Friday, May 9, 2008

Scrubbing the record


Progressive media is all a buzz. What happened to KPOJ morning host, Heidi Tauber? It seemed like a usual week on the radio. Monday some politicians were again at pains to explain what Bush is still doing in office. On Tuesday, Senate Candidate Jeff Merkley's paid media guy was engaging in the usual weekly shilling for his clients (and forgetting to disclose his paid relationships). Wednesday ended quite normally with an interview of Willy Week's editor, Mark Zusman and these closing comments from THC; Thom, Heidi and Carl:

Thom: In our third hour, everything you know is wrong... Barry Reid is going to tell us how to disappear... in America...

Heidi: OOooo!

Thom: Legally.

Carl: I'll be listening to that.

Heidi: You have Barry Reid on your national show. Tomorrow on the local morning show we have Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who is our guest.

Thom: Who would like to disappear!

Carl: Yeah! THC with you on AM 620 KPOJ Portland's progressive talk station.

Thom: Thom Hartman National coming up next.

Heidi: We'll see you tomorrow.
And Heidi Tauber hasn't been heard from since. Thursday morning it's suddenly "Carl and friends." Not a single mention is made of Heidi's absence. Perhaps she's on vacation? Going to check out her blog, we find every mention of her on 620kpoj.com has been scrubbed. It's like she never existed. Heidi's been "disappeared"! Quick, find Barry Reid! While KPOJ takes the Fifth, other tongues are wagging (er... fingertips are tapping) over at OregonMediaInsiders.com

I first thought of Cecil B. Demille's "The Ten Commandments." It wasn't enough for the father of Ramses to ban Moses into the wilderness. He had to order every reference to Moses stricken. In the days before [Delete], this most often required a chisel.

"Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet. Stricken from every pylon and obelisk of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of man, for all time. "
So let it be written. So let it be done!

Maybe there's a more recent analogy. In Orwell's classic 1984 (otherwise know as Rove's Playbook), we learn the dangers of press merging into politic.

“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.” George Orwell
It is disturbing to note how the producer behind KPOJ's morning show, Paul Pimentel, seems to be altering the record. I recall in the past hearing something on the the show and going back later, unable to find the sought after sound clip. At first, I thought it was just me. Before long, others were sharing with me their same suspicions that Pimentel has been scrubbing the broadcast of unwanted speech.

Paul Pimentel
In a most recent instance (today), a caller (Tom) was offering his nominations for Weasel of the Week. He had two in mind. He first nominated Jeff Merkley. Seems the Speaker didn't like Tom's free speech and threatened to sue! Next he nominated "the management of KPO-" before he was cut of by Pimentel. If you go back and listen to the broadcast (end of today's third hour) you'll only hear the following:

"Carl: Tom, your weasel nomination? You're on the air.

Tom: I have two. My small weasel of the week would be Jeff Merkley for his overly litigious effort to silence my anti Gordon Smith / pro Steve Novick message that I tried to pass out. //nip// ... //tuck//"
Now first, where as I wholeheartedly agree with the caller, this was NOT East Bank Thom.

Secondly, it seems pretty clear that the caller was trying to voice his opinion about the management of KPOJ. (Weasels!)

Now I don't want to get sued, but it's my theory that the "Tom" who called is none other that KPOJ sponsor Tom Dwyer. I hear this guy's ads almost every day and I think I can recognize his radio voice (although the phone adds a different quality.) If I am correct, that's a pretty admirable thing for Dwyer to do. Now I'll happily write a retraction, but I'd much rather be right (and reward Dwyer with my business. My pickup needs servicing!)


7 comments:

Pat Malach said...

A sad topic on many levels, but more great photoshop funnies, Thom !!!!

maloney said...

I like it, though I imagine that unlike some of your images, the faces here aren't that familiar to a lot people. (Not to mention that I don't watch Scrubs, so I had a hard time telling the real faces from the "planted" ones.)

I suppose that means you did a good job! ;)

Thom said...

It's not my intention to go all batshiat over KPOJ. But I'd sure like to know what's going on.

Heidi definitely is loved. She's responded to my emails and I even marched with her and her bro for the cure!

I know from sadness. I'm just looking for the silver lining.

and maloney... if you got the whole scrubs shot, I'd begin to wonder about you. (Do compare the two pictures, though. It's like a puzzle from the Sunday paper!

And let me again make it clear... I am raising questions while reserving judgement. I admire Carl Wolfsohn very much. He's extremely knowledgeable, funny as heaven, and also been kind enough to correspond from time to time. Hartmann is of course a genius. He's a bit of a self back slapper, but hell... have you read his bio?

Rita said...

I for one am very upset over the Heidi thing. I don't much give a rip about the internal station politics. They ought not to affect the listeners. I miss Heidi; I marched with her, her brother, Thom, Carl and his partner last year and I had so hoped to have a part in Heidi's Hoofers this year. The net result of all of this is that KPOJ has lost me as a listener. I haven't tuned in since Heidi disappeared and I have no intention of returning until she reappears.

Anonymous said...

I miss my THC in the morning!

Thom said...

Wow. Blast from the past. I miss it too. Just heard Heidi on OPB last week. I love her voice. Screw it. I lover her too!

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