L.A. Times Hit Piece on John and Ken
It’s pretty much nonsense through and through:
But for all the anti-tax swagger and the occasional stunts by personalities like KFI’s John and Ken, the reality is that conservative talk radio in California is on the wane. The economy’s downturn has depressed ad revenue at stations across the state, thinning the ranks of conservative broadcasters.
Ah, but liberal newspapers like the L.A. Times — now they’re doing great!!
Leading the charge against Proposition 1A are John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, whose afternoon drive-time show on Los Angeles’ KFI-AM (640) draws 670,000 listeners a week, according to the Arbitron ratings agency. That makes them the most popular conservative talk radio hosts in the state.
John and Ken say they have 1.1 million listeners, not 670,000. They say that number is for L.A. and Orange Counties — ignoring several other surrounding counties, including Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and others.
Day after day, they pound Schwarzenegger and the Republican lawmakers who joined Democrats in approving the tax increases. They are encouraging recall drives against the legislators. Their website features pictures of the governor and the lawmakers — with their severed heads on sticks.
“They’re all pretty shaken up by it,” said Nygren, who counts some of the lawmakers as clients.
Ah, jeez. “Severed” heads suggests that there is blood dripping from the necks — that there is some implicit threat. And that the lawmakers are scared because of an atmosphere of violence.
Ridiculous. It’s just heads on sticks. Here is an example:
Lawmakers are scared because John and Ken know how to mobilize people. They had a rally with 8000 – 15,000 people, and the L.A. Times can not cover it and pretend like it didn’t happen — but it did. People are upset — and it’s not just “older white Republicans” who “are a shrinking portion of the state’s voters,” as the article claims. Plenty of us younger people are plenty upset at lawmakers.
But what kind of tax revolts are they covering? This kind.
John and Ken have a point about their ratings. I used to listen to them reguularly via “skip” from over 500 miles away–so to not count Riverside, San Bernadino, Ventura, San Diego, and other counties does seem a bit lame.
I also think the heads-on-stick are pretty juvenile, but not threatening in the least.Dave N (fe6851) — 3/16/2009 @ 11:23 pm
It’s worse than the celebrity tea party thing though.
The Times’ LA Now blog was pluging the ANSWER pro-tax, anti-war rally at AIG scheduled for this week. So, 15,000 folks agianst taxes they ignore, but a few commies kickking AIG while they’re down is worth a preview?
I hope my friends at 2nd & Spring understand why they are going out of business.Robert C. J. Parry (50a453) — 3/16/2009 @ 11:32 pm
You are quite charitable with respect to the other blatant falsehoods in the article. Note that this article is about the decline of right wing talk in the Obama years and cites the departure of several “conservative” radio hosts (conservative being an ill term for most, if not all of their examples not named Rush). They fail to note that most were replaced with other hosts of similar views. They also fail to note that those departures have little or nothing to do with the economy or the popularity of right wing talk.
Take their example of John Zeigler, who left KFI over 2 years ago and mainly as a result of his spat with John and Ken. Also, they mention the departure of Larry Elder, which, to my knowledge, remains a closely guarded secret as to why, it could be health, it could be financial, he could finally be running for congress. The point is, we don’t know and neither does the dog trainer.
It’s shoddy agenda driven reporting like this that make me confident that John and Ken will have jobs at KFI for much longer than the LA Times will remain in print.bskb (cb4c20) — 3/16/2009 @ 11:32 pm
It was one of the more insipid articles-and there are so many-that the Left Angeles Times has published recently. Lets take some of the conservative hosts that are no longer employed. Mark Larson was on a start-up station in San Diego. . .at 1700 on the AM dial. 1700?! Most people do not realize that the AM band goes that high. As far as the hosts in Sacramento, the marketplace handled that situation. If one can not build up the ratings and or a strong following, they are off the air. BSKB has some excellent points about Larry Elder and John Ziegler. Also, the “article” failed to note that there is still long-time host Al Rantel at KABC. And it did kind of sort of puff up Doug McIntyre. It was a typical Left Angeles Times hit piece that has no basis in fact. And, in regards to Roger Hedgecock. Is it not a promotion of sorts to go from local host to nationally syndicated host? I do not know, it is too me! A dumb “article” from a dumb “newspaper”!Mark J. Goluskin (9d1bb3) — 3/16/2009 @ 11:42 pm
Why was the art used of John and Ken? They are still going strong. If Jay Leno died would the times run an obit picture of David Letterman? It was interesting the way the mention of Prop 8 segued into a John and Ken graf. I don’t believe they care about gay marriage? It seemed like the story was linking them through sloppy presentation — that just didn’t seem accidental.
Where was the mention of Michael Savage, Dennis Prager, Dr Laura, Dave Ramsey — or ratings numbers for any of these folks which are easily available? It is really remarkable that there is still this much conservative/populist/right talk radio. You basically have a 12 hour time table for it – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Yet, there are so many voices, many overlapping. It is actually quite amazing.
And how can you not mention the complete failure of liberal talk radio? You’re not going to even give that a passing mention in this story? Several well-known politicians are talking about a fairness doctrine; should not that be mentioned. Talk radio recently played a huge role in defeating amnesty for illegals. Would an amnesty push revive the supposedly dying talk radio of Calif?
Instead of a headline, they should have just put a question mark over this story.steve (75fbbd) — 3/17/2009 @ 1:02 am
Behold, the irreplaceable services that the LATimes provides for its readership.Techie (9c008e) — 3/17/2009 @ 6:06 am
If you click through that John and Ken link, you’ll see that they’re running a poll. “Is the LA Times a credible source of news for you?”
