Tinfoil Rising

To lefties, conservative talk radio just can’t be an organic success.  There just can’t be a demand for it.  There just has to be some shadowy conspiracy – a “Scaifenet” – slipping envelopes full of Jacksons to inveigle radio stations to run the stuff.

In the most risible bit of “investigation” since Joe Bodell went all Chloe O’Brien on True North a few years back, “Jimmy Olson” from Minnesota  Progressive  Project is – shhhhhhh! – onto something:

I’ve been doing a bit of digging after getting an anonymous tip that NARN may be paying for their radio time (and not disclosing it), or that townhall.com pays for it.

Now, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention for the past eighty years or so, let me give you a quick remedial course on Radio Programming; let’s call the course “Radio Programming For The Utterly Ignorant”.

There are four types of programming in commercial radio:

  1. Programs The Station Owns – Think programs like Joe Soucheray.  They provide programming for the station; the station pays them as long as the ratings justify it (or, in the case of Tom Mischke, sometimes when they don’t).  It’s a traditional employer-employee relationship, only (I say this from a career’s worth of experience) more mercurial.
  2. Network Programs – These are provided by a third-party production company, and provide their programming to stations; sometimes they charge the stations for the right to play the show (this is National Public Radio’s model); others provide the show for free, but get advertising slots for their networks on the affiliates’ stations during the shows.  The most famous example of this is Rush Limbaugh – who is free to all of his affiliates, in exchange for eight minutes of ad time per hour, which is sold to national advertisers (for amazing prices, because Limbaugh dominates the industry and gets spectacular ratings).  Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, Fast Eddie Schultz, Jason Lewis, Art Bell – they all use the same model. They draw their salaries from the networks – as long as they draw the ratings, systemwide.
  3. “Brokered” Talk – In this example, a broadcaster “rents” airtime from a station (or several stations), either because they believe that strongly in getting their message out, or because they think they can turn around and sell enough ad time to recoup the investment (not always financially, or (often, in talk radio) some combination of the above.  The Taxpayers’ League Live was an example of this. So was “Talk Education”, which I used to co-host on KYCR.  Auto Talk on KSTP?  Ask the Veterinarian on Air America Minnesota?  Most of your “Ask the Lawyer” and “Ask the Financial Planner” shows?  All pretty much the same thing.  Sometimes the goal is to just get a show some time, which might not otherwise get picked up by a station (see #1, above).  Note that the entire Air American lineup, for the network’s first several years, was “brokered” in New York, Chicago and LA (until the checks started bouncing).
  4. Commercials – These can be short-form commercials – :30 to :60 second “spots” dropped into commercial breaks during any of the types of shows above.  They can also be “infomercials” – entire half-hours, hours, or longer.  They can be distinguised from regular programming by the observation that they’re trying to sell you something, and the station is getting paid good money to broadcast it at all.

Now, “Jimmy Olson’s” opening graf might make you ask: which is the Northern Alliance Radio Network?

It’s simple.  We are #1 – only without the money.  And when I say “without the money”, I mean yeah, we get a few bucks here and there; when I do a commercial for someone, we’re getting a little money – called a “talent fee”, believe it or not.  You can tell when this is happening, because the voice of Mitch Berg (or Ed Morrissey, or King, or whomever) is trying to sell you a product or service, as opposed to talking about politics.  But we get no salary from Salem, from WWTC Radio (AM, from Townhall.com, or from anyone else.  We never have.
We’ve also never paid for airtime at WWTC.  The “Sponsors” we announce every week – Thompson, Keegans, whomever?  They pay to put ads on our show, which is the only money that the station makes directly off of us.
Now, what if “Jimmy” is right – that I write a check every month to WWTC, or Townhall did?  Well, we’d be under no more obligation to disclose it than Stephanie Miller is to tell you her salary.
If we were paying for our airtime – like, say, Health Insights, heard on Air America Minnesota, not that anyone cares since more people will learn about it via this post than will listen to it in a given week – we’d also be under no more obligation to tell anyone about it, since it’s a program, and there’s no real business requirement to tell people that you’re paying for your time.

Now, if you’re paid to give plugs for medical products, or for political candidates, and a few other things, there are ethical rules involved.  We’ll come back to that.

The bad news is, nobody – with a few exceptions – is required  to say “Somone is paying for this airtime”.

The good news is, anyone who can pony up a few hundred or thousand bucks – and convince a station that you won’t scare off the rest of their audience – can rent the time to host a talk show!

Which brings us to the part of “Jimmy Olson’s” investigation that really cuts to the chase:

Here’s (with redactions to protect identities) a letter I got back from Salem Communications re my queries about buying airtime:

———————————-
Good Morning ********,

My name is ********** and I am an Account Executive here at Salem Comm, Twin Cities and ********** asked me to follow up and get you any information you need. We do sell programming on our stations both on the National and Local level.

Here’s something you may be very interested in…..  Effective Monday, March 30, we are transitioning our KYCR AM1570 station to an all-business format.

Hey, that’s right – tune in to AM1570’s new BizRadio lineup, starting today!

And yep; some of the time will be “brokered” (see #3, above).

This next bit, though, Jimmy?

Also, If you could have your friend who is up here in Minnesota call me, I can get them any information they need as well..

So you lied about who you were?

