Hi kids, it's time to play "watch what you step in!" I'm your host, Lavender Pitt, and I'm here to tell you a little story about what happens when you express your opinion. First, a little background:
by Lori Tipton
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- Opponents of Gov. Sarah Palin's policies are being threatened.
Alaska Women Reject Palin, a local group that opposes the Republican vice presidential candidate, on Wednesday announced plans to host an anti-Palin rally this weekend.
Since that announcement organizers say they've received intimidating messages.
A press release for the Reject Palin rally went out to practically every media outlet in town Wednesday. And one talk radio host decided to share the names and phones numbers of the two contacts on-air.
That decision has left organizers feeling somewhat fearful of practicing their First Amendment rights.
KBYR talk radio host Eddie Burke admits he is a conservative and a "Palinista."
But on Wednesday Burke resorted to name calling when he found out Alaska Women Reject Palin planned to host a Saturday rally.
"They're a bunch of socialist maggots, that's what I'm going to call them -- socialist maggots, that's what they are, a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," said Burke.
Please feel free to click on the title for a link to the full story; however, this is not the point of the story. I emailed the station casually with the following email:
Please note that all embarrassing punctuation mistakes on my part have not been edited out of this edition; sometimes veracity trumps accuracy! I figured I'd get no reply, or at best a boilerplate generic acknowledgment. Instead, this is what I got:
To: Rai Goldin
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 8:55:53 PM
Subject: Re: Eddie Burke's right to swing his fist
I was floored by this response, as it confirmed my worst-nightmare fears about the kind of wing-nut loonies they let play with the transmitter when they get snowed in up there. Alaska's finally getting the kind of attention that one of the fifty United States ought to get; some journalists are blossoming under the light, but other media outlets seem to wither under the glare. I thought I'd have to write this one off, and sent a reply indicating as such:
This was, as I figured, the end of the nonsense; but lo, another email just fluttered my way, from the general manager of the station:
I thanked him for his concern in the matter, and let him know I was very interested in the follow-up for the conclusion of the matter. If and when I receive any more correspondence, I shall let you know.
A few points:
- Eddie Burke does not have the right to give out people's numbers on the air with an implicit go-ahead to call them up and give them a hard time
- This is an abuse of the freedom of speech- any emotional wear and tear these anti-Palin organizers got as a result of Mr. Brke's actions are a responsibility that is at his feet.
- The anit-Palin organization was bigger than her welcome -home rally, and is being under-reported as of this hour by the mainstream media.