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Pay Some Attention To That Person Behind The Curtain

Reported by Ellen - October 28, 2004 -

I was just reading Melanie's report about a Dayside segment on a study showing that the public prefers candidates not "surrounded by celebrities." That made my news hound ears prick up because a similar subject came up on Alan Colmes' radio show tonight.

On the radio show, Colmes' guest was a former bandmember of Nirvana who has written a book about repairing our democracy. The author was clearly a Kerry supporter. Interestingly, one of the first calls Colmes took was from someone who complained about celebrities using their clout to speak out about politics. That became a major sideline of the interview and almost overshadowed the rest of the conversation.

I paid little attention to this part of the program until I read that Melanie has seen many other, similar segments on FOX dissing celebrity involvement in politics.

It made me wonder about how the telephone calls are selected and by whom. Later in his show, Colmes took a call from someone who complained he had been waiting on the phone for an hour and a half, originally hoping to talk to the Nirvana guest. That caller turned out to be a strong liberal. Doing the arithmetic, I figured that the latter caller must have gotten through early in the Nirvana interview.

I don't know anything about how radio talk shows are produced (maybe one of our readers can enlighten me). But this coincidence of topics - a FOX hallmark if ever there was one - and the fact that Colmes has mentioned that his senior producer is a conservative has gotten me thinking about the role of producers and how the calls may be chosen. Was it accidental or by design that the conversation took that turn? I can't know but I'll be watching the selection of calls more carefully in the future.