I took the additional step of calling this contact, identifying myself as a journalist,…

Another lie about who you are! Dude – I’ll call you a journalist.  But you gotta call me “Admiral” first.

and asking if he’d “go on record” to confirm the tip.

“Tip?”

“Jimmy”!  Slapnuts!  It’s a sales pitch!  Salem makes money from brokering out time on all three of its Twin Cities stations (AM1280, AM1570 and AM980).

He declined but used interesting language. He asked if we were attempting to “nail them,” meaning townhall.com.

Wrong!

“He” did not mean Townhall.com!  Salem Twin Cities’ sales staff do not represent Townhall.  Salem Radio owns WWTC/KYCR/KKMS, and they own Townhall; the only place they come together is on the stations’ websites, which are centralized.  And of course the podcasts, which Townhall distributes.  That’s it.

I answered frankly that I just wanted information on disclosure and if that was all it takes to “nail” them then yes, that is what I was doing.

Most informercials start with the disclaimer “the following is paid programming.” As far as I know townhall.com-subsidized shows don’t have a similar intro. They are in multiple markets, not just MN.

The call ended pleasantly and he promised to have others there call me to answer my questions.

I’ll let you know if that happens!

So here is what “Jimmy Olson” brings you:

  1. An “anonymous tip” that someone out there is “paying” AM1280 to broadcast the Northern Alliance.   Nope.  Isn’t true.  Has never been true.  Nobody has ever paid AM1280 to air the Northern Alliance, directly or indirectly.  The station and Salem “pay” an opportunity cost, arguably – they could sell those six hours to infomercials; they choose to use that time to market the station locally, broadcasting local, entertaining, successful programming.  And it is succesful; our ratings (Ed and I dominate our time slot against KSTP, WCCO and KTLK; John, Brian, King and the Stroms are all very competitive) make the “investment” more than worth it.  If it didn’t, would the station have invested five years’ worth of valuable air time in us?
  2. A email and a conversation with a Salem Account Exec saying that, yes, Salem rents airtime to people.  This is a big scoop.  And if you want to play “journalist” and get that scoop yourself, you can go to the Salem website, email the Sales department, and buy yourself some air-time too – presuming that you’re either conservative (AM1280), Christian (AM980) or know a lot about business (AM1570).  The upside; you’ll be every bit as much a “journalist” as “Jimmy Olson”; the downside – it’s really not that big a rush.

And that’s it.
So let’s go back to the top; Jimmy Olson’s claim that an “anonymous tipsters” told him “NARN may be paying for their radio time (and not disclosing it), or that townhall.com pays for it”.

What has “Jimmy’s” “story” given you?  Other than the impression the “lad” has delusions of grandeur (“Hello! I’m a journalist!”), a sales pitch, and a tip-off that the guy doesn’t know jack about Radio?

Nothing.

Here is the story, the whole story, and nothing but the story; nobody pays for the NARN.  There are exactly two “highly-placed sources”on this story; Salem Twin Cities’ General Manager John Hunt, who lets us use his air time, and yours truly.  Me.  Mitch Berg. The guy who hatched the original idea for the Northern Alliance Radio Network, and pitched it to the station, as well as my good friends John, Scott, Brian, Chad, Atomizer, JB, Ed, King and Michael.

So on the one hand, “Jimmy Olson’s” story is – I think I’m justified in saying this – a crock of bulls**t.

On the other hand, “Jimmy” can now take his place beside Grace “9/11 was an inside job!” Kelly in the pantheon of great Minnesota Progressive Project “journalists”.

UPDATE: Behold, “Jimmy Olson”:

“Igotmyreasons” is a guy named Fred Gates.  He’s from New York, and I don’t know much about him, except that he was a fellow guest on Marty Owings’ now-defunct “Radio Free Nation”; Mom always said if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all, so I’ll keep my counsel, except to note that “Jimmy”/Fred was completely unable to carry on a political discussion on RFN without hyperpersonalizing it (with me or anyone else, according to several of the other guests with whom I’ve spoken), and has been carrying on a rather curious little vendetta against me on Twitter and his “blog” and BlogTalkRadio “show” for a while now.

Wooooh!  Scary!

And while everyone involved is more or less anonymous, I will assume (and note the assumption) that “MNProgressive” is Eric “Big E” Pusey, of the MPP. Mr. Pusey is apparently soliciting Mr. Gates’ unsourced, un-true “story” for the Minnesota Progressive Project, without knowing any of Gates’ substantiation for any of his claims (or, obviously, that no such substantiation exists).

And the “anonymous tip” is apparently Fred Gates’ assumption that someone just has to be paying the station to air us.

They just have to!
EPILOGUE:  I’ll cop to it.  I resort to more ridicule than I should when dealing with the MPP.  It’s not the better me speaking.  I tend to work the room I’m in; if I’m dealing with responsible, intelligent, capable liberal commentators, like Marty Owings, Charlie Quimby, Liberal In The Land of Conservative, most of the Uptake crew, or the MNPublius guys (except for Landry), I’m on my best behavior.  Dealing with shrieking ninnies like Grace Kelly, Two-Putt Tommy, Andy Driscoll or Fred Gates?  Well, let’s just say when in Rome, I do what the Romans do, to my occasional chagrin.  I will, and do, try to do better; to taunt less and prove more.

