Archive for the ‘Media and Pundits’ Category

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THE NICE GUY WINS

April 29, 2009

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More often than not, when pundits and op-ed writers gather to discuss political and policy issues, things get heated, people talk over each other and no one can make their point without interruption. Then along comes this calm, distinguishable voice that has been waiting patiently to speak. It emerges with cool intellect, witty humor and the reasonableness that has long since escaped the conversation.

Gene Robinson is a writer that makes reading enjoyable and informative.

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No bluster, no ranting, just common sense thinking. Yes, he leans progressive. But based on the 2008 election results, he’s in good company. He is not vitriolic towards those with opposing views – a refreshing quality in this age of television, radio and print blather.

Often times he has good things to say about the “opposition” and offers very good ideas for keeping the conversation rational among all that are gathered – a rare talent indeed. Gene’s “centeredness” is not unlike that of our President’s.

Thoughtful words – both written and spoken – expose his true understanding which is cleverly expressed.

And then there’s that whole Pulitzer Prize thing.

Gene Robinson was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on April 20, 2009 for his coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election. This is stellar accomplishment considering how many people were reporting during this amazing time in our nation’s history. His commentary was insightful and at times, prophetic.

The very next day, he published “When Slapped, Slap Back” – good commentary on how he thought that President Obama may have been a little too nice with some of our not-so-friendly leaders at the Summit of the Americas. I use this illustration to show that Gene will constructively criticize when he feels that it adds to the conversation.

Please take the time to read some of his work. Regardless of where you stand on the issues – you will not be disappointed.

Thank you, Gene, for being one of the very few voices of reason in this 24/7 say-and-do-anything-to-get-attention age of media. You have certainly earned the recognition.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?

April 5, 2009

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On January 2, 2004, a new voice entered the nation’s airwaves  – on two radio stations. Sometime in early spring (2004) I learned that it was out there – I don’t remember how. Once I started listening, I was hooked. I had a feeling then that this voice was going to make a difference in the political landscape – sooner or later.

Naturally, there were detractors. Some said the voice wouldn’t last a month. Others called it a $4 an hour nobody. Still others said that the message was not in line with America’s thinking. Yet, even with all the negative publicity, the voice continued, three hours a day, five days a week, month after month, quickly adding stations. Today, it airs on 100 radio stations with 3,200,000 listeners every day.

And who is the face behind the voice?

I, like millions of “Ed Heads” across this country, feel like we’re on a first-name basis with “Big Eddie” Schultz.

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This self-described “Gun-totin’ Liberal” sticks to the truth, does not pull punches and makes sure he knows the facts on an issue before he opens his mouth. He is the radio voice of and for the middle class. He has worked very hard to be where he is today, against what seemed like insurmountable odds.

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Unlike many of his conservative counterparts, Ed owns his radio show. This gives him programming freedom that many talkers do not enjoy. His business instincts are second-to-none. Whether he is behind a microphone on the radio, or at one of his town hall meetings that he calls, “The Voices of America Tour,” Ed Schultz is reaching the heartland throughout all of America.edtownmtg01 He had a 97-100% sell-out rate in every Town Hall in 2008. 2009 looks even better. Even self-proclaimed conservatives (Ed’s producer does not “filter” the callers) are calling Ed’s show. They say that although they disagree with him on issues, they respect his candor and “straight talk.” They also say they are tired of the name-calling conservative talkers that would rather scream insults into a microphone than offer a good idea.

Ed is recognized by the Obama administration. He was invited to the Inauguration and an Inaugural Ball.

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Ed and Wendy Schultz.

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His was the first (and so far, the only) progressive radio show to get an interview with President Obama. Ed is also an invitee to White House Press Conferences.

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FOX News called him a “…failed far-left talker…” on the same day he could be seen sitting in the front row next to the now famous Helen Thomas at Obama’s first press conference.

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Failed? Really? I don’t recall seeing Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity at any of President Bush’s press conferences.

I wrote about Ed last year. I said then that I thought he was the best of the progressive talkers and apparently, I wasn’t alone in my thinking. He has been offered his own television show beginning Monday, April 6, 2009. The show will air during dinner time (thus the title for this page) at 6:00pm EST every week night on MSNBC. It was announced on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

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It’s called “The Ed Show.”

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The show should do well enough to get a second airing later in the same night, much like “Countdown” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.” I believe Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s President, will decide to re-run it at midnight, EST, which would be great for West Coast viewers.

edradio01Ed has made a promise to us – the listeners that HE says got him this far – that he will continue his radio show. Aside from the fact that he thoroughly enjoys doing the show, he has five years remaining on his contract with the affiliates around the country.

Personally, I think he’ll do radio until he leaves this earth.

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No one in radio has worked harder or deserves this more than you!

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com