Airwaves: March 13, 2009
The Dynamic Duo
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou occasionally drive me crazy. Sometimes
its the hypocrisy -- supporting their cool writers union friends
when the Writers Guild was on strike; admonishing supermarket workers during
their strike that asked for far less. Sometimes it is the fact that much of
their research and show prep is little more than reading the local newspapers
the morning of their show.
But in the end, John and Ken, afternoons (3-7 PM) on KFI (640 AM), are
the taxpayers best friend.
While many California politicians and the Governor are falling all over themselves
because they finally passed a budget months after it was due, the afternoon
duo have been reporting on ways in which these politicians -- Republicans in
particular -- made back room deals to make it look like they didnt break
their pledge to not raise taxes, even though they did.
Now, perhaps it might be impossible to balance a budget without said taxes,
at least in the short run. But John and Ken have been railing about government
waste for as long as they have been on the air. Had anyone in power listened,
we might not be in the mess we find ourselves.
Recently the pair have taken literally to the streets to do what they do best:
rally their listeners into action. Last week in Fullerton, foe eample, John
and Ken hosted Tax Revolt 2009, an event in which an estimated 8000 people
descended into a local restaurant to protest upcoming tax increases and related
upcoming ballot initiatives. Among the activities: smashing -- with a sledgehammer
-- VHS and DVD movies that featured Governor Schwarzenegger back in his acting
Not that everyone is a fan. A writer for another newspaper stated that John
and Ken are too simplistic in their coverage, that they lack detail and nuance.
Yet that just shows the writer never actually listens to the show. Yes, as
I said earlier, at times their research is lacking. But this isnt one
of those cases. John and Ken have been covering the budget crisis in California
for a long time, explaining in detail what happened in the past, what should
have been done about it and why were so far in the hole revenue-wise.
And as far as I can tell, they are about the only ones doing it, at least locally.
But John and Ken do have a lot of fans, as shown by the turnout at the tax
revolt as well as their continued ratings success on one of Americas
most popular talk stations. And those fans can put a lot of pressure on people,
whether those people like it or not. There are reports that calls to offices
of politicians jump dramatically when the team asks listeners to get involved.
Rarely does a talk show have so much power.
So even though I dont always agree with them, Im glad to have John
and Ken on my side, looking out for me and all the other taxpayers of California.
Early in the Morning
While Im on the subject of KFI, can someone please send Bill Handel to
an english class? Or at least force him to sit through his top of the hour
show intros? While I absolutely love his morning show, I am so tired of hearing KFI
uh AM 640, uh more stimulating talk radio uh 8:06 in the morning ...
Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper
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