But in this case, the Romans are just plain dumb.  Seriously.

(And thanks to regular commenter Tolowen for the tip!)

EPI-EPILOGUE:  Fred “IGotMyReasons” Gates is apparently the same whackjob troll that Ed Morrissey wound up repeatedly banning from his old BlogTalkRadio show for being a depraved lunatic.

Well, Eric Pusey?  This is what you want “Minnesota Progressive Project” to be?

My comment section is open (which is more than one can say for yours, apparently).

EPI-EPI-EPILOGUE: I missed this the first time I read this:

Gates/”Olson”: Most informercials start with the disclaimer “the following is paid programming.”

That is something the station does to distinguish commercials from programming that is within its format!  It’s so that the audience doesn’t mix up commercial, off-format programming (say, a program on nutrition supplements on a political talk station) with the station’s actual programming.  It is a marketing, not legal or ethical, issue.

As far as I know townhall.com-subsidized shows don’t have a similar intro. They are in multiple markets, not just MN.

Townhall subsidizes absolutely no shows!  Townhall is a fully-owned subsidiary of Salem Communications, which also owns the Salem Radio Network.  Townhall is not in the radio business, and subsidizes no programing.

Fred/”Jimmy”, in addition, continues to claim that he has an “anonymous source” that has all the facts on this story.  Fred/”Jimmy” and his “source” has gotten every single fact in contention wrong (I said “in contention”; yes, you can rent airtime, although nobody’s doing it for the NARN) throughout this story. And now he’s backing and filling to cover his lies.

But here’s the deal; since your story has been debunked, then if you have an “anonymous source” (supposedly an “expert on the industry”), Fred/”Jimmy”, then either reveal “him” (which will be interesting, since “he” doesn’t exist),or corroborate “his” “statement”, or just crawl away.

61 thoughts on “Tinfoil Rising

  1. That guy really is clueless. Jack Van Impe Has been buying TV time slots from local stations around the country for decades. When I was a young ambitious wanna be film director, I thought about buying a half an hour to air a show on local TV… I just never got around to making the show.

    I kind of suspect that the MN Tax Payers League buys Strom’s slot. Otherwise he’d be an official Northern Alliance program.

  2. Oh Fred is one heck of a piece of work. He is so bad that Jazz and I even had to ban him from MidStream Radio.

    Cindy

  3. This is precisely why I gave up following (most) blogs. The only people that are bigger dumbasses than these people are the ones that actually take them seriously.

  4. Thank you, Mitch. That was a delight to read. If you’ll excuse me now, I have to throw another wad of $caifedollaz in the fireplace.

  5. The last time I heard anything about Scaife he was yukkin it up with Hillary Clinton, aka Obama’s Secretary of State.

  6. I wonder if I and Tony G had a hand in this with our old Race to the Right show on Patriot II (The Deuce, before the format change). We had to purchase time on the Deuce and used funding from some conservative non-profits to do it. It got picked up by one of the dumpster bloggers (I think, can’t remember) but didn’t really matter because we only did a few shows (and we were upfront about the whole thing when asked). Then we got picked up by KNSI in St. Cloud in a deal similar to the NARN situation, we did a free show. In the end it seems to me Mitch you put too much effort into this, not sure if your detractor/conspiracy theorist/tinfoil hat fool was worth the effort.

  7. Mitch you put too much effort into this, not sure if your detractor/conspiracy theorist/tinfoil hat fool was worth the effort.

    The fool (“Jimmy”/Fred) was never worth the effort.

    Pointing out to the casual reader that Minnesota Progressive Project is a lousy place to get reliable information (in the unlikely event that anyone does)? Still perhaps not “worth it” in a conventional sense, but heck, I had nothing else going on last night.

  8. Full disclosure: Mitch pays Angryclown $10,000 a month to comment on SitD.
    Dang! I get $50 per word with a content exemption. Expect more pithy parodies of clownish chain yanking.
    I may just have to get my agent to renegotiate that to a syllable-based rather than word-based remuneration. With a hyphen-adjustment, of course.

  9. On the post at MPP, 3 of the 4 comments are from the author. Is that the modern day version of talking to the voices in your head?

  10. Dave,

    He also put out like forty Twitter posts last night, backing up various versions of his “story”. Suddenly, his “anonymous commenter” is a radio expert who “wrote a book about Clear Channel”.

    I’m also told his obsession with me is getting unseemly; I have never heard his show or read his blog, but others tell me he’s getting just a tad creepy.

    Eric Pusey – THIS IS YOUR BLOG!

  11. Mitch, I think information like what you have posted here is ALWAYS worth the effort. There is far too little factual knowledge about the nuts and bolts of mass media available to the public, so the absence is filled with assumptions by many people.

    In a sort of perverse fashion, being targeted is a sort of testament to your effectiveness. If you weren’t reaching people, you’d be more likely to be ignored than paid this kind of attention.

    Just a thought – why not follow this creepy guy who is obsessing over you via Twitter, and post some more direct rebuttals via tweet, including info on this website. There are some interesting advantages to the direct approach…

    Well said/written! Keep up the good work!

  12. Full disclosure: Mitch pays Angryclown $10,000 a month to comment on SitD.

    That’s a bigger ripoff than when your chokin’ Mets gave Pedro Martinez a 4-year deal.