It’s currently running 80/20. You can guess which answer is which.Pablo (99243e) — 3/17/2009 @ 6:28 am
I used to listen to them quite a bit from San Diego, going back to the OJ trial. When the Times gives out its circulation number, does it only count LA County?Pablo (99243e) — 3/17/2009 @ 6:33 am
It should. We’ve been told repeatedly that events happening as far out as Fullerton have no interest to LATimes readers whatsoever.Techie (9c008e) — 3/17/2009 @ 6:35 am
Funny thing about under-reporting the radio audience is that a few years ago the Times (and other big newspapers) were caught lying to their advertisers, puffing their readership. They refused to let advertisers know about their shrinking circulation.
Most telling is that the Times refused to even bother interviewing John and Ken. They obviously didn’t want to hear anything that would cause them to change their thesis.
Five people carry picket signs in front of a police station, bank, corporation, etc., and the Times puts it on the front page. Fifteen thousand people show up to protest tax hikes and it won’t even make the newspaper.Alta Bob (b332ce) — 3/17/2009 @ 6:46 am
The LA Times is a propaganda organization. Tax protests run against the “narrative” AKA the party line.
This and similar is why so many of us will not shed a tear when such “news” organizations go bankrupt.LarryD (feb78b) — 3/17/2009 @ 7:10 am
A few points of interest regarding the “wane” of Conservative talk radio in California.
Ziegler left KFI (fired for the most part) in November 2007.
Larry Elder is a self described Libertarian who left KABC in December 2008. I doubt the ad revenue had anything to do with that since his ratings were second only to KFI’s.
I had to Google Mark Larson, and still don’t know who he is.
Sullivan left Sacramento in 2007 to work for Fox Radio, and calling him “one of the biggest in the business” shows a level of ignorance that is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Same for Hedgecock, but given that his show’s become almost 80% about the current tax revolt and wasteful spending I don’t see how his change of format to covering more national issues is a result of shrinking ad revenue, or anything based on finances or loss of listenership. He will still continue to cover San Diego issues when the elections come. He’s one of the only hosts who invites local officeholders and those running for office onto his show to debate.
Eric Hogue doesn’t even show up in Wikipedia oh and his show was canceled in 2006, but picked up again later and regulated to a 1 hour noontime slot on a station whose ratings were lower than Air America.gabriel (3b1f6b) — 3/17/2009 @ 7:30 am
One other inaccuracy: John and Ken aren’t conservatives. They refused to make a Presidential endorsement in 2008 and in ’04 they endorsed Kerry. They’ve been extremely vocal critics of the Iraq war from 2004 to 2007 or so. They support gay marriage, at least nominally an — at least initially.
They aren’t moderate by any stretch of the imagination — one the two or three issues they focus on, to the exclusion of everything else. Three years ago the show was devoted to illegal immigration and Iraq, hence their Democratic tilt during that time. If the Times had a single writer on staff who had been following them for more than the last 2 weeks they’d know that. And since J&K’s 1.1 million listeners per day is almost 50% more than the LAT’s daily circulation, they really should.Batt Moon (e9a106) — 3/17/2009 @ 8:08 am
Also, Larry Elder’s “libertarianism” has morphed over the last several years into rank partisan Republicanism as he became a shill for George W. Bush. I basically got so sick of it I stopped listening to him. Maybe I wasn’t alone. But if that’s the case, Elder’s falling ratings (which I have no knowledge of, mind you; that might not be the case at all) would be a result of his not being conservative ENOUGH, not being TOO conservative.danebramage (756d38) — 3/17/2009 @ 8:33 am
“the reality is that conservative talk radio in California is on the wane”
I guess you should ask “What part of California”
Los Angeles has 3 radio stations dedicated to conservative talk (KFI, KGIL, KRLA) and 790 KABC runs Hannity and Levin from 12-7 on weekdays and Tammy Bruce on weekends.Hawkins (3d318d) — 3/17/2009 @ 11:07 am
Well said, and this is another reason that the LA Times is on the wane.
Just to be fair, “heads on sticks” sounded scary when I read about it in the OC Register as well. I guess you had to be there, which the LA Times, er, wasn’t.carlitos (4402ad) — 3/17/2009 @ 11:42 am
This article is so dishonest on so many levels…sigh. But you all have listed them.
Sad thing is, at least 10-20% of the populace still believes this rag.Patricia (2183bb) — 3/17/2009 @ 11:46 am
a result of his not being conservative ENOUGH, not being TOO conservative.
Comment by danebramage
This is nonsense. Elder has been on for years and slowly moved to the Republican side after years as a big L Libertarian. He has been no shill for anyone and was very harsh about the excessive spending that doomed the Republican majority. I used to switch back and forth between him and Hugh Hewitt depending on the subject. I hate to see him leave but maybe he is working on a run for Congress, as someone pointed out.Mike K (90939b) — 3/17/2009 @ 11:56 am
But for all the anti-tax swagger and the occasional stunts by personalities like KFI’s John and Ken, the reality is that conservative talk radio in California is on the wane.
Just think how many more people would attend an anti-tax rally if John and Ken weren’t just pulling a stunt but rather made a concerted effort!Dana (137151) — 3/17/2009 @ 5:29 pm
More sliming from the L.A. SLIMES and other sewer printed news papersKrazy Kagu (f5548f) — 3/18/2009 @ 8:22 am
[…] They did, however, find space to cover one tea party . . . a toddler tea party given by Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie. The paper later did a fact-challenged hit piece on John and Ken. […]Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32) — 1/1/2010 @ 10:29 am