Thursday, April 13, 2006

In Which Pho Takes to the Air

Against all rational judgment, I subjected myself to Capri Cafaro’s interview on the Joe Finan show. First off let me say that Cafaro was masterful. I’m starting to see method in the “I’ll sue your ass” madness. She can speak well about the immunity issue and can win the argument. By issuing the threat letter, she has diverted the discussion to one she does well on. Now I may be importing my general disdain for the issue, but it sounded to me like she did well with it and I was frustrated that so much of the interview was focused on it. The election shouldn’t turn on the fact that she didn’t break the law. If she didn’t break the law, she's simply on par with everyone else in the race.

All that came later. Early on, Finan asked about the Victoria Gotti comment she reprised during the Chancellor interview. Finan just finds that abhorrent. Cafaro told the story, but omitted a key detail that prompted me to call the show. She said someone forwarded her a blog post and in it she found the VG insult. Then she met the guy at an SCPD event and they had a substantive discussion.

Capri, if you get this post forwarded to you, mark this well: It. Wasn’t. Me. It was a commenter. If you insist on tagging me with this, can I hook you with the guy who called me a dork, or the guy who accuses me (incorrectly as it turns out) of being a couple inches short in the shorts?

But she doesn’t care because what it's about is generating sympathy. It’s hard for a multimillionaire to play the underdog, but it seems to be the play. After all, far more people have heard the comment from her mouth than ever read it online. "My opponents are misrepresenting my past." "Mean bloggers are disparaging my ethnicity." "It's an insult to Italian-Americans; Vote for me."

And it sounded like it worked on the show. It also baited me into spending time I don’t have trying to call in to the show.

Understand something about me. I generally don’t get nervous speaking in front of people. I do all sorts of public speaking and almost never get nervous. This is maybe the fourth time I’ve tried to do talk radio call-in and every time it’s been a knee-weakening, heart-pounding, hand-shaking terror. I don’t get it, but there you are. So I had one major message to deliver – that contrary to the impression one might get from Cafaro’s story, blogs in Northeast Ohio are places overwhelmingly dominated by substantive discussion, not gratuitous insults. Didn’t say it. D’oh!

I did talk about the difference between the blog and comments. I did acknowledge leaving the comment up, but also noted that I leave up plenty of pro-Cafaro comments, including those that personally insult me. I did mention to Joe that he’ll find me criticizing him which led the two of us to exchange faux-threats – a leading candidate for Moment of the Week. I did get in a plug for Meet the Bloggers. But the whole reason for calling in -- forgot it.

I’ll leave it to those who actually heard the show to call it on how I did. Any time I do something like that, the aftermath is always dwelling on what I would do better if given a Mulligan.

In the end, Joe asked me to email him, which I have. In my previous Joe diss, I called him the anesthetist of the air. In retrospect, that was inaccurate. I could never sleep listening to Joe because I spend most of my time yelling at the radio “Make! YourFreakingPoint!! Joe!”

I have said privately, but not here, that the good of having Finan on the air is that it shows 1350 has at least some commitment to local programming. I worry about homogenous media turning every place into The City of Townsville, so that’s a glimmer of hope to me. I just wish it was better and I wish that we didn’t have to miss the first hour of Al Franken for it.

I’ve also wondered why, if 1350 is interested in creating a radio community, they haven’t reached out to grassroots groups like SCPD or local blogs. Maybe this will be start.


Anonymous said...

Also, as she continues to talk about this trial, in which she hasn't gone into detail on the "grey area" and what it was...she doesn't respond to the fact that her employees of the 2004 campaign were not paid on time. Someone on another blog posted the link, it was for 8 or 3. All I know is that she has yet to explain how she can be "saving america's workers" when she herself has trouble paying her own workers.

redhorse said...

Pho, thought you did well enough to hold your own. I got that you were distancing yourself from the poster, but Finan was butting in then.

Good stuff.

k-pho said...

Man, I can't believe I missed this. It might even have been worth an hour of joe. Stupid work.