  13. Yeah this guy is confused. Salem has always sold time on KYCA and the Patriot, apart from their other advertising. Anybody who has listened to them for any length of time knows that. Before our show on Saturdays there is a cabin/resort show and a real estate show. Both are paid time.

    The Taxpayers League bought time originally (I think the David Strom Show started in 2002 or 3) in the same fashion that other people paid for time. In 2007 or 8 it was sponsored by the Free Market Institute. At the end of December, the contract with the MNFMI lapsed and we went looking for new sponsors and found the guys we have now who had a paid time show on KYCA for awhile. The NARN has always had a different deal. They don’t pay for their time because they are actually talent, in 2004, when the gig started they had the notoriety of being nationally known bloggers. They give their talent free in exchange for the time is how I’ve often thought of it. The station sells some advertising around them.

    Our show has always carried a sponsorship announcement of one kind or another at the beginning of each hour.

  14. Hi Mitch,

    The rumors of the death of RFN are NOT true. Radio Free Nation is not defunct my friend. As a matter of fact it is growing its audience and doing well in comparison to other Internet Radio programs and Indy News Sites. It is only the Saturday night program that is going to change.

    Maybe all that was necessary in this situation was a good healthy time out for everyone. As I wrote in my email to the Co-Hosts last week, this show was trying to bring very divergent opinions together for an intelligent, engaging discussion of politics and issues of the day. We tried and for now at least it just wasn’t working out with our current mix of Panelist/Co-Hosts.

    That’s not to say we couldn’t “figure it out” down the line.

    I’d always hoped we could get along enough or at least respect the format enough to have that engaging discussion for two hours every week and Mitch I think you’d agree that there were times we did that and more. Perhaps you decided to participate because you thought that elevating the dialog was a noble endeavor. That idea isn’t dead on RFN.

    I appreciated your participation and respected the steadfast dedication you have to your ideals. We’ve parted ways on many issues and managed to agree on few as well. I hope we haven’t heard the last of Mitch Berg on RFN.

    We’re NOT DEFUNCT readers. Check us out for Independent coverage of the Capitol and other news at http://www.myradiofreenation.com

  15. Thanks, Marty. I added RFN to my blogroll.

    But I think that the answer is less a “time out” than for everyone involved to realize that there is no room for Fred Gates in any medium dedicated to a rational conversation, on any level. Ever.

    Given his obsession with me – his blogging, “Music”, and now anonymous, false hit pieces (based on phony “sources”) in the local wackomedia, to engage with a hamster like him would require an emotional commitment that I only make for things that really matter; family, country, faith, right and wrong.

    It wasn’t worth it for Ed (who banned Fred long ago). It’s not for me. I hope the rest of the world – or at least the parts of it that wants to really engage about what’s going on in the world – reaches the same conclusion. Fred is a sad, bitter little hack who needs help, not attention.

  16. I guess Marty should stop calling my show huh? Nice elevation of topic too!!

    I’m gonna go back to being sad and bitter now; perhaps one day I’ll be as sane and thoughtful as you and Ed are. I wrote a blog about his show recently but I doubt you’ll get it.

    Carry on being better than me…

  17. I guess Marty should stop calling my show huh?

    I can’t imagine why he would call you.

    Nice elevation of topic too!!

    Er – you lied about my show, you did it under a false name using a false source (or it’d better be a false source, since some of the stuff in your “story” is stuff that anyone that knows radio for real would recognize as crap) and I’m the one “elevating” the topic?

    I wrote a blog about his show recently but I doubt you’ll get it.

    Get it? I won’t even read it! I’ve never read your blog, heard your show or paid any attention to you. And I never will!

    Carry on being better than me…

    From your lips to God’s ears.

  18. But since you’re “here”, Fred, have your “source”, the “expert on radio”, answer a few things for us.

    1. How many radio stations does Townhall own?

    2. How much DOES Townhall “pay” the NARN? Feel free to extrapolate from the money they pay to other hosts and stations, which I’m sure your “expert” has available.

    I’ll wait with bated breath for you to show what a liar you’re not…

  19. Sure Mitch (sounds like you heard my last few shows BTW).

    1) http://townhall.com/SiteMap.aspx here’s the list from the Townhall site:
    Atlanta
    WGKA
    920 AM
    920wgka.townhall.com/
    Chicago
    WIND
    560 AM
    560wind.townhall.com
    Cleveland
    WHK
    1420 AM
    whkradio.townhall.com
    Colorado Springs
    KZNT
    1460 AM
    newstalk1460.townhall.com
    Dallas
    KSKY
    660 AM
    ksky.townhall.com
    Denver
    KNUS
    710 AM
    710knus.townhall.com
    Detroit
    WDTK
    1400 AM
    wdtkam.townhall.com
    Honolulu
    KHNR
    690 AM
    khnr.townhall.com
    Houston
    KNTH
    1070 AM
    1070knth.townhall.com
    Los Angeles
    KRLA
    870 AM
    krla870.townhall.com
    Louisville
    WGTK
    970 AM
    970wgtk.townhall.com
    Minneapolis
    WWTC
    1280 AM
    am1280thepatriot.townhall.com
    New York
    APPLE
    AM 970
    am970theapple.townhall.com
    Orlando
    WORL
    660 AM
    worl660.townhall.com
    Philadelphia
    WNTP
    990 AM
    wntp.townhall.com
    Phoenix
    KKNT
    960 AM
    kknt960.townhall.com
    Sacramento
    KTKZ
    1380 AM
    ktkz.townhall.com
    San Antonio
    KLUP
    930 AM
    klup.townhall.com
    San Bernadino
    KTIE
    590 AM
    590ktie.townhall.com
    San Diego
    KCBQ
    1170 AM
    kcbq.townhall.com
    Sarasota
    WLSS
    930 AM
    wlssradio.townhall.com
    Tampa
    WGUL
    860 AM
    860wgul.townhall.com

