Thursday, April 17, 2014

SuMo isn't just a Monday thing

In every crowd there has to be one oddball.  That rule holds true with us five drunk rednecks. 

We all more or less agree that most radio talk show hosts are shills for one group or other and almost all ended up on the radio because they couldn't get a real job.  Sort of along the lines of "those who can, do; those who can't, teach", radio talk show hosts can be defined as "those who can, work; those who can't grab a mic and talk about it."

So who is the oddball in our group?  Yup, the one who writes 99% of everything you read - me.  The other four don't bother themselves with talk radio because they don't want to be bothered with the conservative vs liberal bs, the religious vs atheist make believe, the facts vs conspiracy fiction tales, the "intellectual" vs the "low information" crowd, the...well, you get the picture.  I, on the other hand, dabble in talk radio just for the fun of it.

This past month and a half, I've been listening to WXDE 105.9 programming mostly because my job had me on the road a lot and I was tiring of music radio and my CDs.  I'm not a stranger to the station.  I have listened in the past.  What I liked about the station was local talk show hosts talked about local issues - a refreshing change from standard talk radio served up via the nationally syndicated shows.

I refuse to listen to Dan Gaffney in the morning.  Last summer there was an issue of a local pastor, Pastor Dekker of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, DE, who requested the use of the Rehoboth bandstand to conduct a Fourth of July service and was denied.  Jared Morris was first to break the story on his show, and Gaffney quickly seized it.  Gaffney's stance was the denial was a clear cut violation of religious freedom.

When I pointed out, repeatedly, on Gaffney's FaceBook page that the Pastor didn't follow proper protocol to apply for the bandstand use and that the bandstand had a clearly defined use policy, namely it was to be used for "family friendly music acts" and not to be used for religious services, political grandstanding, and a bunch of other bans and rules,  Gaffney's response, despite the stations claim that they "want to hear everyone's view", was to kick me off his FaceBook page.  He then spent the next two weeks trying to refute the facts that are clearly posted and I kept bringing up.

Around the same time, Susan Monday talked about a "scandal" in Salisbury over a lingerie store.  My first impression was, "Wow, a talk radio host who doesn't take sides."  In fact, her segment inspired us to do our own story on the issue (The Sexual Hang-ups of Mayor Ireton).  I've been a fan of Susan Monday ever since although, until recently, I didn't get to listen very often.

One thing different about my listening habits now as opposed to a year ago is I finally broke down and got a cell phone.  I didn't want the thing.  Call me old fashioned, but a phone belongs hanging on the kitchen wall, not on a belt.  My job thought otherwise. 

I decided to put that phone to use and learn what it is like to call in to a radio show.  I broke my radio virginity with Susan Monday because I felt most comfortable with her.  My first call and she thought I was angry.  I wasn't.  I can, and usually do, talk with conviction, but I was hardly angry.  She listened anyway. 

It took me a few weeks to work up the courage to try again, but I was determined to master a controlled radio voice.  After a month and a half, I don't think I mastered a pleasant radio voice, but Ms. Monday listens to me anyway. 

If you haven't listened to Susan Monday, put her on your dial, weekdays, ten am until noon and again from one in the afternoon until three.

When I began to feel comfortable talking to Susan Monday, I tried Jared Morris, the host who immediately follows the SuMo show.  At first, he was pleasant to talk to, sort of like talking to a buddy over a beer.  But, like a buddy who has had too many beers, Jared has no problem cutting a caller off.  There were times I was trying to make my point and realized he had disconnected me.  He wants the caller to be short and quick.  Simple as that.

On one segment, he asked why people have an image of Asian massage parlors as being a place of prostitution.  I called and laid the blame squarely on Dan Gaffney's shoulders.  A little more than a year ago, Dan spent over a month talking about the Asian massage parlors and prostitution.  Jared tried to protest, but when I said one doesn't read an occasional story and get the image, but the image is helped along when talk show hosts talk incessantly about the "stories" as if there were many incidences, he became noticeably testy.  Just as I questioned Gaffney on insisting on singling out Asian owned parlors instead of all parlors, I asked Jared for the statistics on how many parlors were in DE, how many were Asian owned, and how many were busted as prostitution rings.  Unfortunately, he had already hung up.

