP following Friday's game. Talk host Dave Thompson, who came on after the Twins' postgame show, made reference to the 10-game suspension Rincon received in May 2005 for violating baseball's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and suggested Rincon hasn't been the same.
"It's been talked about, and it's being addressed," Gardenhire said. "We've had our say with our president, and he's going to take care of it. He's going to talk to them. "They're supposed to be with us. And some of the things that were said were uncalled for and wrong."
What do the Twins expect when they leave their long time broadcast partner WCCO to link up with a station employing notorious shock jocks like Dave Thompson?

Good luck to Dave Thompson this weekend, in his fight for the gubernatorial endorsement and, more importantly, in overcoming this kind of prejudice which still festers in our society.  I have a dream that one day candidates will be judged on the content of their character and not the off-color nature of their previous career choices.