    1) They and Salem salespeople don’t make the distinction that was your “gotcya” response to this since I made the very natural “mistake” of conflating the two. All the station share the same site design as yours, web address with townhall.com in it and “powered by Townhall” after thier call letters… but hey Townhall doesn’t “own” anything LOL. Salem has two non-Townhall stations in your market too. so yeah, wow, you got me. If I become a professionally journalist and when what you do merits the attention of one, I’m sure that will be an important distinction.

    2) Townhall (whoops, sorry, SALEM) provides “free” time to you and other right-wing zealots nationwide, apparently for free labor and a non-aversion to personal “branding.” What you appear on is essentially a paid propaganda message cleverly disguised as a radio-flavored theme park ride. I don’t expect you to agree with this, so perhaps you can take your own advice and “embrace your zen.” But for any of your reader with an open mind: a) they are not paid in a supposedly “profitable” market. b) they are allowed to bring in their own ads, and c) the stations are “owned” by a very smart and very conservative parent corp who’s business model is finding AM “fixer-uppers” and bringing them to a worldwide audience through the web. If they can save a few bucks by not paying the help, I’m all for that. VIVA Capitalism!!!

    PS. As far as my “music” goes, your stuff didn’t make the cut for our show reel (this other conservative has far more style). One of your “above it all’ tweets made the video for it, however. Enjoy:

    ZEN.

  20. PPS: finally gave these comments a read. Fun, yet typical. Two comments:

    I don’t care about sports (I’m not a “real” man LOL) so bash away at The Mets.

    I agree with “Dog Gone”‘s comment: that is how a professional would act. Any publicitity is good, and on our little fake radio show we’ve used Mitch’s steamy Haterade to promote US, not fear to fantasize that he is “stalking” us.

    But I guess “real men” fear criticism on the web as “stalking.” I’m off to lift some weights, maybe one day I’ll be as scared of the people who dislike my show and my message too.

    Until then:

    http ://newreaso.ning.com

    (please don’t be SCARY!)

  21. I don’t care about sports (I’m not a “real” man LOL) so bash away at The Mets.

    Well, finally we agree about something. (Except as re the Twins and the Cubs).

    I agree with “Dog Gone”’s comment: that is how a professional would act. Any publicitity is good, and on our little fake radio show we’ve used Mitch’s steamy Haterade to promote US, not fear to fantasize that he is “stalking” us.

    Look, I’ve been in the media since I was a kid. I know how “the game” is played. The problem (well, the first problem) is that Marty tried to do a halfways interesting “fake radio” show, and you pretty much ruined it by personalizing everything. Which may be “publicity”, but it’s boring as hell.

    But I guess “real men” fear criticism on the web as “stalking.” I’m off to lift some weights, maybe one day I’ll be as scared of the people who dislike my show and my message too.

    Look, Fred – take it from someone who’s actually had to earn a living at this in the past; yes, “all publicity is good publicity”, but eventually if you do things the way you are, you pigeonhole yourself as a wackjob. That’s your call, of course, and I honestly don’t think you’re smart enough to care, but that’s how it is.

    Oh, yeah – the second problem; your gutless, anonymous article in MPP was completely untrue. Not a word of it had any bearing on reality.

    Cough up your “expert” who gave you the “anonymous tip”, assuming he/she exists (and I know damn well he/she doesn’t)!

  22. Oh yeah:

    I guess the cutting-edge blogging tool you use doesn’t allow simple YouTube embeds.

    That’s right. Don’t want them in my comment section. Get your own blog. (And then get anyone to read it – and by “anyone”, I mean people with IQs above plant-life level, which kinda rules out anyone who goes to your site more than once).

  23. I told my source I wouldn’t reveal who they are, silly. Nice non-response re the content of my answers BTW.

    Couple of things:

    I make no attempt to pretend I am a radio professional, nor do I really want to be (seems like a bizarre business full of “personalities”). I do my shit as a fun hobby, that’s it. If I wanted to compare resumes I’d talk about your blog’s “design,” but that would just be mean.

    As far as the “he said, she said” on Marty’s show goes, he said on MY second to last show that you were “a bully” on the old format. Go listen, it’s there. It’s less than a week old.

    And plenty of my listeners think it’s you, not me, who “ruined” it. Of course we aren’t going to agree on this, so MAYBE, just MAYBE, since it’s over, we can stop discussing who’s “fault” it was. In short, I offer you a big cup of “Grow Up” which we can both publicly agree to drink from right now, OK??

