Campaign 2010

Mar 24, 2004

Fire Away

Chatterbox tells us of another destroyed Medicare whistleblower, the radio talkshow host who derailed Nick Smith’s attempts to backtrack from his bribery allegations by producing an interview with the Congressman in which he confirmed the allegations.

Vandenbroek did himself no particular good at WKZO by providing evidence that the House GOP leadership may harbor a felon. “While there are some people at the station who seem to be quite proud of my coverage of Nick Smith,” Vandenbroek told Chatterbox, “I think there were others that might have been uncomfortable that it was focusing on a member of the Republican Party.” There was no blowback on Smith, but soon afterward, a Vandenbroek broadcast pointing out a few dubious claims in President Bush’s Feb. 8 Meet the Press interview prompted a complaint to the station from the local Republican Party headquarters. The Bush broadcast “made the owner of the station very uncomfortable,” Vandenbroek said. “I got called in and told to stay away from politics.” Strike 3 was a mildly intemperate e-mail Vandenbroek sent to the Christian right author Jefferson Scott after Scott declined to appear on Vandenbroek’s show to discuss Be Intolerant: Because Some Things Are Just Stupid. Be Intolerant is a manifesto Scott co-authored with Ryan Dobson, son of James Dobson, chairman of the powerful Christian right organization Focus on the Family. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was their contention that I violated e-mail policy,” Vandenbroek explained.

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