Friday, January 14, 2011
Gov: Advertisers Should Shun Divisive Talk Radio
According to a posting at projo.com, “Those that pay — the advertisers — should shut them down.”
Chafee talk with reporters following an unrelated event Thursday morning in downtown Providence. “My view is that these people don’t even believe what they are saying, but they are making money off it. They’re selling this divisive and highly emotional [content] … because it sells. So the advertisers have to shut them down. That’s my view.”
The comments came during a week in which the independent governor faced criticism and a fair amount of national attention for his decision to ban all state employees, including himself, from talk radio during state work time.
(A Chafee spokesman on Tuesday clarified that the ban would apply only to state workers under the governor’s control, and would not apply to emergencies such as this week’s snowstorm.)
The policy made national headlines following the Jan. 8 shooting in a shopping center in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and a congresswoman critically injured. Some commentators suggested the massacre was a symptom of a “climate of hate” stoked by conservative talk radio.
Reflecting remarks President Obama made at a memorial service for the victims on Wednesday, Chafee said he hoped the tragedy served as a catalyst to bring the country toward a more civil public discourse. “It’s so tragic what happened. At a supermarket. At a public event to talk about congressional issues. It’s just so sad,” he said.
Chafee noted that he had experienced the “divisiveness of talk radio” on a personal level.
In 2006, conservative author Ann Coulter wrote a column in the weekly newspaper Human Events about the Republican primary fight between then-Senator Chafee and former Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.
Titled “They Shot the Wrong Lincoln,” the column criticized Republican President George W. Bush for backing Chafee over Laffey. Chafee won the primary, but wound up losing the general election and eventually broke ties with the GOP.
Read more here.
Posted by Tom Benson at 6:29 AM