    Personally I feel that since it was the first and only of RFN’s shows you “promoted” here on your blog (still describing it as “moonlighting” LOL), and you basically got your ass handed to you by a nobody from NYC (me… my opinion only so RELAX), then you flipped your lid and did all this “stalker” stuff to mask your embarrassing performance (not just with me, you bullied the guests too later and I wasn’t even on that part).

    Be a big kid and post a link here to that show, and let your readers decide who’s right. Don’t worry they are so sycophantic you’d need to be raping my pet cat live sceaming “how you like me NOW, freak!!” to “lose.” I’d just like it to be here (I can post it as well but, well, you can promo Marty again, can’t you, big guy??)

    Personally, I find it hard to believe that someone who plays the tough guy so well went ballistic over a joke using the term “divorce” in a heated chatroom debate over gay marriage … but I’m just a NYC “lefty” so what the hell do I know.

    None of this matters ‘cept that you failed to answer my answers (which everyone with half a brain on here knows anyway).

    When I need the approval of hard-right conservatives in MN to feel better about myself, I have your email; and when I attempt a career in radio, I’ll send a resume.

    Peace, and enjoy your weekend (really). And say hi to Ed for me; as I said on my last blog you make him look like Walter Cronkite. Actually you sound pretty good as long as no one challenges you. too bad you are still doing stuff like listening to The Clash lol. (sorry I only caught that one show…) Maybe one day Ed’ll ask Malcolm Forbes that question about 50 Cent I wanted him to before I was banished from the Island of Misfit Conservatives.

    Carry on…

  24. disregard last comment… it didn’t appear right away (must be another “feature”)

  25. I told my source I wouldn’t reveal who they are, silly.

    Since you fancy yourself a “journalist”, you oughtta know there’s a bit of a convention when it comes to (I’ll humor you) anonymous sources; you need to find some semblance of corroboration.

    I’m attacking your “source’s” credibility; “he” clearly knows nothing about radio, much less Salem.

    Nice non-response re the content of my answers BTW.

    That’s because I just saw your “answers”.

    You produced a list of Salem stations, LISTED on Townhall. But I asked you what stations Townhall owns; with which radio stations and programs is there a financial connection to Townhall. You haven’t answered that. Hop to it!

    2) They and Salem salespeople don’t make the distinction that was your “gotcya” response to this since I made the very natural “mistake” of conflating the two. All the station share the same site design as yours, web address with townhall.com in it and “powered by Townhall” after thier call letters… but hey Townhall doesn’t “own” anything LOL. Salem has two non-Townhall stations in your market too. so yeah, wow, you got me. If I become a professionally journalist and when what you do merits the attention of one, I’m sure that will be an important distinction.

    Ah. So you want all the protections and status of being a “journalist”, but don’t want to observe any of the rules of doing it well (like using your real name and getting your facts straight). Gotcha.

    2) Townhall (whoops, sorry, SALEM) provides “free” time to you and other right-wing zealots nationwide, apparently for free labor and a non-aversion to personal “branding.”

    Well, you’re getting warmer. WWTC provides us airtime; we do the show for (mostly) free. Townhall gives us nothing, but distributes our podcast. As I’ve said, several times.

    What you appear on is essentially a paid propaganda message cleverly disguised as a radio-flavored theme park ride.

    Not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but again – there’s no payment involved.

    a) they are not paid in a supposedly “profitable” market.

    So now you’re changing your tack to “talk radio must not be making THAT much money?” Pick an angle and stick with it!

    Talk radio is profitable (which is why it’s succeeding). We are not paid (at least, not in a “biweekly paycheck” sense) partly because WWTC really has no budget for local talent, partly because we just enjoy doing it (it IS a blast), and, speaking only for myself, because I don’t really care. I just enjoy it. It’s my happy place, which is it’s own payment. Not that I’m sure I have to tell a putative Buddhist about that, right?

    b) they are allowed to bring in their own ads,

    Incorrect. All adverts on the NARN go through Salem’s sales department.

    and c) the stations are “owned” by a very smart and very conservative parent corp who’s business model is finding AM “fixer-uppers” and bringing them to a worldwide audience through the web. If they can save a few bucks by not paying the help, I’m all for that. VIVA Capitalism!!!

    So NOW your point is “Salem is a slave plantation?” Um, brilliant, except that the arrangement is voluntary. We’ve been doing it for five years, so we obviously don’t mind a whole lot. If that’s an indictment of capitalism, I think we’ll take it to trial.

    Anyway – you’ve had to back off of every single point of your original “story”. Time to cry uncle.

  26. Actually you sound pretty good as long as no one challenges you.

    Actually, I field all challenges pretty well. Getting badgered by a mental midget like you isn’t really a good example, since you are more of a badgering heckler than an intelligent opponent.

  27. Yep, Fred, I moderate your comments.

    You are narcissistic and dumb enough to use my comment section for something I’d end up paying for. Totally not worth it.

    I’m curious, by the way; you seem to try to personalize a lot of really curious stuff; your odd, demented little chuckles over my goatee, the Clash, my home computer and calling me “farm-boy” (???) remind me of Parker Posey’s character in “Best In Show”; “you are such a BRILLIANT…manager…person…YEAH!”.

    I mean, dude. You’re deranged. If Marty dignifies you with any attention at all, he deserves what he gets!

  28. And just so we stay on topic: I have good reason to believe your “expert” is a figment of your imagination. “He” – via “his” conduit, you – “says” things that nobody who knows ANYTHING about radio would say.

