Sunday, November 04, 2007

Leighton Broadcasting Kowtows to Liberal Whining (bumped)

****UPDATE (11/5/2007; 9:41pm CST)

According to Eva Young, John Sowada sent an email to her claiming that Langsjoen did not complain to him (see comments).

Consistent with what I wrote in my last update, I apologize to Ms. Langsjoen for posting what appears to be an inaccurate account of what happened.

My assessment of Langsjoen's character; which was solely based on her behavior during the interview, still stands.


If you can't beat them, silence them.

Andy Barnett, of KNSI-AM 1450's morning show, Hot Talk, has been fired.

I listened this morning to Barnett's interview of two St. Cloud City Council Ward 3 candidates, John Libert, and Karen J. Langsjoen.

Langsjoen displayed her mean spiritedness right off the bat when Barnett mispronounced her name (well, who the hell wouldn't?). Langsjoen, whom one could tell is as liberal as the year is long, took great umbrage with Barnett's quizzing both her and Libert on their stances regarding the sanctity of life.

To put it mildly, Langsjoen had a cow, saying that Barnett had no call to question city council candidates on their stance toward abortion.

Barnett countered that it was indeed relevant on a number of levels; including the notion that many of KNSI's conservative listeners (yes, KNSI is a station heavily geared toward conservatives) would assess the pro-life stance of candidates as a barometer of the candidate's character; additionally, Barnett brought up the fact that the Council may have to choose city employees' health plans, and voters may be interested as to whether Langsjoen would approve a plan that paid for abortions, and/or domestic partnerships (read: Gay civil unions).

Langsjoen would have none of it, and refused to answer the questions. Barnett continued to be respectful toward Langsjoen throughout the interview, and never raised his voice toward her; however Langsjoen continued to be very short and terse with Barnett, avoiding and evading questions in a manner that would make Hillary Clinton appear to be a "straight shooter." Immediately following the interview, Langsjoen apparently stormed into the offices and threw what could be described as a whiny hissy fit to Leighton Broadcasting 's general manager John Sawada, who, after reportedly apologizing to Langsjoen up and down, fired Barnett.

First of all at the start of the interview, Langsjoen had stated that she "always was interested in getting into politics."

Word to Langsjoen: If you can't take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.

Secondly, KNSI's Hot Talk, ever since its inception with then-host Dan Ochsner, has been an edgy, hard-hitting, yet entertaining morning talk show.

As a conservative (and I would imagine the lion's share of listener's to Hot Talk and other KNSI programming are, as well, conservatives). I truly believe that it is an important component of one's character about how one feels and thinks regarding the sanctity of life.

I agree with Mr. Barnett's assertion that it is always prudent to have a read on someone's character before placing them in a position of trust in the community.

While it may have seemed unorthodox to quiz the candidates regarding their stance on the sanctity of life, in my opinion, it was nonetheless relevant.

Perhaps Mr. Barnett didn't include as many local city issues as he should have, but that was no reason for Leighton to fire him. A reprimand would have sufficed.

I do not expect Hot Talk to be a hallmark of genteel chit chat. I expect it to be hard hitting, as well as entertaining.

If KNSI goes milquetoast, they can expect their current listenership to decrease exponentially.

You want genteel chit-chat? Go call your grandmother.

I ask readers in the KNSI-AM listening area to contact Mr. Sawada and register their disappointment in their decision to fire Barnett:

General Manger: John Sowada

As for you, Ms. Karen J. Langsjoen--you whiny, joyless, hateful fishwife-- as a result of your adolescent whining, I hope you don't get vote one from Ward 3 voters.

And as luck would have it, I myself will have the honor to cast my vote for your challenger.


King has more.

In the Times Story Chat, Langsjoen denies ever having spoken to Leighton management about the interview. My source states otherwise.

****UPDATE**** (11/3/07 11:26pm CDT)

When I asked Mr. Barnett to clarify whether Langsjoen complained to Sowada, Barnett replied,
Several people at Leighton told me that they saw her talking with John Sowada and heard him apologizing repeatedly to her... I didn't witness it myself however...
****UPDATE****(11/5/07, 6:43pm CST)

I just spoke over the phone with Mr. Barnett to clarify whether Langsjoen complained to Sowada. Barnett maintains that someone told him that they overheard Langjsjoen complaining to Sowada, and Sowada apologizing to her. He also, however, states that the whole situation was "a blurr" (understandable when one gets fired). Others state that she was complaining to an intern ("The Senator) working on the show.

I will continue to try to investigate the story.

If it is confirmed, in fact, that Langsjoen didn't talk with Sowada, I will wholeheartedly apologize in advance.

But my opinion of Langsjoen's evasive, caustic and abrasive behavior on the show, as well as my resultant impression of her fitness for office (or lack thereof) still stands; and I believe that in any event, it was her histrionic reaction to the questions that was ultimately the catalyst for Barnett's dismissal. Also, it remains my opinion that Barnett's questions were not out of line, given the context of the show and its audience.