Republican radio

Two days with WRKO-AM, the unofficial broadcast arm of Kerry Healey’s campaign for governor
By ADAM REILLY  |  October 30, 2006

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If you’re a political liberal — or just someone who has a sense of fair play — listening to two straight days of talk on WRKO-AM isn’t easy. With the governor’s election looming and Republican Kerry Healey trailing badly in the polls, RKO’s on-air talent has been doing everything it can for the Healey Campaign. Bald-faced distortions of Democrat Deval Patrick’s positions, ad hominem attacks on independent candidate Christy Mihos, fawning praise for Healey’s strategy, verbatim regurgitation of Healey’s talking points, unabashed race baiting — nothing is off limits. But by late last week, after the debut of Healey’s controversial garage-rape ad and the Faneuil Hall gubernatorial debate, even RKO eminence grise Howie Carr (who’s inadvertently helped Patrick by encouraging Mihos and ripping Healey for years) seemed ready to give up on Healey’s chances. We listened so you didn’t have to: here, in all its ugly glory, is the best and worst of 48 hours of RKO programming.

Thursday, October 19
Scott Allen Miller, 6 am–9 am
Pro-Healey talking point: the great new Romney-Healey plan to tear down the tolls

The man known as “Scotto” has a tough job today: hammer both Patrick and Mihos for balking at a new proposal, by the Romney-controlled Mass Turnpike Authority board, to consider dismantling the Mass Pike tolls west of Weston. Why tricky? Because while Miller says Patrick is being too cautious about the proposal, he also says Mihos isn’t cautious enough, which means he’ll sound like Patrick when criticizing Mihos and vice versa.

Here’s how Miller pulls it off: while grousing about Patrick, he ignores Patrick’s actual remarks on the subject. (“If we can afford to maintain the quality and the safety of the roads, then we ought to do it,” Patrick said, but added that the new proposal should be studied further.) Instead, Miller constructs a fake dialogue with stock Patrick sound clips:

Miller: “I can understand Christy Mihos doesn’t want his one issue to be co-opted here. But for Mr. Deval Patrick — for Deval Patrick to act like he doesn’t know whether this is a good idea or not, even in principle — I can understand saying, ‘Look, I gotta do the math on this sort of thing,’ but for him just to say — ”
Patrick [fake quote]: “I gotta look at that.”

Miller: “No! I mean, do you like the idea, yes or no?”

Patrick [fake quote]: “I don’t have all the answers.”

Miller: “Okay, yeah, I know, I know, but if it would make sense financially, would you like to do it?”

Patrick [fake quote]: “I gotta look at that.”

Miller: [Exasperated sigh]

Later, Miller gets Mihos on the air. According to Mihos — a long-time advocate of toll elimination — the new plan isn’t credible because its legality hasn’t been established and because, instead of doing anything, it just calls for further study. If you’re going to remove the tolls, Mihos argues, you do all the necessary legal research and then you remove the tolls.

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Deval Patrick, John DePetro, Scott Allen Miller,  More more >
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