  29. It’s shtict. Read The Clash comment again (when it shows up LOL). Making fun of Goatees and eating contests at state fairs seems more lighthearted then calling my “opponent” a “degenerate” etc… but hey that’s your “style.”

    Re the “moderated” comment no worries I have a screen shot for my blog. Actually moderation means you see it BEFORE it posts, but I’m sure you know that. I’m glad my supposed snobbery about the space “between the coasts” fits your boiler-plate, standard issue talking points. I mean, shit, I LIVE IN NEW YORK!!!!

    I have to go perform abortions now (after a Satanic ritual). Enjoy your 80’s mythology. Whatever works.

  30. Fred,

    I fumblefingered and inadvertently deleted your last comment (the one where you said “I’m done”, which narrows it down to about twenty).

    The comparison between the AIG protests and Kristallnacht was not, never, ever intended to be a literal one – which is what you’d have perhaps figured out if you’d spent more time listening and less time babbling.

    My point was that populist mobs can morph into something really ugly.

    For someone who babbles about conservatives’ supposed lack of “Nuance”, you sure have a hard time discussing any.

  31. guess my reply here (re Kristalnact) you “fumblefingered” too.. good stuff.. bye bye Mitch. You are pretty much exactly like all of ’em, hate to break it to ya…

  32. Nah, some of them I just delete. Your reply wasn’t really worth the bandwidth.

    And for the fiftieth time – bye bye!

  33. I’m sure your deletions are completely objective, how silly of me. I’m sure if I ever feel like having precisely the ones that make you look bad deleted (again), I’ll be back… perhaps on a dreary rainy day when I need a dark Berg-manesque drama that ends abrubtly for no particular reason. Say hi to your other Persona for me, and farewell.

  34. Er, Fred? Don’t flatter yourself. Nothing you write makes me look “bad”. I just don’t feel like dealing with your more dissociative little flights of fancy. This is apparently way more important to you than it is to me, or you really WOULD stop.

    But you just can’t, can you?

    Oh, by the way; “Jimmy’s” little brain fart isn’t over. You are lying about having an “expert on radio” who gave you a tip. Everything about your “story” adds up to it; I just have to close the loop – and with lies, the loop ALWAYS gets closed. I’m going to keep the heat on MPP; I will eventually have the proof I need that Fred Gates makes things up and calls it “Journalism”, and that MPP passes it on uncritically.

    But as I do, bear this in mind, Fred – I’m doing it for the fun of it. Nothing you (OR MPP) say or do makes the faintest difference in my life. It’s sport. Like plinking at cans with a .22, only not as noisy.

    Back to work, though. Time for that later.

  35. You don’t need to dig, the source will come to you. Sorry to ruin the “fun.” So yeah, it’s over. Enjoy your hobbies. Practice makes perfect.

  36. The “source” will either not exist, or it’ll be some offhanded remark by somebody (one of your blog’s “readers”, another BTR host, or somebody like that) that you’ve blown out of context to make you look (and others think) that you have some kind of “big story”. That’s how you pitched it to MPP (see the Twitter conversation above); if I’m correct (and I will bet dimes to dollars I am), you misled them just about bad as you misled the “audience”.  (He “wrote a book about Clear Channel?”  Really?  Hah!)

    If you weren’t lying, why did you feel the need to post anonymously?

    (Oh, I know the answer to that, but your attempt at an answer will be further cheap entertainment).

  37. I know a guy who wrote a book about Clear Channel, named Alec Foege. I have worked for him (designing other books).

    And (drumroll) He is NOT my source. I used that as a diversionary tactic to keep heat off my real source, who is local to you (not in NYC), got much of it wrong (if I’m to believe YOU) and DID give me this “tip”. I told him I’d try to contact Salem management and see what the deal was (that would be corroboration)… I posted my “findings” without any conclusion, more as a question to find out more.

    He or she has said they might contact you and let you know it was them. I advised them against this but I can’t tell them what to do. Everything I did, including posting anonymously (not exactly my style, if you haven’t figured THAT out yet) was to protect my source. If and when they decide to contact you, then you’ll know. If they don’t, you most likely never will.

    Finally, nothing you have said disproved anything in that posting with the possible exception that I conflated the parent corp with townhall.com. You are still an unpaid propagandist, and my issue (and what my readers and others find intersting) is disclosure.

    Again, to quote the Bard “the lady doth protest too much.” If it’s such a small deal and I’m such a miserable “hack” why are you so invested in making me look like I “lied?” Because everything I said is TRUE.

  38. I know a guy who wrote a book about Clear Channel, named Alec Foege. I have worked for him (designing other books).

    And you said on Twitter – shall I find the posting? – that a person who’d written a book about Clear Channel was your source for this allegation. I’ll find and post it if I need to.

    And (drumroll) He is NOT my source.

    Um, yeah. That’s different than what you said before.

    I used that as a diversionary tactic to keep heat off my real source

    Bwahahahahaha! “Diversionary tactic!”

    Good Lord, this is hilarious.

    got much of it wrong (if I’m to believe YOU) and DID give me this “tip”.

    Ah. So you didn’t corroborate the “tip”, but you DID start a “diary” on a hackblog under a pen name to throw it out there anyway. This is making perfect sense!