His answer, however, was to quote four stories he found on Google about parlors being busted, being busted in the last five years.  So he didn't answer my questions and only perpetuated a myth that Asian owned massage parlors are prostitution rings.  I'm sure some parlors are prostitution rings, but I'm also sure the ethnicity of the owner doesn't make one parlor more likely to be engaged in prostitution than another. 

Despite that disappointing experience as a caller being hung up on, I kept calling on his other shows.  I still hadn't perfected my radio voice and needed to practice, especially after Jared thought I was angry talking about another topic a couple of weeks later. 

One day, he talked about a VFW serving alcohol to minors.  It was obvious Jared was getting his information from an online article and nowhere else.  I called and asked if he had caught the Susan Monday show earlier, which he said he did not.  Ms. Monday had a councilman on air talking about the problem, which was really a twenty-year problem he was involved with and more complex than what the online news article had to say about it.

Jared immediately got defensive and hung up on me.  At that point, it became obvious to me that callers aren't to challenge Jared.  I haven't called in to his show since.  It doesn't matter that Jared isn't fully informed on all the stories he talks about.  He needs to remain in control and sound knowledgeable at all times.  Sadly, unless he's talking about food, he misses the mark. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  Jared isn't a bad guy.  Take him for what he is and if you call in, don't challenge him.  If you stick to a script of "Hey, dude, I like what you have to say, but let me add..." and then hang up on him before he hangs up on you, you'll enjoy his show.  You can catch his show from three in the afternoon until seven.

For the too long didn't read people:

Susan Monday - Must listen talk radio and don't be shy about calling in.  She wants to hear what you have to say.  From time to time, she also gets good, local guests directly connected to Delmarva's hot topics.  Weekdays 10:00 am until noon and 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm

Jared Morris - Hit or miss with Jared.  If you call in, expect to be hung up on, especially if what you are saying is in any way perceived to be challenging him.  Weekdays 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm.

Dan Gaffney - I'll refrain comment other than to say I refuse to listen to him.  You'll need to read the above article to begin to get a feel as to where my sentiments originate from.  Weekdays early mornings until 10:00 am. 

Related links:
I owe Jared Morris an apology
Jared Morris revisited
Jared Morris - A real professional
Susan Monday inducted as Honorary Drunk Redneck
Susan Monday montage dedication

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks


  1. Well, I used to be a teacher, and now I am a talk show host. So, so far, I've been in two careers that I've chosen because I apparently don't know how to do anything except talk. Good thing for that!

  2. But you do it well and, more importantly, you know how to listen equally well. Being a good listener is what sets you above so many other talk show hosts.

  3. I know this is an old post, but to give you a little perspective on the "hanging up" thing. Hosts don't say goodbye because doing so for every caller would be repetitive and sounds bad on the air.

  4. Thank you, anonymous, and don't worry about responding to old posts.

    Of course, you are right in what you say, but my comment was written from the perspective of a caller - the life blood of talk shows that want to "get people talking" as opposed to a Limbaugh-type show where the host believes he/she is the only one with something important to say.

    As a caller, you have to have your radio turned down and if the host hasn't indicated in some way (not always by saying "bye") that he is moving on, you end up with an idiot on the phone yapping away for a couple of minutes, like me, without realizing the host has moved on. (Cell phones don't always hang up right away when the other end hangs up.)

    If you read my last review of Jared (, you will see that part of my "change of heart" is because he got a heck of a lot better at giving cues to a caller that he was hanging up. Only a real professional who cares about his callers would listen to constructive criticism and improve his performance. Oh, he's left me yapping on the phone a couple of times before I realized he moved on, but that was my fault, not his. I'm sure he has just as hard of a time telling if I'm done talking as I can tell if he's moved on.

    On this end of the keyboard, I'd like to think our reviews had something to do with his greater effort at thanking callers to let them know he's hanging up, but I'm sure he has professional consultants and colleagues he listens to more - if he even ever read our reviews. The point is, we noticed the huge difference. He warranted a new review and I think the last review of his show is spot on.