    I told him I’d try to contact Salem management and see what the deal was (that would be corroboration)…

    Um, you corroborated nothing. You confirmed that something that is a standard practice in radio – brokered programming – exists. You corroborated NO financial link with Townhall, NO payments from ANYONE (which you “Jimmy” posted as an affirmative statement on MPP!).

    Along the way got every single fact wrong, except the ones that I’ve long admitted! The fact that we do the show for free has been a running gag among the nine of us for the past five years!

    I posted my “findings” without any conclusion, more as a question to find out more.

    No, you backed off your claim that you made via Twitter to Eric Pusey when you were busted fabricating (or, as you say now, inflating) sources.

    He or she has said they might contact you and let you know it was them. I advised them against this but I can’t tell them what to do.

    Really? Why would you “advise” them to do that?

    Everything I did, including posting anonymously (not exactly my style, if you haven’t figured THAT out yet) was to protect my source.

    Bullshit, Fred. I’ve worked as a reporter – a real one, not a schlub living out delusions of grandeur – and there are ways to protect and confirm anonymous sources and use your real name. You made up the name so you could do an anonymous hit and run with no consequences to you. That’s why when I tore your “story” to shreds, you deleted your original tweets to Eric Pusey, and then made up the cock and bull story about your “author” friend being a source.

    Finally, nothing you have said disproved anything in that posting with the possible exception that I conflated the parent corp with townhall.com.

    I shot down every single point in your post that wasn’t a matter of public record and/or stuff we’ve openly joked about (to say nothing disclosed) for half a decade; there is no payment for the NARN, anywhere, from anyone.

    You are still an unpaid propagandist, and my issue (and what my readers and others find intersting) is disclosure.

    DISCLOSURE OF WHAT? We are six conservative bloggers who do a conservative show on a conservative station owned by a conservative network! We get paid talent fees, occasionally, and nothing from the station!

    Here’s how a “journalist” would have followed up on an anonymous tip; they’d have called or emailed a NARN representative (I’d be a good one), and/or the management at WWTC, and/or someone at Salem. They’d have asked. They’d have gotten their answer. And they’d have posted actual evidence, one way or the other; since you never had anything to corroborate anything your “source” said (other than stuff that is just common knowledge in the business), a “journalist” would have held off until that corroboration existed.

    The NARN’s arrangement IS unorthodox – quite possibly unique in the radio industry. A real journalist would have figured that out, rather than trying to puff it up into a bogus conspiracy.

    But you’re only motivated by some curious personal animus, which is why you’re calling around trying to find details about my personal life.

    You’re a sick little man.

    Now, please make good on your repeated claims to be done with the whole thing.

  39. You don’t even know you can’t delete Tweets. ALL Tweets, even the ones you’ve deleted, are public. There’s nothing new here and I never claimed to be a journalist (only you have claimed that I claimed to be). I do know a lot of folks here in NYC (Ok, about 4) who could probably get me MORE good info on this, but they are probably too busy writing a researching stuff about people who matter, not hobbyists in St. Paul. You are right there certainly is NO STORY here. It’s boring. The theatrics of YOU however, is funny as hell. Please write another long thing about my motivations and psychology, PLEASE. And if or when my “source” comes forward make sure you apologize for all the accusations… my twisted, hack degenerate feeling have been so hurt.

    HAPPY HOUR.

  40. PPS. cancelling my account here. Feel free to write a novel about that as well.

  41. Fred,

    Wow. I go out for the evening and come back to FOUR MORE comments,AFTER your fiftieth stomp off in a huff – including two more stomp-off-in-huffs!

    Booya!

    Public vs personal: you disingenuous little dolt. You know EXACTLY what I mean.

    You don’t even know you can’t delete Tweets. ALL Tweets, even the ones you’ve deleted, are public.

    No, Fred, I did know that. You’re the one who deleted your side of the exchange with Eric Pusey. Not me.

    There’s nothing new here and I never claimed to be a journalist (only you have claimed that I claimed to be).

    You told the Salem AE you were a journalist. Can you keep your own bullshit straight?

    I do know a lot of folks here in NYC (Ok, about 4) who could probably get me MORE good info on this, but they are probably too busy writing a researching stuff about people who matter, not hobbyists in St. Paul.

    Well, you’d be right about them not having the time or interest. But you do not know any such people, and you know it.

    You are right there certainly is NO STORY here. It’s boring.

    That’s not what you told Eric Pusey.

    And if or when my “source” comes forward make sure you apologize for all the accusations… my twisted, hack degenerate feeling have been so hurt.

    No, Fred, I can say with absolute assurance that a) the source will probably be embarassed at how grossly you took her/him out of context, and b) doesn’t exist.

    So are you really gone? Honest?

  42. It appears I was the “super secret source” Mitch. I think Fred and I had a conversation about this a while ago and he asked me about your radio gig up here. I think I mentioned that it was gratis or paid air time or something…I WASN’T SURE. Let me say for the record, I added this, and I quote, “I AM NOT SURE HOW IT WORKS EXACTLY.”

    That’s what I told Fred and that is the TRUTH.

    Fred took it upon himself to do an Eye Witness News investigative journalism piece and EXPOSE you…lol.

    The whole thing is silly and I really want this to be the last time I have to post or discuss this issue.

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